Bakersfield Californian: College Republicans poised to sue CSUB to bring Milo Yiannopoulos to Bakersfield

Originally posted at the Bakersfield Californian.

The rumors that Milo Yiannopoulos has been invited to Cal State Bakersfield by the College Republicans are true.

But there’s trouble.

Lawyers are now involved.

 William Becker Jr., president and CEO of conservative nonprofit law firm Freedom X, has sent a letter to Cal Sate Bakersfield officials challenging their handling of the event planning process.

Unless the university approves Yiannopoulos’ speaking engagement on Oct. 25 in the Icardo Center, the letter states, it will have violated the CSUB College Republicans’ constitutional rights.

And legal action will follow.

The letter demands that CSUB officials immediately reverse a decision that the Icardo Center is off-limits for the event due to a “commercial use” policy that states, “Use of university facilities for commercial purposes is restricted.”

Becker writes that former CSUB College Republicans Chairman Jack Thomasy has been working with the university since May and had tentative approval to host Yiannopoulos’ visit.

“Despite this protracted process and the representations made to Thomasy during it concerning the necessary conditions for having the CSUB-CR’s event approved, it wasn’t until very recently, September 8, 2017, that Thomasy was informed the Icardo Center was off-limits for commercial use and that he would need to locate an alternative venue,” the letter states.

That decision has thrown the College Republicans group planning process into turmoil, the letter states, and forces it to absorb Yiannopoulos’ $20,000 speaking fee on its own.

In a phone interview Becker said that the CSUB College Republican group wants to sell tickets to the event to cover the $20,000 speaker fee.

Cal State Bakersfield is calling that a commercial event and saying it can’t be held in the Icardo Center, he said. The College Republican organization has to keep the event free to the public or find another venue.

There is no other venue that can hold the event, which has a projected attendance of 1,000 according to Cal State’s preliminary event schedule.

“What they’re doing is a de facto ban on most public appearances,” Becker said. “If you can’t charge for public speakers like Milo you’re never going to get speakers on campus.”

Currently, he said, he is working with Cal State Fullerton to host Yiannopoulos for a Halloween speaking engagement and the university is coordinating the ticketing.

Becker said the university has been stringing Thomasy along and has labeled the event commercial because “They know that the College Republicans can’t afford,” to pay for the event up front.

If that decision isn’t reversed this week, the letter states, Freedom X will sue CSUB.

“We have received the letter and are in the process of reviewing it,” said Cal State Director of Public Affairs and CommunicationsMichael Lukens.

Yiannopoulos is a polarizing conservative activist and former Brietbart editor whose visits to American universities has sparked controversy and violence, most notably a visit to the University of California at Berkeley in February that involved rioting, vandalism, arson and other mayhem.

Read more at the Bakersfield Californian.


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