Not just a political rally, Paul Festival will be three days of music, entertainment and activism featuring nationally-known musicians, comedians and other entertainers.
Paul’s supporters are attempting to secure the Florida State Fairgrounds, where they expect an estimated 40,000 people per day to attend. The Republican Party is trying to block them, reports the Washington Times.
Reports Thomas Mullen at WT:
The RNC has first dibs on virtually every venue in Tampa during the week of the convention. In order to secure the fairgrounds, Liberty Unleashed, the nonprofit group incorporated in Florida by Paul supporters, can only sign a contract for the fairgrounds with the agreement of the RNC Committee on Arrangements (COA).
It was reported locally in Tampa on May 23rd that both Paul Festival organizer Deborah Robinet and fairgrounds director of sales and marketing Terry Parnell expected to sign a contract that week. However, Robinet told supporters in an e-mail last night that the RNC “had blocked our attempt.”
According to the e-mail, Liberty Unleashed was told that the RNC has “other requests for the fairgrounds that we need to evaluate’ and ‘no, this isn't first-come-first-served. Your event is not approved and it may take two more weeks."...
This is the kind of enthusiasm that the party’s nominee is supposed to generate, but it’s non-existent for Romney. Despite his primary successes, he’s hasn’t even been able to get his delegates seated in many states where he won the primary by a wide margin. It’s no secret that there is a strong anti-Romney undercurrent among traditional conservatives.
Certainly, no one will be organizing a “Romney Festival” anytime soon.
This puts the party in a difficult position. If they strong arm the Paul supporters by blocking their event, they risk losing their votes. If they acquiesce to allowing the event, their spin doctors will have to work overtime to keep the RNC from looking like an afterthought following a festival for the other guy ten times as large.
Whatever they decide, the 2012 RNC will not follow the usual script. The Ron Paul people just cannot seem to remember their lines.
But it’s going to be fun