A Minneapolis, MN bar closed its doors on Friday after its staff walked off the job, performers canceled their engagements and customers threatened to boycott over owner Julius de Roma's donation to the failed U.S. Senate campaign of ex-Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.
"Here's a hard fact: De Roma donated $500 to David Duke's Senate campaign in October 2016, one month before the general election, and about 40 years after Duke went public as one of America's proudest racists," wrote City Pages' Mike Mullen earlier this week.
"A review of Federal Elections Commission (FEC) files shows De Roma has donated to libertarian causes in the past -- he supported both Ron Paul and Rand Paul -- and has occasionally given to Republicans; last year he donated to the Trump presidential campaign. The October 2016 donation appears to be his first time supporting Duke, a frequent candidate for office," the report continued.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune said Saturday, "Former employees, who asked not to be identified, confirmed Friday that Club Jäger was closed and the 17 employees at the North Loop bar were out of jobs. Employees were incensed when they learned about the owner’s donation to Duke, and the decision to close the business was made by those who ran it, not the owner, they said."
De Roma defended the donation in a TV interview as his right.
"It's just free speech," he insited to WCCO. "What do you expect? It's basically something that is blown up beyond what it should be."
Last week, a California restaurant owner was also outed as a donor to Duke and is currently facing a backlash of his own.
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