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President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Wildwood on Jan. 28, 2020. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Trump campaign tells Augusta rally organizers to cease and desist

Campaign concerned voters will link third-party event with Trump 2020

By Nikita Biryukov, October 14 2020 2:09 pm

Update: After this story was published, Mehta told the Globe he pulled out of the rally, and Becchi’s campaign said she had a scheduling conflict, never heard from the rally’s organizers and did not plan to attend.

President Donald Trump’s campaign sent a cease and desist letter to the organizers of an Augusta rally in support of the president Wednesday.

“Neither the President nor his campaign has any affiliation with your group or this unauthorized event,” Trump campaign COO Michael Glassner said in the letter. “We thus demand that you and your group immediately cease and desist all activities using the President’s name, image, or likeness in connection with today’s rally event and any future activities.”

The campaign official said the organizers were “misleadingly promoting” the event as a Trump rally.

The event, slated to begin at 5 p.m. in Augusta’s Skylands Stadium Wednesday, was organized by NJ4Trump, a grassroots group helmed by Montague resident Barbara Holstein that has no connection to Trump’s re-election campaign.

The rally’s Eventbrite page says Senate candidate Rik Mehta and House candidates Rosemary Becchi, Frank Pallotta and Billy Prempeh are set to attend.

Mehta confirmed his attendance to the New Jersey Globe. Pallotta and Becchi’s campaign did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.

It also advertises appearances by Atilis Gym owners Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti, Lakeside Diner owner Brian Brindisi and CKO Kickboxing owner Darlene Pallay. Smith, Trumbetti and Brindisi earned fame by flaunting executive orders issued by Gov. Phil Murphy to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Pallay last month sued Murphy’s administration, charging the state needed to compensate her for closures Murphy ordered.

The Eventbrite and the NJ4Trump Facebook pages include disclaimer saying the rally is not affiliated with Trump’s campaign, though some posts on the latter feature the campaign’s official logo.

That fact, as well as the rally’s unauthorized used of the president’s name, could cause confusion among Trump voters, the campaign said.

“Our grassroots supporters like you and your group are critical to ensuring that President Trump is reelected this November. Yet it is also important to the President and his campaign that our supporters not be misled to believe that they are interacting with or supporting the President’s campaign when they are actually attending unauthorized events like your rally,” Glassner said. “By misappropriating the President’s name and calling your event a ‘Trump Rally,’ when it is no such thing, you create unacceptable confusion among the President’s supporters.

Letter to NJ4Trump
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