Minneapolis bar owner donated to former KKK leader David Duke

The $500 donation went to David Duke's 2016 senate campaign.

Update 3:30 p.m.

The board of the Huge Improv Theater, whose Lyndale Avenue South building is owned by Julius DeRoma, has issued a remarkable statement about its landlord after it emerged he was a donor to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

You can read the full statement on its website or in the tweet below, with the theater highlighting its efforts to "build an inclusive community."

It concludes with a stunning line: "For these reasons and more, we would like to formally tell Nazis and the KKK that they can f--- straight off."

Original story

The owner of a historic Minneapolis bar donated money to the political campaign of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

The donation by Julius DeRoma was one of several revealed in a blog post exposing prominent community members in U.S. cities who gave money to the controversial white nationalist's 2016 senate campaign.

DeRoma is better known locally as the owner of the North Loop bar Clubhouse Jager, on North Washington Avenue, which hosts the Transmission dance parties and has a popular back yard patio.

According to financial filing documents shared online by blogger Lynda Carson, DeRoma made a $500 donation to Duke during his unsuccessful 2016 Senate campaign in Louisiana. 

The blog was published on Saturday and is starting to attract attention. On Tuesday morning Jake Rudh, The Current radio DJ who runs the Transmission nights, announced he will no longer hold it at Clubhouse Jager.

In a tweet, Rudh said: "I refuse to stay at a venue where the owner supports the likes of David Duke and his messages of hate."

"This is not the end of the weekly dance night," he added, "but it very much is at Clubhouse Jager."

CityPages contacted Clubhouse Jager for a comment about its owner's donation, and received a response saying the bar's staff "come from a diverse and inclusive background" and that it doesn't "tolerate or endorse ... any kind of discrimination against anyone."

The magazine notes DeRoma has previously donated to political campaigns of Libertarians Ron and Rand Paul, as well as current President Donald Trump. He bought Clubhouse Jager, located in a building that dates back to 1906, some 13 years ago. 

Duke – who led the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan – is described as a "Neo-Nazi, longtime Klan leader" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and has been a fervent supporter of Trump even though the president disavowed him last year, calling him a "bad person."

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