Political activists hold demonstrations in La Jolla, Balboa Park

17 days until November election

SAN DIEGO - Campaigning for candidates and issues is heating up across San Diego.

From the sands of La Jolla to the green grass of Balboa Park, Saturday was a day of political activism for many San Diegans with 17 days left to go before the election.

"He pays less than most working families do," said Martha Sullivan. She was referring to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who owns a home in La Jolla.

Sullivan was among about 50 activists who were out on the sand next to Romney's beachfront home to send a message.

In 1968, Romney made a heart in the sand on a beach in France. Inside the heart were the words "I love Ann," a message of love to his soon-to-be wife.

"We decided that it would be cool to sort of replicate that... and because what Mitt really seems to love is dodging taxes," said Sullivan.

Instead of "I love Ann," Saturday's message in a heart reads, "I love tax dodging."

Also on Saturday morning in Balboa Park, about 200 people gathered to protest part of the Affordable Health Care Act – better known as "Obamacare" – that would require charities and some religious-based institutions to include coverage for contraception and abortion services in their health insurance plans. 

Pastor Jim Garlow of the Skyline Wesleyan Church said the government is acting against the best interests of the people.

"Do an analysis simply of the loss of religious freedom as it relates to lawsuits across America skyrocketing and you will see the coercing back… the forcing back of not allowing the discussion of God in the public square... not in a way our Founding Fathers ever intended," he said.

Garlow said whether it is same-sex marriage or abortion, the federal government is the problem.

"If you look at even how our liberties come, it says we're given inalienable rights by their creator," said Garlow. "God is the giver. He is the giver of our rights according to our founding document which predates even our constitution."

Back at the beach, the focus for the volunteers is what they see as Romney's unfair approach to economic policy.

"It's this trickle-down economics that has been proven to not work," said Sullivan. "If it had, we wouldn't be where we're at right now."

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