Vice President Kamala Harris greeted supporters on Martha’s Vineyard on behalf of the Biden-Harris campaign on Saturday.
Her arrival at the quaint, upscale Massachusetts resort was touted as a “grassroots fundraiser.”
However, on an island where 75% of voters pulled the lever for the Democratic election in 2020, access to the vice president cost as much as $10,000.
“I guarantee you that not a single working-class Democrat was invited to the Kamala event,” Alan Dershowitz, longtime homeowner of Martha’s Vineyard, well-known attorney and longtime Democrat supporter, told Fox News Digital.
The high-profile performance, according to many longtime islanders, underscores growing concerns at an island that has been overrun in recent years by powerful left-wing elites who rule Washington DC and shape pop culture.
As a result, Martha’s Vineyard, they say, is now unaffordable for the average citizen, is becoming increasingly hostile to working-class residents and the native Wampanoag population, and is ruthlessly intolerant of opinions that run counter to the talking points of hardened Democrats.
“Martha’s Vineyard has been socially manipulated for the elite of the Democrat National Party,” Jim Powell, a longtime teacher and Martha’s Vineyard union representative, told Fox News Digital.
Former President Obama and Michelle Obama bought a $12 million estate on the island in 2019 after vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard several times during their stay at the White House.
Robert Soros, son of billionaire Democratic donor George Soros, owned properties on Martha’s Vineyard for years before selling them after his divorce in 2020.
The Soros and Obama families are known to have close ties. During Obama’s tenure, members of the Soros family had frequent access to the White House.
Former President Clinton made Martha’s Vineyard a summer vacation spot four times during his presidency.
According to local sources, the Vice President’s sister, Maya Lakshmi Harris, owns a home in Edgartown and has been conducting fundraisers there.
A long list of Democratic heavyweights have visited, vacationed, or owned property on Martha’s Vineyard in recent years.
According to market data from local real estate agent Tea Lane Associates, the average selling price for homes on the island was $2.1 million in the first half of 2023.
“Workers and young people have been forced off the island,” said Powell, who is also a former local and state official and host and producer of “The Jim Powell Report” on Martha’s Vineyard Community Television. “People just can’t afford to live there. The price of groceries. The gas price. People here call it ‘the drudgery’ of making ends meet every day.”
He said Martha’s Vineyard has become a “tax haven” for Democratic leaders.
The rich and powerful are enchanted by the largely rural island’s tranquil atmosphere, stunning waterfront properties and one of the most favorable local tax environments in the country.
Edgartown’s fiscal 2022 tax rate was just 0.3%, according to local data. The tax rate in Chilmark is only 0.28%.
So wealthy homeowners in Chilmark pay just $2,820 for every million dollars appraised. Each rate is among the lowest in the United States.
The island’s six communities have few social services, tiny police and fire departments, and small school systems. They share a high school.
Low spending coupled with astronomical real estate prices means island communities can fund their tight budgets with taxes that are a fraction of those elsewhere in Massachusetts or across the country.
The high demand for real estate from wealthy outsiders goes hand in hand with a very low inventory. Much of Martha’s Vineyard is protected from development by a variety of public and private land banks, trusts and parks.
Vineyard Haven, the common name for the town of Tisbury, is the commercial center of the island. It was named the least affordable city in the United States in a 2021 report by LendingTree.
The average home value in Vineyard Haven was almost ten times the average household income.
Everyday items are already more expensive on the island than elsewhere due to the costs associated with transporting articulated lorries by ferry from the mainland.
Meanwhile, on Martha’s Vineyard, it’s almost impossible to find a night out at a casual restaurant for working families, a luxury even in cheaper parts of the country.
There are no affordable, family-friendly chain restaurants or retailers on the island that are prohibited by local zoning laws.
No Applebee’s, McDonald’s or Walmart. There’s also no Dunkin’ Donuts, although the popular coffee chain was founded in Massachusetts and is popular and ubiquitous elsewhere in the state.
Many local restaurants close in the off-season and charge inflated prices to take advantage of the short three-month tourist season.
The island’s original Wampanoag people, many of them hunters and fishermen, are among those who can no longer afford to live in their tribal homeland.
“Our tribesmen are being forced to leave the island, and not just our tribesmen — families who have lived their entire lives on the island for generations,” Wampanoag Tribe Chairwoman Cheryl Andrews-Maltais said in a 2021 interview with the Boston public radio station WBUR.
Martha’s Vineyard already suffers from a lack of diversity, even among the Native community.
The 2020 US Census found that 89.2% of the island’s residents are White, compared to the nationwide population, which was only 59% White.
Martha’s Vineyard’s population was only 0.5% non-US citizens, compared to 13.5% for the statewide population.
The border crisis hit Martha’s Vineyard last September when 50 mostly Venezuelan migrants arrived from Florida, sent by Gov. Ron DeSantis to draw attention to the Southern states’ challenges and resource pressures.
The migrants found neither work nor accommodation on the island. Instead, they were shipped to the mainland in less than 48 hours as Vineyard residents purged their responsibility for helping.
“We already have a major housing crisis,” Rachel Hines, who works for the nonprofit Vineyard Preservation Trust, told Fox News Digital at the time.
Working-class residents of Vineyard are hardest hit by shocking home and rent prices, housing shortages and high living costs.
According to the WBUR report, four firefighters from Edgartown’s tiny “standby” department relocated from the island in 2021 alone to save money.
Others have since left the island, local residents say.
Mechanics, plumbers and health workers are also leaving.
“We’re becoming a Third World country with haves and have-nots,” one longtime islander told Fox News Digital.
The Vineyarder works two jobs to make ends meet but has refused to give his name for fear of retribution, including losing his job, for speaking out against the left-wing orthodoxy that rules Martha’s Vineyard.
The resident has to move every six months because his employer only offers the accommodation during the tourist season, a phenomenon known locally as “The Vineyard Shuffle.”
Other friends sleep in cars or tents.
“People are extremely reluctant to express their views because they don’t want to lose their job or business,” the source said.
Dershowitz, the influential Harvard attorney and longtime Democrat supporter, provides a disturbing example of what happens to islanders who deviate from acceptable positions, statements or actions by the Woke party.
Dershowitz first came to Martha’s Vineyard in 1969 to defend “liberal lion” Senator Ted Kennedy following his scandal in Chappaquiddick, a remote part of Edgartown. Mary Jo Kopechne was killed in a vehicle driven by the senator.
The prominent attorney has since represented top Democratic insiders, including the notorious Jeffery Epstein, and has been vocal in support of and befriending presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and former President Obama.
However, the island elite turned violently against him when he represented then-President Trump against allegations of Russian collusion from 2017.
Dershowitz has been kicked out of his synagogue, denied the opportunity to attend various book fairs and events — he is the author of three dozen books — and removed from the invitation list of political leaders and activists, many of whom he has been friends with for decades counts, and has been derided by cartoons and editorials in island newspapers.
“The Vineyard has become a totalitarian and intolerant environment for dissenting views,” Dershowitz said.
“It’s a very toxic place for bright people who are intolerant of working people,” he added.