It’s a book signing. … It’s a political fundraiser. … It’s the latest trend in party politics.
Donald Trump Jr. attended an event at the Flowerfields Catering Hall in St. James Thursday, Nov. 21, where campaign lawn signs for U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY-1) were planted along the walkway into the venue. Inside the reception hall, stacks of Trump Jr.’s new book, “Triggered,” were piled high. Released on Nov. 5, the book shot to the top of the New York Times Best Seller list after the Republican National Committee bought the book in bulk, spending nearly $100,000, to distribute as donor prizes, according to a New York Times report.
Tickets for Zeldin’s VIP Reception at Flowerfields cost $1,000 per person, which included a signed copy of Trump Jr.’s book. General admission cost $200 per person with a signed copy of the book or $150 with an unsigned copy. Additional copies of a signed book were being sold for $100. Checks were to be made out to Zeldin Victory Committee.
“The Congressman is grateful for the sweeping support he’s received, highlighted by record fundraising numbers this year,” Zeldin’s spokesperson Katie Vincentz stated. “Attended by over 350 people and raising over $200,000, this latest smash success fundraiser builds on that increasing momentum.”
Members of the press were turned away from the event.
“Sorry, the Secret Service said no,” reporters were told at the reception desk inside. A Secret Service representative, though, later stated in an email that the agency does not facilitate media access issues.
Outside the Gyrodyne Property on Moriches Road several dozen protesters assembled.
“No public town hall in two and half years,” they yelled out to cars passing by. “Tell Zeldin to hold a public town hall.”
St. James resident Maria LaMalga was among the protesters. She said she asked to speak with the congressman, had left messages and submitted written requests to talk with Zeldin, but she said that she has not yet received a response.
“I only see him tweeting about impeachment,” she said. “I wish he would work for his constituents.”
The North Shore Peace Group organized the protest. The group’s priority issues include comprehensive gun laws, deficit spending and U.S.-Mexico border policies, especially concerning ongoing detentions and restrictions and limitations put on refugees.
In response to the criticism, Zeldin stated in an email that an open town hall meeting was hosted in September by the Mastic Beach Property Owners Association.
To date, Zeldin has raised $1.8 million, according to FEC filings.