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Controversial GOP fundraiser canceled at the Roycroft Inn

Posted at 12:25 PM, Oct 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-22 10:53:35-04

A fundraiser that was scheduled for Wednesday October 24th at the Roycroft Inn in East Aurora and featuring Steve Bannon, President Trump's former aide, has now been canceled.

The fundraiser was meant to support Republican NYS Assemblyman David DiPietro's campaign for reelection.

A press release issued by the DiPietro campaign claimed "threats of violence and property destruction" were the reasons for the cancellation.  The statement said those threats were coming from across the country.

The following is the press release issued by the DiPietro campaign:

"(EAST AURORA, NY) - After unending attacks and threats of violence and property destruction, Assemblyman David DiPietro this morning called off a planned event at the Roycroft Inn for Wednesday, October 24th. 

“I grew up in the shadow of the Roycroft Campus; its legacy is woven into the fabric of my family,” DiPietro said. “After threats against the property from as far away as Portland, Oregon and Oakland, California, I decided this morning that I am unwilling to put this national cultural icon at risk.”

In light of the bombardment of the Roycroft Inn and the DiPietro campaign, the property managers required the campaign to provide additional safety assurances including 30 uniformed officers, a $5 million premises insurance policy, business interruption insurance, and more. The stark realization that the threat from radical leftist activists who have a record of violence and property destruction was real made the Assemblyman’s decision a foregone conclusion. 

“The good people at the Roycroft Inn are deeply concerned. This morning I realized nowhere is safe in today’s political climate - even my  historic hometown,” DiPietro said. “As a boy, my family celebrated many milestones at the Roycroft. As mayor of East Aurora, I helped the Roycroft with too many projects to recite. The vision of this beloved building in flames, swarmed by masked rioters, was too much.”

“When Democrat name-calling and finger pointing translates into threats and violence and chaos, it’s time to walk away,” DiPietro said. “The Roycroft was here long before these mobs and it must remain long after they end in the dustbin of history.”

A long-planned DiPietro fundraiser at the Roycroft on Thursday, October 25th will be held as scheduled. There will be no featured guests at this event.

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Steve Bannon is President Trump's former chief strategist and the former chairman of Breitbart News - an online website that has been accused of being closely aligned with the far-right (also referred to as "alt-right)".

His planned presence at the Roycroft Inn was causing concern for many, especially those who worried about social media rumblings that talked about large-scale protests and a boycott of the Roycroft.

People who spoke with 7 Eyewitness News said they worried about the grounds being damaged at the National Historic Landmark and feared a Roycroft boycott could have long-term negative consequences.

"It is not about free speech.  It is only about danger and placing our brand in jeopardy," said Martha Buyer, president of the Roycrofters-At-Large Association.  The association is comprised of many Roycroft supporters and donors, as well as, a large number of artisans and master artisans.

"I absolutely support Mr. Bannon's right to speak and say whatever he wants.  Whether I agree or disagree is not the issue," explained Buyer.  "Anything that weakens or jeopardizes the brand of which I am president, which is the Roycrofters-At-Large Association, is a problem."

After this story aired, 7 Eyewitness News received messages from people claiming to be connected to local grassroots groups who said they were planning to "ignore this sad event" and no protests are planned.

7 Eyewitness News was unable to contact NYS Assemblyman DiPietro or his campaign to find out more about the threats.

 

 

 

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