President Donald Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. and former White House aide and Breitbart News editor Sebastian Gorka will make an appearance at the Brooklyn Republican Party’s Spring Gala, slated for Wednesday, May 16 at Dyker Beach Golf Course.
Gorka, one of many former deputy assistants to President Trump and a current contributor at Fox News, will serve as the event’s special guest speaker. Trump Jr. is billed as a special “VIP” guest.
The attendance of Gorka, predominantly, has prompted backlash from a number of local elected officials and political hopefuls on the other side of the aisle, as well as residents. Among the reaction, a Change.org petition has been launched by Andrew Gounardes to demand State Senator Marty Golden – who, his staff contends, had nothing to do with scheduling – to revoke Gorka’s invitation, citing the “anti-Muslim” media personality’s “anti-Semitic, Nazi past.”
“Senator Golden does not organize Brooklyn GOP events, so to claim Gorka will be ‘feted by Marty Golden’ is extremely inaccurate and purely political slander,” said an aide on Facebook, in response to outrage building on various local group pages.
As of this article, though, the petition had 326 of 500 signatures. Gounardes, a Bay Ridge resident, as well as Ross Barkan – who has also been vocal against Gorka’s invite – are both running in the Democratic primary to unseat Golden.
“While Senator Golden is a supporter of the Brooklyn Republican Party, he’s not a party planner,” added Michael Tobman, Golden’s campaign spokesperson, when reached for further comment. “This is a Brooklyn GOP event, not a Marty Golden event. Political organizations – Democratic, Republican, Conservative and Working Families Party – regularly invite political speakers that some agree with, and others disagree with. What’s especially disagreeable are these attempts to disparage Senator Golden’s character; Ross Barkan and Andrew Gounardes should know better.”
However, some locals – a number of them calling on the venue either to can the event or at the very least mandate that the group rescind Gorka’s invitation – contend it’s the Brooklyn GOP that should know better.
“As a keynote speaker, Gorka is not just being celebrated, he is being paid,” stressed local resident Teri Brennan. “This venue is at the heart of our diverse community. It hosts numerous events by PTAs, community groups, nonprofits and residents. The thing is, even if Gorka pulls out or has his booking cancelled, the thinking that led to booking him for the event remains in our community. That, for me, is the truly critical and horrific aspect of this.”
“Sebastian Gorka has been called racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic by his own friends and colleagues so I have no idea why anyone would think bringing him here would be a good idea,” echoed Councilmember Justin Brannan. “I hope common sense prevails and his invitation to spew hatred in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights is revoked. Anything less would be a slap in the face to our community.”
Regular dinner tickets sell for $200 while VIP slots are priced at $500. Money from the event goes towards funding the group, chaired by Ted Ghorra, who had been supported by Golden and his allies in his quest to run the organization during what turned out to be a protracted battle for control of the Brooklyn GOP between warring factions.
Dyker Beach Golf Course is located at 1030 86th Street. By press time, the venue had not responded to a request for comment.
Disclaimer: This newspaper does business with Dyker Beach Golf Course.