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Protesters dodge sprinklers at Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's Costa Mesa house

A group of activists who went to Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's home Thursday night asking for a meeting say they found a closed door and, soon after, the sprinklers turned on.

Activists with the Service Employees International Union, Courage Campaign and other groups tried to visit the California homes of half a dozen Republican members of Congress that night.

A group of about 100 Costa Mesa residents met at the Newport Public Library and held candles as they walked to Rohrabacher's home. Costa Mesa police partially stopped traffic in front of Rohrabacher's home, and the group held a candlelight vigil outside.

After an SEIU organizer went to knock on the front door, the sprinklers were turned on, Courage Campaign organizer Darcie Olson of Costa Mesa said.

After a while, Olson said, she walked through the sprinklers to knock on the front door. Two men answered and told her she was trespassing on private property, Olson said.

"They told me to get off his property, and I was like, 'OK. I not going to fight with you about that,'" Olson said.

No other participants walked onto Rohrabacher's property after that, she said.

Rohrabacher's spokesman, Ken Grubbs, said in an email that the lawmaker was holding a barbecue with friends after a day of meeting with constituents.

"The watering ban now over, he turned on his sprinklers during the evening hours, as many Southern Californians do. When he did so, he noticed no protesters in the vicinity. If any protesters thought he turned the sprinklers on them, it would be in keeping with their self-conception of the world revolving around nobody else but them," Grubbs said.

Olson laughed upon hearing the explanation. Photos show dozens or people outside the home, with at least one holding a bullhorn.

"Somehow that's so appropriate that Dana would do that. There he goes again, an inappropriate response," she said. "I don't know why he's fighting so hard just not to sit down with his constituents."

Grubbs said there are more productive ways for the congressman to reach constituents.

"When people show up at his door with signs and bullhorns, he is perfectly aware that the incivility springs from Indivisible guidelines to disrupt rather than engage in dialogue. He chooses not to take their disingenuous bait. He reaches vastly more constituents and hears their concerns by far more productive means," he said.

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