Loews Hotel Chain Cancels Josh Hawley Fundraiser Following Pressure From Social Media

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 03: Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. Josh Hawley (R-OM) questions witnesses during a hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill December 03, 2019 in Washington, DC. Military secretaries and members of the Joint Chiefs testified about a new GAO report about ongoing reports of substandard military housing conditions and services.
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Loews Hotels has booted a “Family Fun Day” fundraiser for Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) from one of its Orlando, Florida, area hotels after a lawyer on social media tweeted out a link to the event’s flier, calling Hawley a “traitor.”

Loews Portofino Bay Resort at Universal Studios Orlando announced Saturday in a statement posted to Twitter that they are “horrified and opposed to the events at the Capitol and all who supported and incited the actions,” and that, “in light of those events and for the safety of our guests and team members, we have informed the host of the Feb. fundraiser that it will no longer be held at Loews Hotels.”

The “Fun-Filled-Family-Friendly” weekend event, sponsored by the Fighting for Missouri PAC, was slated to take place in mid-February, and tickets to the event were listed at between $1,000 and $5,000 plus travel expenses and room rates. Fighting for Missouri is a primary fundraiser for Hawley, having netted more than a quarter-million for the Missouri Senator in 2020.

“The fundraiser was canceled after liberal lawyer Daniel Uhlfelder tweeted a photo of the event on Friday branding Hawley a traitor. He also asked Loews Hotels and Universal Orlando why their Portofino Bay Hotel [was] hosting the February event for the Republican,” the Daily Mail reported Sunday.

Uhlfedler is a left-leaning provocateur, perhaps best known for his attention-grabbing decision to visit Florida beaches dressed as the Grim Reaper after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted the state’s pandemic-related lockdown over the summer. He and others have been targeting Hawley following the Missouri Senator’s decision to become one of the first members of Congress to announce he would challenge the Electoral College’s vote certifying Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of November’s presidential election.

Uhlfelder started a trend on social media that eventually pushed Loews into canceling Hawley’s event, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The pressure came from some of the state’s elected officials, including Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-FL), who branded Hawley a traitor and a “seditionist.”

“Is @Loews_Hotels / @UniversalORL going to cancel this fundraiser being hosted by seditionist @HawleyMO in Orlando or are they going to just be chill with a treasonous politician who would rather see Democracy burn for his own political gain?” Eskamani tweeted.

She followed up on her post by demanding an end to “corporate money in politics,” though Loews does not appear to have contributed to Hawley’s campaign. The hotel chain does have its own political action committee, but it gave primarily to Democrats in the 2020 election cycle, according to Open Secrets. Hawley is not among the few Republicans who received donations from the PAC.

“Thank you @Loews_Hotels/@UniversalORL for keeping your word to no longer engage w/treasonous politicians like @HawleyMO. Ya never should have let him plan this in the first place! Now can we just end corporate money in politics please?” she said.

Hawley has become a top target of left-leaning activists looking to punish members of Congress who they claim helped incite a violent riot at the United States Capitol that left five people dead and dozens injured. Simon and Schuster announced, shortly after the attack, that they were pulling out of a publishing deal with Hawley and, following pressure from a progressive journalist, several other PACs have pulled planned donations to Hawley’s campaign.

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