Make us your home page
Instagram

Will controversy over RNC chairmanship affect Tampa convention? Some answers

TAMPA — Uncertainty over the leadership of the Republican National Committee has prompted questions about how the 2012 GOP convention in Tampa could be affected.

After all, RNC Chairman Michael Steele was in charge when Tampa was selected as the host city, and Steele could well be voted out in January.

Could Tampa lose the convention if a new chairman is elected?

No. Some prior convention sites have been largely decided by RNC leaders, but Steele left the decision up to the party's site selection committee, which unanimously picked Tampa over Phoenix and Salt Lake City.

So regardless of Steele's future, Tampa will host the five-day event expected to draw 45,000 people during the week of Aug. 27, 2012.

"No question at all. That's a done deal," said Bob Bennett, a Republican national committeeman from Ohio, who this week was named chairman of the RNC's Committee on Arrangements for the convention.

How would the Tampa Bay convention be affected by a new chairman?

Whoever leads the RNC will want to have the successful convention on the week of Aug. 27, 2012, so the impact would be minimal.

"No matter who the RNC chairman is, we have the same job to do,'' said host committee president Ken Jones of Tampa.

Hasn't convention planning been part of the controversy surrounding Steele?

Yes. Despite presiding over the RNC during the most successful election cycle Republicans have had in decades, Steele has been widely criticized for poor fundraising, excessive spending, and being a gaffe machine.

Some critics have questioned whether the RNC has misspent money on the convention already, including tens of thousands of dollars to rent a waterfront Treasure Island home for Belinda Cook, his former assistant serving as liaison to the convention.

It's safe to assume a new chairman would not keep Cook on board beyond her contract.

Is Steele likely to be re-elected?

Most Republicans were surprised that he sought another term, and he looks like an underdog. But these elections are unpredictable, often requiring multiple ballots before a winner emerges.

Other candidates include former Michigan GOP chairman Saul Anuzis; former RNC deputy chairwoman Maria Cino; former RNC political director Gentry Collins; Wisconsin Republican chairman Reince Priebus; and former Missouri Republican chairwoman Ann Wagner.

What's the difference between the RNC's Committee on Arrangements and the Tampa Bay Host Committee?

They are separate entities.

The Committee on Arrangements is responsible for political activities, and is funded with an $18 million federal grant.

The host committee raises $50 million in tax-deductible contributions and essentially secures the venues and sets up the infrastructure for a big community event. It is legally required to be nonpartisan.

How is fundraising going so far for the convention?

The host committee is not required to file any campaign finance reports until after the convention, but committee members say fundraising has been strong to date.

Al Austin, the host committee's co-chairman, last month told a Republican club that they had raised nearly $10 million so far in cash and in-kind contributions.

How can I volunteer or get involved with the convention?

Check the host committee's website, www.2012tampa.com.

What's going on with the 2012 Democratic convention?

Democrats have not picked a city yet, but the finalists are Charlotte, N.C., St. Louis, Cleveland and Minneapolis.

Will controversy over RNC chairmanship affect Tampa convention? Some answers 12/18/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 4:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Humana adding 200 telemarketing jobs in Tampa Bay

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — Health insurance company Humana Inc. is hiring more than 200 workers in Tampa Bay. The Louisville, Ky.-based company said Wednesday that the new positions will focus on phone sales for Humana's direct marketing services department.

    Humana is adding 200 positions to its Tampa office. Theo Sai, chief medical officer for seniro products at Humana, is pictured in the company's Tampa executive office in 2015. | Rachel Crosby, Times
  2. Tampa Bay home prices still soaring amid tight supply

    Real Estate

    Sales of Tampa Bay homes dropped in April but prices surged yet again as Florida's real estate market continued to be defined by tight supply and high demand.

    The historic Century Oaks estate overlooking Clearwater Harbor has sold for $11.18 million, the most ever paid for a home in the Tampa Bay area. [Courtesy: Coastal Properties Group]
  3. These days, don't hit the theme park without an app and a phone charger

    Florida

    Emile Crawford stocks two back-up phone battery chargers these days when she takes her kids to Disney World. But she dare not venture into a theme park without a smart phone app, an accessory becoming as necessary as sunscreen in Florida theme parks.

    A wristband visitors will wear at the new Volcano Bay water park in Orlando, Florida. The wristband, called Tapu Tapu, tells you when it's your turn to get on a ride. It also lets you pay for food so you don't have to carry a wallet and opens lockers so you don't have to  carry a key. (Universal via AP)
  4. James Cameron, Zoe Saldana and more appear at Disney's Pandora

    Florida

    ORLANDO — As he stood on a stage at Disney World Wednesday, director James Cameron revealed his teenage dreams.

    Zoe Saldana tweeted a photo of herself from Wednesday's appearance at a new land in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Pandora -- the World of Avatar. The land is based on James Cameron film, in which she stars. Photo via Twitter.
  5. Parent of struggling DeVry University is changing its name to Adtalem

    Corporate

    Associated Press

    DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. — The company that owns one of the nation's largest for-profit college chains is changing its name.

    This 2009 photo shows the entrance to the DeVry University in Miramar, Fla. DeVry Education Group, which owns DeVry University, announced Wednesday that it will now be called Adtalem Global Education. 
[Associated Press file photo]