Nightclub Threatened After Refusing to Host 'DeploraBall' | NBC Southern California
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Nightclub Threatened After Refusing to Host 'DeploraBall'

The venue says the party organizers sold more than 500 tickets without ever signing a contract

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Clarendon Ballroom has received threats after cancelling plans for an inaugural ball there. News4's Julie Carey reports. (Published Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016)

    A nightclub and event venue outside Washington, D.C. is receiving threatening phone calls and online comments after the small business chose not to host an inauguration party called the DeploraBall. 

    DeploraBall organizers say Clarendon Ballroom cancelled the event booking because they caved to pressure from Hillary Clinton supporters.

    But managers of the venue say they never had a contract with the party's organizers, who they say sold more than 500 tickets to their venue without their knowledge.

    "We cannot cancel an event that was never booked. There was never an in-person meeting with organizers, never a hand shake and definitely not signed contracts or deposits," Clarendon Ballroom said in a statement issued Thursday evening.

    Some calls and messages Clarendon Ballroom received were so threatening that they called police. Arlington County police are monitoring the situation, spokeswoman Ashley Savage said. The department is not aware of any credible threat.

    The Arlington, Virginia, venue was contacted last week by a man who said he wanted to throw an inaugural party for an organization called Citizens for Trump, they say. 

    Managers say they sent the man a proposal and spoke with him by phone, but they did not sign a contract.

    On Monday, they say they learned from a tweet more than 500 tickets had been sold for an event at their venue called the DeploraBall. Then, they say that on Tuesday evening a for-profit company requested a contract. 

    "Clarendon Ballroom made the business decision not to issue that contract due to the suspicious actions of the organizers," the company's statement said. 

    Organizer Jack Posobiec said Clarendon Ballroom cancelled the event when word got out of social media that it would occur there. 

    "The minute they did that regarding our event, they got a slew of comments and negativity regarding us, and after that, almost immediately after that, the Clarendon Ballroom called and cancelled our arrangement," he said. 

    A Washington Post reporter tweeted Monday night that DeploraBall organizers were selling tickets. Clarendon Ballroom responded in a tweet the following morning that no event was contracted for the day.

    Another DeploraBall organizer, Mike Cernovich, said in a video posted to his Twitter page that he also believes Clarendon Ballroom fell to pressure from people who oppose President-elect Donald Trump.

    "They caved to left-wing harassment," he said in the video.

    Cernovich, a self-described "American nationalist" who The New Yorker called "the meme mastermind of the alt-right," showed in the video what appeared to be a proposal from Clarendon Ballroom. He did not show a signed contract.

    Cernovich did not respond to a request for comment. 

    The event scheduled for Jan. 19 will have guests that have contributed to alt-right websites. 

    The alt-right is a conservative political movement that mixes racism, populism and white nationalism. 

    Since Clarendon Ballroom said they would not host DeploraBall, they say they have been overwhelmed by threats.

    "I have literally spent my entire day blocking people and deleting hundreds of slanderous, dangerous, vulgar and threatening posts and tweets, answering threatening phone calls and watching my first ever Twitter War," operations director Adrianne Freshman wrote in an email obtained by News4.

    Last month, the D.C. location of the restaurant chain Maggiano's Little Italy apologized after they say they hosted the National Policy Institute without knowing they are a white nationalist group. Members of the group offered praise of Adolf Hitler inside the restaurant.

    Maggiano's said in a statement that they would donate the profits of the group's sales that night, $10,000, to the D.C. office of the Anti-Defamation League.

    Some Trump supporters began calling themselves "deplorables" after Clinton used the word at a fundraiser in September.

    “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?” she said to applause. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

    Located in a historic building with an Art Deco sign, Clarendon Ballroom opened in 2000 and regularly hosts weddings and dance parties.

    Organizers announced on Sunday the event will be held at the National Press Club, which did not immediately respond to an inquiry.