Not all that long ago we lived in a country where some degree of bipartisan cooperation was still possible. Under pressure from the Left, it’s becoming impossible to do even something as simple as hold a charity event alongside Democrats in California.
A charity flag football event in honor of fallen Ventura County Sgt. Ron Helus, the deputy killed in the Borderline mass shooting in 2018, has been put on hold after organizers say a local police chief and a Democratic politician derailed it because they didn’t want Republicans at the event.
Jerseys with Sgt. Helus’ name were donated by the L.A. Rams and footballs with his image were ready to be signed by Rams players. Sgt. Helus’ wife had already met with organizers and supported the event.
The Blue Bowl was supposed to happen at Newbury Park High School on Sunday. Thousands of dollars had already been raised for Sgt. Helus’ family, but now all that money is being returned to donors after organizers say Thousand Oaks Police Chief Tim Hagel convinced organizations to pull out of the event.
Mike Randall, Vice President of the Fallen Officers Foundation, which organizes the Blue Bowl, says things started going south when he allegedly got a text from Hagel saying there were serious issues with the event, specifically that the speakers would cause local political issues.
The Blue Bowl speaker list was bipartisan. It included Gov. Gavin Newsom’s public safety liason, Trump supporter Scott Baio, who went to the same church as Sgt. Helus, as well as Trump-supporting singer Joy Villa, who was to sing the national anthem.
Randall says in a phone call, Hagel questioned why the Trump supporters were invited.
“He basically said over and over in the conversation this is not Trump country, that slogan ‘Make America Great’ is not favorable, popular, within 1,200 square miles, that we don’t want Republicans here, I could not believe it… We were totally floored by this comment, ‘the only thing,’ and I quote, ‘the only thing you coulda made this worse, Mike, was to invite dick Cheney and Sarah Huckabee Sanders,’ and I went…wow are you kidding me?” Randall said.
Randall told FOX 11 that Hagel also said he was contacted by Democratic Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin who was allegedly upset that her previous election opponent local Republican attorney Ronda Kennedy had been invited.
Randall says Hagel told him to get rid of the Republican speakers or else he would tell the Venturas County Sheriff’s Department and local politicians to pull out of the Blue Bowl. When he refused, he allegedly received a text from Hagel saying that after speaking with the Sheriff, they were respectfully pulling out, then, confirmed the decision in a phone call.
It goes without saying that this is an abuse of authority in what is supposed to be a non-political office. But it also speaks to the character of Democrats who would sabotage a charity event to force Republican disinvites. This type of campus tactic has moved to its next stage in national politics. And as it moves beyond California and New York, it will get even uglier.