Michelle Malkin – a former Fox News contributor, conservative columnist and author – was originally scheduled to speak in South Portland on Friday. Image from YouTube video

SABATTUS — After three Maine venues refused to host a presentation by conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, organizers say the event will take place at the Sabattus Municipal Building.

Supports of Malkin secured the venue earlier in the day, but declined to release details until later in the day. The original time for the event was 7 p.m.

“Location is secure. Will not be released publicly until later to hopefully prevent the MPA (Maine People’s Alliance) from spreading their vitriol as well as bullying people and businesses,” Matt Leonard of Auburn texted Friday afternoon. Leonard had been assisting in finding a location for the visit by Malkin.

Malkin is an American conservative blogger, political commentator and former Fox News contributor who has faced criticism for her comments on immigration and other issues. In a tweet Thursday she called Lewiston a “refugee dumping ground.” Her weekly syndicated column appears in a number of newspapers and on websites.

Malkin’s talk was originally scheduled for the Portland Sheraton at Sable Oaks in South Portland, hosted by a group of Republican students from the University of Maine, but it was canceled, prompting allegations that university officials were trying to stifle free speech.

A spokesman for the University of Maine said Tuesday that the university communicated to the hotel that the University of Maine College Republicans are not an official student group on campus, but did not suggest that the event be canceled.

Arrangements were then made for Malkin to speak at the Gendron Franco Center in Lewiston on Friday night, but Thursday night the center followed suit, with officials announcing the decision not to host her visit on its Facebook page. Martindale Country Club in Auburn was quickly booked as an alternate site.

However on Friday morning, Martindale officials decided to cancel due to “angry messages and Facebook posts,” according to Leonard. Neither Martindale nor Franco Center officials responded to requests to explain their decisions for this story.

Adrienne Bennett, former press secretary for former Gov. Paul LePage who was also scheduled to appear at Martindale, tweeted Friday morning that “Maine establishments are receiving threatening phone calls,” and that a “new venue has been secured and the speech will go on.” She did not give details on the venue.”

This story will be updated. 


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