It’s not their party — but they’ll cry foul if they want to.
The two Democratic candidates challenging Bay Ridge state Sen. Marty Golden are joining many locals in slamming the Brooklyn Republican Party for inviting former President Trump staffer Sebastian Gorka — a firebrand Islamophobe with alleged ties to neo-Nazi groups — to headline its spring gala next month.
“The Republican Party is a personality cult built around the heinous presidency of Donald Trump. It’s not exactly surprising Brooklyn’s Republicans would invite a foot soldier of hate to our borough,” said Bay Ridgite Ross Barkan. “Sebastian Gorka is a neo-Nazi, an Islamophobe, and a disgraceful extremist. He doesn’t belong anywhere near Brooklyn. The Republican Party of Brooklyn is fund-raising off hate, fear, and shameless bigotry.”
Gorka, a Fox News contributor who has denied ties to neo-Nazi groups but was photographed wearing a medal connected to a Holocaust-era white-supremacist and anti-Semitic group in Hungary, will be the guest speaker at the May 16 event at the Dyker Heights Beach Club, hosted by Grand Old Party chairman Ted Ghorra.
Guests can pay $200 to attend, and those looking to shake hands with the President’s son, Donald Trump Jr., can cough up $500 for an exclusive pre-gala reception that he will be joining.
Golden — who insiders say handpicked Ghorra to run the faction-riven party in 2016 after his arch nemesis, former chairman Craig Eaton, stepped down — denied involvement in planning the party and said it’s not unusual for party organizations to invite guests not everyone agrees with.
“While Sen. Golden is a supporter of the Brooklyn Republican Party, he’s not a party planner. This is a Brooklyn GOP event, not a Marty Golden event,” said his campaign spokesman Michael Tobman. “Political organizations — Democratic, Republican, Conservative and Working Families Party — regularly invite political speakers that some agree with, and others disagree with.”
But Barkan’s competitor, Bay Ridge Democrats member Andrew Gounardes — who lost to Golden in 2012 — blasted the pol for denying his influence in the party and turning a blind eye to the problem.
“Shame on him for ignoring the real issue here. This is not a matter of simply disagreeing with a speaker who holds different views than you,” said Goundares, whose club is hosting a protest at the venue the same night. “Golden’s failure to repudiate Gorka and his anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, neo-Nazi views is a slap in the face of every single person in our community.”
©2018 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.