Friday, June 22, 2018
Politics

Ron Paul to hold free rally at USF Sun Dome before RNC

TAMPA — Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul will hold a free rally for thousands of supporters at the University of South Florida Sun Dome on the day before the Republican National Convention.

Doors will open at 11 a.m. Aug. 26 for the noontime rally, which is open to the public. The Sun Dome seats 10,400, and organizers expect a crowd.

"We're going to have a good speaker lineup, we're going to have music, we're going to have Dr. Paul, we're going to have our delegates, and we're going to set a great tone for our delegates to go get involved in the convention," Paul campaign chairman Jesse Benton said Friday.

Paul is no longer actively campaigning, but his supporters have continued to fight for delegate seats in Tampa, encountering resistance and counter-maneuvering that has punctuated a few state GOP nominating conventions with fractious confrontations.

This week, POLITICO and the Boston Globe reported that in April, Paul activists seized control of Massachusetts caucuses, defeating some leading state Republicans, including a former lieutenant governor and a 2010 gubernatorial candidate, and instead electing their own as delegates to the RNC.

But more recently, a GOP committee disqualified 17 of those delegates and alternates for missing a deadline to provide a sworn statement that they would support Mitt Romney's nomination for president.

The tone that Paul's rally will seek to set for delegates will be "positive, respectful and constructive," Benton said. "I think they're going to be very positive and very upbeat and are going to make sure that what we believe in is represented in the platform."

Benton said he expected Paul to make an appearance at the RNC, which is scheduled for Aug. 27-30, even if it's just to mingle with his delegates on the floor. Whether Paul has a speaking role at the convention has not been determined, he said.

"It's not the be-all and end-all for us, but Dr. Paul would welcome that if it's offered," Benton said.

Convention communications director James Davis said in an email Friday that organizers will not have the program schedule and list of speakers until closer to the event.

In addition to Paul's pre-convention rally, two separate groups of his supporters are planning their own festivals for the days before the convention.

Paul Festival 2012 is being planned for the Florida State Fairgrounds, just east of Tampa, to celebrate Paul's life, libertarian philosophy and service.

Thirty-five miles farther to the east on Interstate 4, Freedom Festival 2012 is being planned for Fantasy of Flight in Polk County. There the main focus is expected to be less on Paul himself and more on the U.S. Constitution. Both festivals are scheduled for Aug. 24 through 26.

Paul does not plan to appear at either, Benton said, but both are promoting speeches by Libertarian presidential candidate and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

Comments
Former Tampa police corporal qualifies as Democrat to run for Hillsborough sheriff

Former Tampa police corporal qualifies as Democrat to run for Hillsborough sheriff

TAMPA — A Democrat has officially joined the race for Hillsborough County sheriff.Gary Pruitt, a 50-year-old former Tampa police corporal who now works as director of security at a local mall, qualified Friday to challenge Republican Sheriff Chad Chr...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Carlton: Could anything be more partisan than going nonpartisan?

Carlton: Could anything be more partisan than going nonpartisan?

So Hillsborough County commissioners — most of them, anyway — want voters to consider dropping political parties from certain elections, making those races nonpartisan instead.This would mean when you go to vote in those elections, you won’t know if ...
Published: 06/22/18
Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

NEW PORT RICHEY — A seasoned historic hotel renovator and operator is going to take a crack at getting New Port Richey’s city-owned Hacienda Hotel back into action. New Port Richey City Council members, acting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, u...
Published: 06/20/18
Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis stepped into a growing controversy over President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, criticizing the separation of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexican border and saying that "populism" and "creating psychosis" are not t...
Published: 06/20/18
Raburn out in State House 57 race. Now who’s in?

Raburn out in State House 57 race. Now who’s in?

Well, that didn’t last long.U.S. Army veteran Michael Sean McCoy filed to run as the Republican candidate in the State House, District 57 race just hours after incumbent State Rep. Jake Raburn, R-Lithia, announced he was stepping down.McCoy, who live...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

At this moment, she is Tampa Bay’s most influential export. A smart, accomplished and powerful attorney making life-altering decisions on an international stage.But what of tomorrow? And the day after?When the story of President Donald Trump’s border...
Published: 06/19/18
‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

SEATTLE — The call came at mealtime — an anonymous threat demanding $5,000 or her son’s life. So Blanca Orantes-Lopez, her 8-year-old boy and his father packed up and left the Pacific surfing town of Puerto La Libertad in El Salvador and headed for t...
Published: 06/19/18
Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

WASHINGTON - As he prepared to visit Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump on Tuesday continued to insist that Congress produce comprehensive immigration legislation, while anxious Republicans explored a narrower fix to the administration policy of se...
Published: 06/19/18
Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill for the Trump administration to end the separation of families at the southern border ahead of a visit from President Donald Trump to discuss legislation.Trump’s meeting late Tuesday afternoon with...
Published: 06/19/18
Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another facility intended for detaining undocumented children is reportedly in the works for Houston as the number of children separated from their parents at the border continues to swell.Southwest Key Programs, the same contractor that operates the...
Published: 06/19/18