California venue refuses to host America First rally after learning Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene were slated as speakers
- Javad Mirtavoosi, general manager of Pacific Hills Banquet & Event Center in Laguna Hills, said the venue wanted to ‘stay clear’ of hosting the lawmakers
- The America First rally was scheduled to be hosted at the 30,000-square-foot venue on July 17
- Mirtavoosi said: ‘As soon as we found out who the speakers were we immediately canceled it’
- A spokesperson for Greene’s campaign has said they are still selling tickets for the rally while trying to find another venue
Javad Mirtavoosi, the manager of Pacific Hills Banquet & Event Center in Laguna Hills, told The Orange County Register on Friday that the venue had wanted to ‘stay clear’ of hosting the conservative lawmakers.
The America First rally was scheduled to be hosted at the 30,000-square-foot venue on July 17, and Mirtavoosi noted staff had just expected a ‘gathering’.
‘We just want to stay clear of that,’ Mirtavoosi told the outlet. ‘As soon as we found out who the speakers were we immediately canceled it.’
A Southern California event space cancelled an America First rally after learning that Matt Gaetz (left) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (right) were slated as speakers
Javad Mirtavoosi, the manager of Pacific Hills Banquet & Event Center (pictured) in Laguna Hills, told The Orange County Register on Friday that the venue had wanted to ‘stay clear’ of hosting the conservative lawmakers
Mirtavoosi declined to tell the Orange County Register if political differences or backlash prompted the cancellation, saying: ‘We just thought it would be best for our facility to cancel.’
The facility has a grand ballroom and three other rooms available for bookings, with a total capacity of about 1,420 people. It was not immediately clear how many people were expected for the rally.
The Pacific Hills event center brands itself as ‘the preeminent multi purpose live event venue, caterer and Bistro serving the greater Orange County and Southern California area.’
DailyMail.com has reached out to Mirtavoosi and the Pacific Hills Banquet & Event Center for more information and additional comment.
A spokesperson for Greene’s campaign told the Orange County Register that they are still selling tickets for the rally while trying to find another venue.
‘We’re very close to securing a location that will proudly host our America First Rally with Congresswoman Greene and Congressman Gaetz,’ said spokesman Nick Dyer.
The controversial Republican lawmakers have been hosting America First rallies across the country since May – though have both been hit with a number of scandals causing even some of their colleagues to distance themselves.
Gaetz, a close ally of former President Donald Trump, is being investigated by the Justice Department over whether he paid for sex with a 17-year-old girl.
The Florida age of consent is 18 years old and sexual intercourse with anyone underage is statutory rape. However, the state has a so-called Romeo and Juliet law that allows minors who are 16 or 17 to have sex with someone who is at most 23 years old. Gaetz is 39.
Gaetz has not been criminally charged by federal prosecutors and has always denied having had sex with the underage girl and transporting her across state lines.
His so-called wingman has pleaded guilty to charges including sex-trafficking of a minor in a deal to cooperate with prosecutors, which may spell trouble for the Republican congressman.
Joel Greenberg, a former tax collector in Florida’s Seminole County, is central to the federal probe into whether Gaetz trafficked a minor for sex.
Greenberg was arrested last year and immediately started telling the feds about Gaetz and how they ‘sex trafficked’ together to get himself a deal.
Earlier this year, federal prosecutors recently dropped 27 charges against Greenberg in exchange for his cooperation and testimony.
The controversial Republican lawmakers have been hosting America First rallies across the country since May
Greene, 47, has come under fire for comments she made comparing vaccination cards to the badges the Nazis forced Jewish people to wear during the holocaust.
In the wake of the deadly Capitol riots, Greene was also stripped of her committee assignments after social media posts revealed she had expressed support for conspiracy theories and violence against Democratic leaders.
Both Gaetz and Greene have faced scrutiny for spreading false claims of widespread voter fraud in their efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election.