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Why The GOP Should Choose Tampa For 2004 Convention
The Tampa Tribune ^ | November 15, 2002 | The Tampa Tribune - EDITORIAL

Posted on 11/15/2002 6:57:07 AM PST by Brandonmark

Unforgettable images - the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Broadway theaters, Central Park - flash into focus when one thinks about what distinguishes New York City from every other metropolis in the world.

Despite a rugged history marked by soaring highs (those V-J Day hugs and kisses in Times Square) and gut- wrenching lows (terrorists striking the World Trade Center), that grand and glorious urban blend of ethnicity remains the epicenter of the free world.

Indeed, that's why it was a target back on Sept. 11, 2001, and why it now stands as a symbol of rejuvenation and determination as the United States vows to quash terrorism worldwide. Sympathy combined with American fortitude has already landed New York this country's 2012 Olympic bid and the 2008 Super Bowl in the Meadowlands - the first time the big game will be played outdoors in a Northern city.

So why should the Republican National Committee opt to come to Tampa in 2004 rather than take its quadrennial convention and crowning celebration into the heart of all that glitter and gold?

Let's start with money. For many, it all comes down to the bottom line.

New York reportedly has pledged millions in public and private dollars to host the convention and has promised to raise whatever it takes.

Tampa, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties and Florida's Legislature similarly will be asked to help with basic expenses normally incurred by such big events.

While it's a tight budget year and the state faces a difficult fiscal challenge to lower class sizes, bringing a national political convention to town should be considered an investment in the future, much as improving the state's education system is.

Area banks have signed a letter of intent to guarantee the funding, and local Republicans have pledged to privately raise the bulk of the money needed. And when the GOP's three Als - Austin, Hoffman and Cardenas - say the money can be raised here, the RNC can be confident it will be done.

Then there's the cost of visiting.

New York's hotel room rates start somewhere near where Tampa's top out. Dinner for two in Manhattan can exceed a working person's weekly wage. A terrific Cuban sandwich in Tampa costs about $3. The best of the best here - seafood, steak or sushi - is manageable on a middle-class salary.

Getting around in New York, whether by cab or subway, can be difficult for out-of-towners. Traffic woes here - bad and getting worse - pale in comparison.

So what about politics?

Even though New Yorkers just re- elected Republican Gov. George Pataki and readily embrace Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, also Republicans, it's traditionally a Democrat-controlled state.

Florida delivered the White House to the GOP in 2000. And it just renewed its commitment with an impressive win by Gov. Jeb Bush and a Republican-dominated state Legislature. Having the Republican convention here would be a well-deserved reward and increase the likelihood that the state will stay in the GOP column.

But what's the overriding, most important reason the GOP ought to pick Tampa over what many consider the sentimental favorite?

It's all about what's more important: the past or the future.

New York - and we too love New York - epitomizes the past, while Florida represents the future.

Everyone - even the experts in New York and Washington - agrees that Florida is the best bellwether for the rest of the nation. Take any issue - taxes, health care, education, property insurance, the economy, immigration, transportation, housing, tort reform or partisan politics. Florida is facing what the rest of the nation soon will.

But while New York and many other states are struggling to overcome the mistakes of a colorful past, Florida is already working on creative solutions for what comes next. Gov. Bush promised four years ago to make dramatic changes in government for the betterment of state residents, and voters agreed that he delivered.

West Central Florida and the Interstate 4 corridor - led by the University of South Florida, the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute and the University of Central Florida - are poised to become the nation's most popular high-tech destination.

A City Of The Future

The economy here is stronger and more resilient than just about anywhere in the nation. New convention facilities, upscale hotels, luxury cruise ships, sandy beaches, local attractions, the ability to host visitors and guaranteed sunshine are second to none. Our diverse history and heritage speak for themselves.

Granted, Tampa isn't New York. It isn't Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, New Orleans or Los Angeles, either. They are all great cities of the past.

Tampa represents the future.

When television cameras and news media follow the convention into town, they won't be focused on yesterday. We and the Republican Party leadership know that all eyes will be on a wider and wiser tomorrow.


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2004convention; gop
This says it all!
1 posted on 11/15/2002 6:57:07 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: Brandonmark
I pick Sarasota. But let's go Tampa if that's where to hold the 2004 convention.
2 posted on 11/15/2002 6:59:29 AM PST by goldstategop
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To: goldstategop
Sarasota is not far away!
3 posted on 11/15/2002 7:03:19 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: Brandonmark
oh I disagree 1000 percent.....as a dislocated Texan in
Phoenix, I'm no lover of 'damn yankees" and still believe
"the south will rise again". That aside, New York is
still ground zero for the hurt and the financial future.

Republicans should blow in, be mannered, spend a zillion
and wave the red white and blue in a manner that would
make Francis Scott Key smile.

Politically,New York is in play,Bill and hillary are on
the ropes, I say,cut the ropes once and for all...
.....long knives all..........lol
4 posted on 11/15/2002 7:05:42 AM PST by cactusSharp
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To: cactusSharp
"...spend a zillion..."

That's about right!

5 posted on 11/15/2002 7:10:04 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: Brandonmark
Tampa represents the future.

As someone who grew up in Florida, I'm always amused at the self-confidence cities like Tampa and Orlando have. Tampa the future? My sides are hurting. There are plenty of good reasons for Tampa to be chosen, but to say USF, UCF, and other locations in the I-4 corridor are the leading ones is preposterous. The same corridor includes International Drive, The Orange Blossom Trail (definitely not as nice as it sounds), and huge stretches of flat, boring land.

You can't even say that Florida delivered the election without acknowledging that it should have been a blowout down there to begin with. Hell, if Tampa got the convention, more than half of the attendees would fly into Orlando. What does that tell you?

Pick Tampa for the weather, the golf, the very good strip clubs. But it's not the future any more than Statesboro, Georgia is.

My preference? Vegas, baby. Vegas.

6 posted on 11/15/2002 7:17:59 AM PST by Mr. Bird
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To: Brandonmark
"Why The GOP Should Choose Tampa For 2004 Convention"

Uh, they forgot to mention the world famous Mons Venus gentlemens' club! (ducking for cover)8^)

7 posted on 11/15/2002 7:18:40 AM PST by AngryJawa
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To: Brandonmark
GOP sources say both Tampa and New Orleans remain in contention. A decision is due by mid-December

New Orleans, did someone say New Orleans? And a decision by mid-December, just after the Senate election in LA. My vote is for New Orleans, but not until after the election results are in and LA has gone GOP. Failing that, Tampa is nice that time of year.

8 posted on 11/15/2002 7:23:29 AM PST by shilohsvictory
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To: shilohsvictory
The Louisiana Senate run-off election going GOP would indeed be a great victory!
9 posted on 11/15/2002 7:34:21 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: AngryJawa
"Why The GOP Should Choose Tampa For 2004 Convention"
Uh, they forgot to mention the world famous Mons Venus gentlemens' club! (ducking for cover)8^)

Are you sure you don't mean Teddy? (hillary's bud donna shalela is president of the University of Miami only a 1/2 hour hop away)

Kennedy will never visit the tampa area, too many long bridges.....
10 posted on 11/15/2002 7:41:51 AM PST by longtermmemmory
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To: longtermmemmory
the bloated one would feel right at home...i haven't been to tampa in about 10 years, but i believe there is a kennedy boulevard bridge. quick trips to the mons and yucatan liquor stand and teddy would be all set to climb behind the wheel and drive over water.
11 posted on 11/15/2002 7:55:06 AM PST by ameribbean expat
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To: goldstategop
Tampa has some of the best lap dance places. Check them out.
12 posted on 11/15/2002 7:58:13 AM PST by willyone
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To: goldstategop
Three cheers for a GOP convention in Tampa!

Sarasota is fabulous!

Unfortunately, Sarasota has cut its nose to spite its face in the convention arena. The SRQ airport (about an hour from TPA) has intolerable surcharges making airfare non-competitive with tha Tampa airport.

13 posted on 11/15/2002 8:00:22 AM PST by NautiNurse
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To: AngryJawa
Not to mention Tanga Lounge and 2001: A Tampa Odessey.
14 posted on 11/15/2002 8:00:41 AM PST by willyone
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To: willyone
"Tampa has some of the best lap dance places. Check them out."

That's only a plus for the Democrats scoping out cities...

15 posted on 11/15/2002 8:03:26 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj
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To: willyone
IIRC, I remember hearing that the Tampa city council passed a law forbidding physical contact with the "entertainers" some years back.

Upon further reflection, maybe the adult entertainment establishments would appeal to the DNC organizers just a bit more than the RNC.

16 posted on 11/15/2002 8:21:59 AM PST by AngryJawa
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To: Brandonmark
I nominate Romance,Missouri. Time to reward us rural folks for putting Talent in office and GWB in the WH.
17 posted on 11/15/2002 10:28:06 AM PST by donozark
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To: Brandonmark
This totally works for me! Let's reward Tampa and Hillsborough County for 2000 when their get out the vote drive won Florida for President Bush!

What has NYC done to deserve this convention? Not much IMHO! They voted overwhelmingly against President Bush in 2000! Don't see that changing in 2004! Not to mention security concerns in NYC along with a more likely chance for more demonstrators would make me vote against NYC and for Tampa if I had a vote.

IMHO Tampa should be the location for the 2004 Republican Convention where we are welcome and where our money being spent is in a State that supports President Bush!
18 posted on 11/15/2002 10:41:03 AM PST by PhiKapMom
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To: NautiNurse
Sarasota is FABULOUS??? What part? Where? I would LOVE to move there but a lot of it seems a tad shabby.
19 posted on 11/15/2002 11:36:10 AM PST by Ann Archy
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To: Ann Archy
Downtown Sarasota and all along the waterfront is fabulous.
20 posted on 11/15/2002 1:30:08 PM PST by NautiNurse
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To: AngryJawa
mons venus only good reason for tampa. Although no big fan of ny that would be best choice politically.
21 posted on 11/15/2002 3:44:43 PM PST by GoMonster
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To: Brandonmark
I'm pulling for Tampa because of my campaign related business. The potential for sales and low overhead come into play. I can't exactly go to New York considering the new costs Bloomberg is considering for in NYC.
22 posted on 11/15/2002 4:39:39 PM PST by floriduh voter
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To: Brandonmark
I'm pulling for Tampa because of my campaign related business. The potential for sales and low overhead come into play. I can't exactly go to New York considering the new costs Bloomberg is considering for in NYC.
23 posted on 11/15/2002 4:39:41 PM PST by floriduh voter
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To: Brandonmark; PhiKapMom
Sorry for the double. Thinking about the convention made me over-click. Downtown Tampa's really coming together and I heard that due to the new class size amendment passing, Florida may consider gambling after all. The Tampa Marriott Waterside is as fancy as any Vegas hotel. Vegas is too hot in August - I found out.
24 posted on 11/15/2002 4:45:04 PM PST by floriduh voter
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To: NautiNurse; windchime; PhiKapMom; Brandonmark; Joe Brower
PINGWORTHY INFORMATION RE: SITE SELECTION

TAMPA - ST. PETERSBURG, FL

"In addition to our world-class resources and accommodations, Florida also holds an important place in our nation's political landscape. As you are aware, Florida is the fourth most populous state in the nation with 27 electoral college votes, and hosting the 2004 Republican National Convention in Florida will send a strong, positive message of our party's commitment to victory in this state. I hope you will give the Tampa/St. Petersburg area every consideration to serve as the home of the 2004 Republican National Convention."

--Governor Jeb Bush, in a letter to the RNC Site Selection Committee

Tampa – St. Petersburg: The Strategic Choice Overview:

Tampa Bay has grown into a major population center and a political bellwether community, accurately predicting statewide trends. The Tampa Bay area subsequently has become a key focal point for any national political campaign. The candidate capturing the hearts and imaginations of Tampa Bay voters likely stands a good chance of doing well at statewide- and nationwide-levels.

Strategic Partnerships: Tampa Bay's Host Committee has the necessary experience, influence, and commitment to successfully produce the Republican National Convention. The Host Committee is co-chaired by Al Austin, CEO of the Austin Companies and current Finance Committee Chairman for the Republican Party of Florida, Bob Basham, COO of Tampa-based Outback Steakhouse, Dick Beard, Owner and President of R.A. Beard & Co. and a past Finance Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida from 1995 – 1998, and Rick Michaels, CEO of Communications Equity Associates, who has also served as Chairman and Co-Chairman of the Republican Regents program since its inception in 1999. Since its brief inception, the Tampa – St. Petersburg Host Committee numbers almost 90 individuals, reflecting the strong support and diversity from the participating municipalities, counties, state and business community.

Strategic Convention Venues: Boasting impressive capacity, the latest technology and modern amenities, the Ice Palace arena provides the perfect setting for the main convention area. Media workspace is easily accommodated at the adjoining Tampa Convention Center. Both facilities enjoy dramatic views of the waterfront and the downtown Tampa skyline, while nestled in the middle is the brand new 717-room headquarters hotel, the Tampa Marriott Waterside. With over 21,000 seats and 82 luxury skyboxes at the Ice Palace, and over 360,000 square feet of usable space at the Tampa Convention Center, both facilities’ packages are further enhanced by the fact that Florida is a right-to-work state.

Strategic Accommodations: With over 40,000 available guest rooms in the Tampa Bay area, the target of 20,000 rooms and 2,000 suites was easily achieved for the formal bid. Overnight options include beach front properties, golf resorts, and high-rise luxury hotels.

Strategic Support: Tampa Bay is a bastion of hospitality, thanks to its population of local residents who consistently welcome 27 million visitors each year. Additionally, the area provides peace of mind when it comes to security. Not only do the local law enforcement agencies operate as a unified security task force under the Mutual Aid Agreement, but also MacDill Air Force Base, the world’s current peace keeper, serves as headquarters for both the U.S. Central Command and Special Operations Command.

Strategic Transportation: Tampa Bay boasts one of the most popular and admired airports in the world, Tampa International Airport. Offering additional accessibility are St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport and eight other regional airports. Once in Tampa, delegates will enjoy a myriad of transportation options, including electric streetcars, rubber wheeled trolleys and a network of over 350 buses. To insure maximum connectivity and convenience, the Host Committee has developed a detailed four-phase transportation plan.

The Winning Strategy: The vibrant community of 2.5 million residents known as Tampa Bay awaits the opportunity to provide the experience, the venues, the support, but also the strategic edge as a prospective Host City for the 2004 Republican National Convention.

25 posted on 11/15/2002 4:53:09 PM PST by floriduh voter
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To: cactusSharp
i agree
26 posted on 11/15/2002 4:54:34 PM PST by DM1
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To: PhiKapMom
I live in Daytona Beach.I vote for Tampa also.The stadium where the Devil Rays play would be perfect!!!When the Tampa- St.Pete area was trying to get a baseball team,it was said at that time, that the Tampa-St.Pete area was the 13th largest media market in the country,(plus security could be provided by McDill AFB)

The stadium is really a very,very nice facility(this is coming from a St.Louis Cardinal baseball fanatic).It is located almost in the middle of the two cities,with a pretty good area of fairly securable parking...(makes it easier to keep the "bums" out who would maybe try to cause "trouble"....can't really guarantee THAT about a NY location....)

27 posted on 11/15/2002 4:56:00 PM PST by musicman
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To: musicman; Brandonmark
Bumping your comments and I agree 100%!
28 posted on 11/15/2002 5:23:59 PM PST by PhiKapMom
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To: Brandonmark
Nah. It has to be New York. No community deserves it more. And even if it helps hitlery's adopted state (I won't forget what you did Moynihan...ever), that community deserves the support-with Guiliani opening the convention with the keynote address. Hillary won't be invited, of course, but then, she is not even welcome in the ball stadiums. (Altho the gay parades do welcome her-as long as her henchmen walk along in tandem with her-shoving those with anti-hitlery posters out of the way.)
29 posted on 11/15/2002 5:31:04 PM PST by Republic
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To: floriduh voter
The vibrant community of 2.5 million residents known as Tampa Bay

We are very vibrant! ...and if we get the convention, I'll take ya'll out for a boat ride!

30 posted on 11/15/2002 5:57:47 PM PST by NautiNurse
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To: floriduh voter
I'd love it to be Tampa in 2004. I'd take vacation time just to be there.


31 posted on 11/15/2002 7:09:38 PM PST by Joe Brower
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To: floriduh voter
Thanks for the ping, FV! Makes our area sound great doesn't it?
32 posted on 11/15/2002 7:31:38 PM PST by windchime
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To: NautiNurse
Thanks for the info. I'll give it another look.
33 posted on 11/16/2002 7:26:16 AM PST by Ann Archy
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To: Ann Archy
FReepmail
34 posted on 11/16/2002 7:58:33 AM PST by NautiNurse
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To: NautiNurse
We'll see you somewhere near the Aquarium. There are lots of us near Tampa and we should start a Tampa Convention Ping List if we win as soon as they announce.
35 posted on 11/16/2002 9:30:52 AM PST by floriduh voter
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To: windchime
And, we've got the best thrift stores, flea markets and antique malls in the nation. That's why I'll never move. lol
36 posted on 11/16/2002 9:33:05 AM PST by floriduh voter
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To: floriduh voter
we've got the best thrift stores, flea markets and antique malls in the nation

That's an understatement! It's because of all the nearly dead and newly dead. Florida!--God's Little Waiting Room!

37 posted on 11/16/2002 9:36:14 AM PST by NautiNurse
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To: NautiNurse
BTTT. I think Tampa Bay's still in the running. I know Guilani is pushing for NYC but I think there would be more security concerns in NYC and setting it up in NYC would be more expensive and we have great beaches and this is a family friendly place too. How's that for a long FR sentence? LOL
38 posted on 12/09/2002 12:39:16 PM PST by floriduh voter
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To: floriduh voter
Thanks for the update. I haven't heard anything since they toured the area several weeks ago. Any insider info about their evaluation?

I know that hurricane season was a concern for the Summer Olympics...

39 posted on 12/09/2002 12:43:51 PM PST by NautiNurse
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