Wednesday the RNC began a week of meetings in preparation for next year’s Republican National Convention in Tampa. State party chair members gathered in the afternoon to review election strategy and convention plans.
Next year, Tampa, Florida can expect to see one of the largest events ever in the city’s history. The RNC is planning to draw hundreds of thousands of people to the city, and will broadcast their party platform to the world. Pennsylvania RNC Chairman Rob Gleason hopes the convention will bring in revenue for local businesses during the week long event.
They hope not only to bring in short term dollars, but long term attention to the Greater Tampa Bay Area. Colorado RNC Chair Ryan Call said that the DNC convention did just that for his state in 2008.
In 2008, the RNC convention in Minnesota drew more than 10,000 protesters, and Florida’s may attract even more. As the state is a popular vacation destination, the RNC is expecting both increased support and opposition to come for the convention. While the RNC will be focusing on defeating President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, Call says that Republican criticism of the current president will be more positive and interesting than anyone protesting the Republican Party.
Although the Republican Party has argued for virtually no additional federal government spending in recent months, party conventions can run high risks, and usually get some national funding for security. Just recently Tampa’s Mayor Bob Buckhorn lobbied the federal government for $50 million dollars to pay for security. Ryan Call says that there should be public and private partnerships to invest in the event’s safety.
Despite a platform of fiscal responsibility and sound money, the RNC is still more than ten million dollars in debt, compared to Democrats, who have more than $20 million in the bank. But Call says the RNC is looking to tighten its belt.
And while Republicans and Democrats have been battling head to head over the debt debate, Call agreed that both parties may see a benefit in making corporations and big banks pay TARP and bailout money back to the government.
Gleason said winning both Florida and Pennsylvania is a major strategic goal for the RNC.
Tomorrow the RNC wraps up their summer meetings, but they will be back in town next month for the Republican Presidential debates in Tampa.