Ann Coulter speaks to 600 at Modesto fundraiser

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Protesters and supporters peacefully share the sidewalk outside a private fundraising event featuring Ann Coulter. (KGO-TV)

Ann Coulter appeared Friday in Modesto, she took the stage, and there were protesters on both sides of the political aisle.

RELATED: Cal Coulter protests peaceful in Berkeley

"She really wasn't that extreme." Nick Blom said he was simply curious to hear Ann Coulter speak. "A lot of immigration, a lot about what our military is doing overseas when we should be worried about our own country.

Editorial Page Editor Mike Dunbar from the Modesto Bee said she was not as controversial as he expected, but he said he didn't show love for California. "She doesn't like our immigration policies very much here, or our positions -- nor does she like our governor or our senators," he told ABC7 News.

Outside, supporters and protesters stood side by side on opposite sides of the Coulter debate.

PHOTOS: Groups protest in Berkeley over Ann Coulter

"Everybody's peaceful. Nobody's yelling at each other or anything, but that going on in there -- it's got to stop," said protester Dolores Gullatt. "She's just stirring up a bunch of mess."

"I believe that unless we stand up, conservative voice is not going to have a voice any longer," said supporter Tom Johansen.

Both sides agree on one thing -- their right to free speech.

"We're all about preserving the first amendment and it's one of the beautiful things about being in America," said Coulter supporter Linda Berry.

RELATED: COULTER CAL PROTEST: Social media reactions

"I respect and support her right to say what she wants to say," said protester Steve Tomlinson.

The Stanislaus County GOP invited Coulter to speak. They paid her $25,000. Executive Director Janice Keating says they wanted a high-profile speaker who could attract donations.

She was never deterred by the protests in Berkeley. "Berkeley has nothing to do with us," said Keating. "this is a private fundraiser that we've been planning since November of 2016."

If anything, she says it was the controversy that spurred attendance to 600 people.

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newsUC Berkeleyprotestrepublicansviolencemilo yiannopoulospoliticsdemocratsfreedom of speechpoliceUC BerkeleyBerkeley
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