Former President Donald Trump has thrilled supporters by once again holding campaign-style rallies, with the first one kicking off in Ohio last weekend.
Similar events have been planned, including one scheduled for Saturday at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, which is located near Mobile, Alabama. However, officials recently announced that the upcoming rally has been canceled, with partisan politics cited as the reason, according to NBC 15 News.
As the outlet reported, members of the commission that oversee the park “became wary” after learning that the Trump rally would likely be political in nature.
“After the request was made, then there was contact with the Republican Party, they contacted us and then it became apparent that it was going to be a partisan political event, rather than just a patriotic event planned for that evening,” commission chairman Bill Tunnell said.
Park has banned partisan events since 2012
Tunnell went on to add that the park has opted to ban explicitly partisan events following an appearance in 2012 by former Republican presidential candidate and U.S. senator, Rick Santorum.
“Rick Santorum was the, was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” the official recalled. “And that’s when the commission went to the no partisan politics open to the public.”
Tunnell added that the commission had sent a letter in May to Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall seeking legal guidance on how to proceed.
NBC 15 obtained a copy of the letter and noted that although it was dated May 26, it was not postmarked until June 11 and ultimately received on June 14.
“Where can we assemble?”
In response, Marshall explained that his “Opinions Division is unable to timely respond with an official position” due to the short time frame.
Still, the Alabama AG pointed to established case law, arguing that the facility should be made “available for all political parties and candidates on an equal basis.”
What’s more, Marshall stressed that the planned rally “does not appear to be associated with a candidate for office.” Despite dropping hints about seeking his party’s nomination in 2024, the former president has yet to formally declare whether he intends to launch a third campaign.
Meanwhile, Tea Party activist Pete Riehm told NBC 15 that the cancellation was likely motivated by anti-Trump bias. “If people can’t assemble in public places. Where can we assemble?” Riehm asked.