Dan Ball, a longtime supporter of equality for all, said he is “deeply troubled” that a handful of people are twisting his message of “equality for all” simply because he is a Republican. Their vitriol could literally destroy a business and rob families of their livelihood.

Ball, 43, is one of four Republicans seeking the nomination in the June primary to ultimately challenge Democratic incumbent Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz.

Dan Ball

Dan Ball at the 2017 Pride Parade in Palm Springs

The controversy centers on a fundraiser that Ball, one of four Republicans seeking the nomination to challenge Congressman Raul Ruiz held shortly after Christmas at Wang’s in the Desert, a popular Asian eatery in Palm Springs. The restaurant has been a favorite among the LGBTQ community and others who are now boycotting the business because Wang’s allowed Ball to hold his fundraiser there.

The owners neither endorsed nor donated to his campaign, Ball said. They simply provided him space for a last-minute fundraiser for eight to ten people, Ball told Uken Report on Thursday. They did not approach him; he approach them asking for space.

Ball posted to his Facebook page a note of thanks to the owners for hosting the event and the outrage erupted.

“If you support our great Congressman Ruiz, it is troubling to see the owners of Wang’s supporting his opponent,” David Gray posted to his Facebook page and shared it with the group, LGBT Palm Springs.

Here is just a sampling of comments:

GOP Fundraiser Jeopardizes Local Eatery

As of now, there are at least 120 comments, the majority of which say they will never step foot in the restaurant, again.  They have started #NoWayNoWangs to encourage a boycott.

“It saddens me to see that people want to attack the owner of Wang’s and nearly 50 employees,” Ball said in a telephone interview. “They are literally going to destroy this business. I cannot believe the audacity of people. It really, really upsets me. I have marched in the Pride Parade for the past three years and am a huge supporter of the LGBTQ community. A handful of people are twisting my words simply because I have an “R” in front of my name.”

Here are more samples:

Comments on Wang's

Guy G. Garrett, manager of Wang’s, could not be reached immediately for comment Thursday. However, he has posted the following to the Wang’s Facebook page. It is printed in its entirety.

“In an effort to clarify our support for Dan Ball I would like to say that in today’s politics there does exist a wide chasm between Republicans and Democrats. If you truly examine my own feed you will see I support and promote nothing in favor of Trump or the present members of the Republican establishment who continue to obliterate our rights and those of every nationality.

“They are currently the most vile reprehensible collection of lemmings I’ve ever seen in government, which is why Dan Ball stands out as the man to possibly bring compassion and understanding of the LGBTQ community back to the Republican Party.

“We cannot simply hope that rallying numbers of voters will leave the Republican Party to join Democrats! We must find within our party of Diversity the compassion to include those that understand us and want to help us and support us in all our efforts on all fronts even those that are on a Republican platform. To change the Republican Party it is necessary that it come from within. Changing the very nature of it.

“I’ve read each of your concerns and outright anger and willingness to not support Wang’s. We don’t support the Republican Party yesterday or today. We support equal rights for all. Simply put, Dan Ball is our best hope to change the course of the Republican establishment.

“I would think that in itself would be enough for many of you to side with us. We have never left the fold and have no intention to do so. If we weren’t clear about the direction I hope I have defined it better. During the election many of us wanted Bernie and we lost that choice. There wasn’t one candidate that was palatable on the Republican ticket. All equally vile! Hilary wasn’t the best choice but I voted for her because she preserved a platform for equal rights. I stand by that decision and if Dan Ball had been a choice I would have voted for him.

“He reviles Washington and almost everything they have undone or passed. He’s had gay roommates he’s a man for all seasons. We must look at individuals. We cannot be like the Republicans right now who are following Trump and McConnel blindly. It will take good people on both sides to get to the middle. I hope I have clarified this situation for you.” ~ Guy G Garrett, Manager

Wang’s is located at 425 S. Indian Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs.