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Local politics

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If you go
What: Ann Coulter speech, Q&A and book signing, with Todd Starnes of Fox News
When: 8 p.m. Friday; doors open at 7 p.m.
Where: Grand Wayne Center
Tickets: General admission is $25 in advance and $40 the day of the speech; tickets are available at WOWO, 2915 Maples Road, and online at www.brownpapertickets.com

Lightning rod Ann Coulter to visit city

Coulter

– The sponsor of her Friday appearance in Fort Wayne calls Ann Coulter “one of America’s most outspoken women.”

No stretch there. The conservative political commentator and author typically is described as outrageous and provocative. Coulter trades on “her flamboyant, anything-goes persona,” according to a 2010 profile by the New York Times.

Titles of her best-selling books have paired the word “liberal” with “demonic,” “godless” and “treason.” She referred to President Barack Obama as “the retard” in a tweet last year.

All of it has paid off for Coulter, 51, who for many years has occupied a national right-wing media stratum that includes Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity.

Coulter will appear at 8 p.m. Friday at Grand Wayne Center as the first speaker in the Northern Indiana Business & Life Masters Series sponsored by Fort Wayne radio station WOWO.

Coulter, who reportedly has homes in Palm Beach, Fla., New York City and Los Angeles, will be joined by Fox News analyst and commentator Todd Starnes.

About 600 tickets – ranging from $25 for general admission to $150 for a dinner and “meet and greet” with Coulter – have been sold for the event, according to Brian Sheikh, event coordinator for Federated Entertainment, a division of the company that owns WOWO.

Sheikh said about 80 people will attend the dinner. A VIP section near the stage, where 150 seats cost $50 each, has sold out. A bus carrying people to Grand Wayne from Mishawaka sold all of its 56 seats at $39 each.

Coulter will speak for about a half-hour, have a question-and-answer session with her audience and sign copies of her latest book, “Mugged: Racial Demagoguery From the Seventies to Obama.”

Sheikh said in an email he could not disclose Coulter’s appearance fee. Various media have reported in recent years that Coulter charges $20,000 or more for speeches.

Her appearances occasionally have attracted hecklers and protesters. Sheikh said “we have taken the necessary steps to make sure that if some should show up that all is done within reason and that everyone can have a safe evening.”

bfrancisco@jg.net

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