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News on the Aug. 27-30 convention

Pam Bondi is latest Florida politician on GOP list of convention speakers

Van Moorehead of Borrell Electric hangs an RNC banner Wednesday in front of the Tampa Bay Times Forum as preparations continue for the Aug. 27-30 event.


Van Moorehead of Borrell Electric hangs an RNC banner Wednesday in front of the Tampa Bay Times Forum as preparations continue for the Aug. 27-30 event.

TAMPA — Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is the latest state politician added to the Republican National Convention's speakers list, joining Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Jeb Bush.

Bondi, Scott and Bush are among the convention's headliners, a group that, as of Wednesday, included 17 speakers for the four-day convention. So far, there's no word on who will speak when. Also still to come are announcements on the keynote speaker and Mitt Romney's running mate.

Other convention speakers announced Wednesday were:

• Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the first U.S. governor to hold his seat in a recall election. In June, Walker turned back a recall attempt organized in response to his plan to close a budget shortfall by taking away union rights of most public workers and requiring them to pay more for health insurance and pension benefits.

• Texas Republican U.S. Senate nominee Ted Cruz, a former Texas solicitor general and the first Hispanic and youngest person to serve in that position.

• Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño, the first Republican elected governor of Puerto Rico since 1969 and first Republican representative from Puerto Rico elected to Congress.

• Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens.

Buckhorn's meetings to get C-SPAN airtime

The latest sign the world is getting interested in Tampa: When Mayor Bob Buckhorn holds a town hall meeting on the RNC's local impact next week, C-SPAN plans to have a camera crew cover it — though, let's get real here, not live.

The city's town hall meetings are scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Florida Aquarium, Wednesday at the Tampa campus of the Stetson University College of Law and Thursday at the Kate Jackson Community Center. City officials expect C-SPAN to cover the meeting at Stetson.

RNC by the numbers

The city of Tampa is paying $2 million to buy three RNC-related insurance policies: $24 million in workers' compensation coverage; $25 million in auto liability coverage; and $15 million in law enforcement liability coverage. The expense will be reimbursed by the city's $50 million federal grant for convention security.

Town hall to focus on 'next generation'

Hillsborough County school superintendent MaryEllen Elia and University of South Florida Tampa student body president Brian Goff will be featured guests at "Conversations with the Next Generation," an invitation-only town hall meeting on Aug. 29.

NBC special correspondent Chelsea Clinton and National Journal correspondent Jim Tankersley will moderate the meeting at the Improv Theatre in Ybor City.

Other confirmed guests include George P. Bush, MTV's Power of 12 correspondent Andrew Jenks, StudentsFirst founder Michelle Rhee, U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., co-founder Matt Segal and Young Republican National Federation chairwoman Lisa Stickan.

Trop to host kids charity benefit

Coming to Tropicana Field during the convention: a kids charity event with politicians and batting practice.

"Home Runs for Happy Kids" is a private, invitation-only event scheduled for Aug. 29 at the Trop. Guests will have a chance to take batting practice, do some fielding and mingle with politicians from the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate's Commerce and Transportation and Energy and Natural Resources committees.

Proceeds will benefit the Tampa Bay Rays Baseball Foundation, which supports community organizations that help children and families.

A flier for the event says it's not connected to the Republican Party. Sponsorships start at $2,500 ("The Sports Fan"), which comes with 10 general admission tickets but no batting practice, and top out at $50,000 ("The Grand Slam Package"), which includes top billing for the event, plus 50 tickets for batting practice as well as 100 general admission tickets.

Schools to provide RNC updates online

Do you live near downtown? Do you have a student at Gorrie Elementary School, Wilson Middle School or Plant High School?

Then check the Hillsborough County School District's RNC link, Features include a Q&A column and daily updates.

Students who live on Davis Islands and Harbour Island and go to other schools will receive bus information from their schools.

Rampello K-8 Downtown Partnership School, the public school closest to the convention, will be open a week early, on Tuesday, and close for the event.

Times staff writer Marlene Sokol contributed to this report. Richard Danielson can be reached at, (813) 226-3403 or @Danielson_Times on Twitter.

Pam Bondi is latest Florida politician on GOP list of convention speakers 08/08/12 [Last modified: Thursday, August 9, 2012 12:10am]
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