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A Twin Cities-based conservative think tank says it has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the Rochester Golf and Country Club after the venue abruptly canceled a planned presentation and panel discussion hosted by the Center of the American Experiment.

The public policy think tank claims the Rochester Country Club's decision was prompted by an online petition that had been signed by 90 people.

“It’s too bad the Rochester Country Club couldn’t stand up for free speech today and stay true to their contract,” said John Hinderaker, President of Center of the American Experiment.

The Center of the American Experiment says the event was titled The Crime Crisis- building community trust and safe neighborhoods. It was to feature a panel discussion with Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson and Rochester Police Chief Jim Franklin joining Jeff Van Nest from the think tank to discuss rising crime rates in Minnesota and the Rochester area, along with proven strategies to reduce crime. According to the group's website, those strategies include building "a strong relationship of mutual trust between law enforcement agencies and their community."

Rochester PD and Olmsted County Sheriff's Office photos
Rochester PD and Olmsted County Sheriff's Office photos
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The think tank says the cancellation by the Rochester Country Club resulted in around 50 people who had planned to attend standing in the parking lot. Center of the American Experiment President John Hinderaker says the think tank will "reschedule the event in Rochester at a different venue as soon as possible."

The organization booked a space at the club on Feb. 17th.  It was told by the club manager around 4:00 pm Sunday the reservation had been canceled.

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Center of the American Experiment lawsuit
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Center of the American Experiment lawsuit
Center of the American Experiment lawsuit
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