It took four cancellations until a venue could be found so Michelle Malkin could have a place to share her ideas and beliefs with people interested in what she had to say (“Michelle Malkin speaks to standing-room-only crowd in Sabattus,” Jan. 17).

The University of Southern Maine canceled the talk because the GOP student group is not recognized by the university. Then the venue was moved to the Sheraton Sable Oaks hotel in South Portland. The hotel canceled the venue after getting threatening phone calls as well as a call from the university stating that the club was not a recognized student group.

Next, the Gendron Center in Lewiston offered to host the event then but suddenly that was canceled also with center officials stating no comment as to the cancellation.

Then the event was moved to the Martindale Country Club in Auburn, but alas, the event was canceled as well after phone calls were made to the club. Finally, the Sabattus Town Hall stepped in and the event went off with a standing room-only crowd.

I wonder if a speaker such as Rachel Maddow would receive a backhanded slap against her right to free speech such as Malkin received. I don’t think so.

I may not agree with all, or any, ideas that either Malkin or Maddow have to share. But you can be damn sure I’ll do whatever possible that they have the right to express those ideas when and where they are invited to do so.

This is a black mark on the state and I hope that something can be learned from this. If not, we’re all in very deep trouble.

 

Pat Michaud

Augusta