Local United Way moves event from Trump golf club after Charlottesville remarks
COLTS NECK — A New Jersey charity has canceled an event at President Trump's golf club.
The United Way of Monmouth & Ocean Counties said it will relocate its upcoming Leadership Reception from the Trump National Golf Club in Colts Neck, one of the two golf properties owned by the Trump Organization in New Jersey. Trump recently spent 17 days at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster. Both properties share the same name.
While not mentioning the president by name, the UW wrote it rejects "the divisive worldview of groups like the white nationalists and neo-Nazis that incited the violence in Charlottesville, Va. Based on recent events, we have decided to relocate our upcoming event from Trump National Golf Club to a new venue which will be announced shortly.”
Trump's comments that “both sides” — white supremacists and counter-protesters — were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia prompted rebukes from several political leaders, including some in his own party. They also prompted protests at the Bedminster club.
United Way spokeswoman Kaarina Romero in an email told New Jersey 101.5 "the comments in response to our decision to move our event from Trump National Golf Club in Colts Neck has been overwhelmingly positive. We received many phone calls, emails and messages on social media thanking us for our actions."
Both Monmouth and Ocean Counties went for Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. Ocean County gave Trump his biggest margin of victory was in the state, 65 percent to 31.
The majority of the comments a Facebook post on the relocation supported the decision.
"Thank you all for everything you do-AND for doing the right thing," Eileen Sippel wrote, along with many thank yous.
There were some objections to the decisions: "It's a shame to polarize New Jersians and lose donates for your organization, which is doing good work for the community, because of some misguided desire of moral superiority," Jonathan Pelka wrote.
Tony Cahill wrote that the decision has cost the United Way his donation.
"You denounce racism, bigotry and prejudice in all forms? Yet you do not strongly reject the divisive worldview of groups like ANTIFA and BLM. They were there in Charlottesville, VA too," he wrote.
New Jersey is home to one of Trump's strongest supporters in Gov. Chris Christie and some of his biggest critics in Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Bonnie Watson-Coleman.
Coleman, who boycotted Trump inauguration in January, is one of three representatives calling for a censure of the president over his comments in the days after the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.