MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A popular Minneapolis nightclub has closed after much of its staff quit amid an uproar over the owner’s donation of $500 to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke’s 2016 U.S. Senate campaign.

The backlash erupted last week after the Minneapolis weekly City Pages revealed that Club Jager owner Julius De Roma contributed to Duke’s failed bid for a U.S. Senate seat in Louisiana. Several employees quit; some regular performers canceled standing gigs. Managers closed the bar Thursday.

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De Roma told WCCO-TV his donation was “basically free speech” and that the controversy had been blown up beyond what it should be.

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A Chinese restaurant in Santa Cruz, California, closed its doors after 40 years in business last week amid the backlash over revelations that its owner also donated to Duke.

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