Donald Trump is not welcome to host campaign events in West Hollywood, the city’s mayor said this week.
In an open letter to the 87 other mayors in Los Angeles County and in an op-ed for the Advocate, West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey Horvath wrote that the Republican presidential frontrunner would be barred from making campaign appearances in her city in an effort to shield the community from the candidate’s of “hate speech and violent rhetoric.”
“I firmly believe it is the responsibility of those of us in leadership to use our words and actions wisely. That is why I took the opportunity to express how deeply disturbed I am by the Trump presidential campaign and to call out their destructive tactics,” Horvath, 34, wrote in the op-ed.
“The campaign has gone beyond its right to express a political point of view or policy differences, which we all have to greater or lesser degrees. The hate speech and implicit calls to violence coming from Trump and his campaign are beyond the pale and have no place in any community in our country,” she added.
In an email to the Washington Examiner, Horvath said that both Republican and Democratic candidates had made campaign stops in West Hollywood in the past, “[but] those same Horvath courtesies will not be extended to the Trump campaign.”
The mayor also said she had instructed city staffers that they may refuse to issue special permits to the Trump campaign to hold official events in the city, and that it is “well with[in] [their] right” to do so.
“We do not have to agree or like one another, but as Americans and political figures in the public eye, we share a responsibility to lead by example,” Horvath concluded her open letter. “I take that responsibility very seriously, and I ask that you do the same.”
Horvath’s instruction to city staff to refuse the Trump campaign event permits may constitute prior restraint and could therefore be a violation of First Amendment protections, according to Ken Kuklowski, legal editor for Breitbart News.
“If Trump sues, a federal court will presume that the restraint is unconstitutional, placing the burden on the government. The city must then prove that the restriction is narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling public interest,” Klukowski explained, noting that argument would be unlikely to succeed in court.
Emails from Breitbart News to Mayor Horvath and the West Hollywood City Council’s office seeking comment were not immediately returned.
A Los Angeles Times poll released last week found Trump holding a 1-point lead in Cailifornia over his closest rival, Sen. Ted Cruz, ahead of the state’s potentially decisive June 7 primary. Real Clear Politics’ polling average for the month of March found Trump with an 8-point advantage over Cruz, and an 18.5-point lead over Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum