By Chris Ingram
The Tampa Tribune
Published Sunday, July 29, 2012
The Republican National Convention, with all of its delegates, VIPs and more than 10,000 members of the media, will invade Tampa in 29 days and make the Gasparilla pirate “invasion” look like a junior varsity affair.
The convention will be the second most-covered media event of the year, following only the summer Olympics in London.
For most locals, the convention will be insignificant — other than traffic tie-ups and wall-to-wall media coverage that may drive people away from the TV in favor of a good book.
Ken Jones, chief executive officer of the nonprofit RNC host committee, is quick to point out that his committee’s goal of raising $60 million all comes from private donors and is used to promote the Tampa region, not the GOP.
Federal funds will pick up the rather hefty tab of $50 million for convention security, with the Federal Elections Committee providing the Republican National Committee’s Committee on Arrangements with $18.2 million to make Mitt Romney look good.
The FEC funds come from the 12.2 million taxpayers who volunteered to make a $3 contribution when they filed their tax returns (I’m hoping most thought it was for something more worthwhile). The Democrats will receive the same amount of federal funds for their soirée in Charlotte.
Combined, that totals $136.4 million in taxpayer dollars for two big parties that the general public is not invited to — and will be arrested for trespassing if they try to crash. Think about it: $136.4 million to watch people wearing stupid hats and see a bunch of balloons drop. Is it any wonder we’re $15 trillion in debt?
Still, the RNC will bring a lot of those dollars to Tampa. How will they affect Tampa businesses?
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com. Please feel free to submit a comment on our blogs. By posting a comment you acknowledge reading and following the terms and conditions of posting found here. You may also submit a comment by e-mail. If you e-mail a comment you consent to your comment and name being posted on the Irreverent View website. If you wish to remain completely anonymous, please state so in your e-mail.