Louisiana GOP out $4,400 after vendor cancels payments because of Dinesh D'Souza's 'misinformation'

Andrew Capps
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

Louisiana's Republican Party is out $4,400 after a vendor canceled ticket payments for one of the GOP events at its annual convention in Lafayette last weekend.

The party hosted a two-day Victory 2022 gathering at the CajunDome on Friday and Saturday that included local and national Republican figures, including former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.

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Saturday's events also included a $45-per-person breakfast with conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza, whose film "2,000 Mules," released in May, falsely claims to identify fraud in the 2020 presidential election and was screened during Saturday's gathering.

The film's claims of election fraud are widely discredited.

But online event company Eventbrite, which the GOP contracted to register attendees for the D'Souza breakfast, abruptly refunded tickets for it at around 8:30 a.m. Friday, saying it violated the company's policy against harmful misinformation.

Author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza was charged in 2014 with breaking campaign finance law. He received a pardon from President Donald Trump in 2018.

"We do not permit events, content or creators that share or promote potentially harmful misinformation. In this instance, we have determined that your event violates our Community Guidelines and is therefore not permitted on the Eventbrite platform," the company wrote in an email to the party Friday morning.

"As a result, your event listing has been removed and any paid orders have been refunded."

Gurvich said his staff was consumed with running the two-day gathering and didn't realize exactly what had happened until Monday. He said the refunds took $4,400 from the event's revenue.

"They just undid everything on the Dinesh D'Souza breakfast," Gurvich said. "That's the one where they had $4,400 collected in donations, fees for the (breakfast) ... that they just sent back to the folks who had paid for the breakfast, so we have not received any of the money."

Louisiana Republican Party Chairman Louis Gurvich is pictured here on the Louisiana Capitol steps on July 19, 2021.

Eventbrite also removed the party's access to a trio of guest lists generated last weekend for political marketing, Gurvich said. Eventbrite did not respond to an email sent by the Daily Advertiser Wednesday.

Gurvich declined to say whether D'Souza was paid for Saturday's event. D'Souza's website lists his general speaking fee at $25,000.

The party has had a longstanding relationship with Eventbrite, according to Gurvich, who has been the state GOP chairman since 2018. But the party has now filed a complaint with the Louisiana Attorney General's Office over the issue.

"I have to feel like there's a malicious intent here," Gurvich said. "We're not going to recover all the fees. We may recover most, but we're not going to recover the time and effort it's going to take to recover the donations ... that had already been given to us and then were basically taken away."

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