How far will leftists go to get what they want? To prevent free speech? To stop the president of the United States from holding a rally? Evidently, as far as they can before getting shut down, and that’s exactly what happened in Minneapolis after the mayor, Jacob Frey, tried to charge the Trump campaign 26 times the fee to use the same venue Barack Obama used in 2009. A letter from the legal council apparently stopped that nonsense in its tracks.
Frey, like his state’s congresswoman, Ilhan Omar (D-MN), is not a Trump fan and, it seems, would do whatever he can to keep the president from visiting his constituents. In September, he said of the Keep America Great rally planned for October 10, “While there is no legal mechanism to prevent the president from visiting, his message of hatred will never be welcome in Minneapolis.”
The event is to be held at the Target Center arena. Obama held a rally there in 2009 and the cost was estimated at $20,000. Frey decided to charge the Trump campaign a bit more, telling the center that it would have to come up with $530,000 for security and other expenses for the event. The venue then tried to pass the cost down to the campaign.
“This is an outrageous abuse of power by a liberal mayor trying to deny the rights of his own city’s residents just because he hates the President,” Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager, said in a statement. “People want to hear from the President, and no mayor looking to beef up his resume for a run for higher office should stand in the way.”
Jones Day, a law firm representing the presidential campaign, said in a letter that the Secret Service is responsible for coordinating law enforcement services. “As such, no law enforcement costs shall be coordinated by [AEG], charged through [AEG] to [the Campaign], or shall be otherwise reimbursable expenses in connection with the [contract].” It also said that to cancel the event would be a breach of contract, “and the Campaign will aggressively pursue all remedies available to it in law or equity – not to mention in the court of public opinion.”
The letter further states:
“We presume this contrived legal justification for threatening to terminate the contract is the result of AEG receiving pressure from City leadership determined to cancel the rally. We are well aware of Mayor Frey’s vocal partisan opposition to President Trump and calls to disrupt the rally. This last-minute squeeze seems to be nothing but a pretextual political effort with serious First Amendment ramifications. Politics is no basis to interfere with a contract, and if the agreement with the Campaign is not honored, the Campaign will also look to hold AEG and the city responsible for the apparent infringement on the Campaign’s financial interests and fundamental First Amendment rights, as well as those of its many supporters.”
But this didn’t stop the Minneapolis mayor from his ill-fated quest – at first. Frey went on to spout his stubbornness: “We will show with bracing clarity that Minneapolis is a world class city and we will not take the bait. We’ve all seen the rhetoric that is pushed out at these Trump campaign rallies. It is hateful. It is divisive, and we do not welcome that kind of rhetoric here in Minneapolis.”
However, all that blustering did naught but further demonstrate the need for liberals to silence anyone with whom they disagree. The venue backed down and the rally is full-steam ahead. The president is not the only person to face such attempts because of political standings. College campuses, in particular, have joined the fray, trying to charge conservative speakers more for speeches than their liberal counterparts. For example, in 2018, the University of Wisconsin lost a battle over First Amendment free speech rights and had to pay the College Republicans club $122,500 in legal fees after it tried to charge them $17,000 in security fees for their rally.