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Sep 28, 2005 - 01:00 AM

by Meera Pal

Lafayette event for governor expected to draw protesters

A private fund-raiser for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tonight is expected to draw California teachers, firefighters, nurses and police officers in protest outside the Lafayette home of former Dreyers Ice Cream president Rick Cronk and his wife, Janet.

The protest outside the Cronks' Happy Valley Road home is being planned by the Alliance for a Better California, which is opposed to the governor's November ballot.

Local police have been notified and are asked to provide additional security, said Lafayette Police Chief Mike Fisher.

"Because he is the governor and he commands a certain amount of security from point A to point B, we will be involved in security," Fisher said.

He would not comment on whether the Cronks expected protesters.

A spokesman from the governor's press office confirmed that Schwarzenegger would be making an appearance at a fund-raiser in Lafayette, but would not say what time or how much was being raised.

The Cronks issued a statement supporting the governor and requesting protesters respect their privacy.

"We want to give the governor the tools to educate our citizens about his energized plans for the future of our state. We hope that those who disagree will respect our privacy and will not disrupt our neighbors or the traffic on our country lane," the Cronks wrote in an e-mail to the Times.

News of the fund-raiser was also published on the Web site, which is run by the nonprofit Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.

Of the top 100 donors to the governor's campaign committees, the foundation found through public filings with the secretary of state that Nestle USA and Dreyers Grand Ice Cream is the ninth highest, having donated $524,800 to date.
Meera Pal covers Lafayette and Orinda. Reach her at 925-952-5029 or

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