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The San Diego chapter of the Coffee Party drew close to 100 people to a discussion with Democratic congressman Bob Filner on April 11 at Queen Bee's Art and Cultural Center in North Park. Attendees from across San Diego and communities such as Oceanside, Ramona, and Escondido came to the upstart political group's "Coffee with Congress" event.

"Number one," said Filner, discussing issues facing the country, "we have to change the financing of campaigns." His remark drew cheers and applause from the crowd, as the Coffee Party has placed campaign finance reform at the top of its legislative wish list.

During the first several minutes of the event, a lone protester outside the building shouted criticisms of Filner and held a sign comparing President Obama to the Nazis. Eventually, the protester's sign was broken by a man who said he was blocked from his car.

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Shane_Finneran April 13, 2010 @ 9:21 a.m.

You're welcome. A few more notes from the event:

Filner believes most politicians would rather not take the money out of the system. "That's why there has to be a grassroots political movement to demand it," he said.

Mike James, a leader of the San Diego chapter, said the Coffee Party -- both locally and nationally -- was continuing to draw new members and beginning to engage in civic action. "Follow us," James said, pointing to the group's Facebook and web pages.

Eric Byler, the national organization's second in command, said "there's a lot more agreement" among Americans than is portrayed in certain corners of the mainstream media, particularly cable news, the theatrics of which Byler compared to professional wrestling.

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