Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) were forced to change the location of their upcoming California rally for a second time Friday after a Convention Center in Riverside canceled plans to host the right-wing lawmakers.
The decision was made by Raincross Hospitality, a private company that operates the Riverside Convention Center under contract with the city, Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson said in a statement.
The reason for the decision is unclear, but it came amid vocal opposition to the rally from local residents and officials, including Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), who represents the community in Congress.
Greene’s campaign said in an email to supporters late Friday night “we are changing the venue a third time,” accusing Democrats and Black Lives Matter of “doing everything they can to kick us out of California” and “harass and bully any venue we book.”
The event is now scheduled to be hosted at the Anaheim Event Center in Orange County – the county where the rally was originally set to take place before another venue there canceled to “stay clear” of controversy.
Dawson, a Democrat, applauded Raincross Hospitality’s decision to pull out of hosting the event, calling the lawmakers’ presence a “divisive issue in our community.”
Forbes has reached out for comment to spokespeople for Gaetz and Greene, as well as Raincross Hospitality and the Anaheim Event Center.
After being stripped of her committee assignments in February over social media posts from before she ran for office endorsing political violence, Greene has stoked controversy by comparing coronavirus restrictions to the Holocaust and verbally accosting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) outside the House chamber. Gaetz has been embroiled in scandal since March surrounding a federal probe into allegations of sex trafficking, illegal drug use and obstruction of justice. Both lawmakers have also downplayed the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“Riverside is a diverse and inclusive community, so it is heartening to hear that this event will not move forward. I am disappointed we even got to this point, because these speakers are the antithesis of everything Riverside stands for,” Gaby Plascencia, a nonpartisan member of the Riverside City Council, said in a statement.
Gaetz and Greene have used a series of “America First” rallies to baselessly question the results of the 2020 election and slam both Democrats and fellow Republicans in Congress. Greene said at a rally in May she was “chewed out” by Republicans for forcing recorded votes on legislation that would’ve otherwise passed by voice vote. At another rally later that month, she compared Democrats to Nazis, calling them both “national socialist” parties.