TAMPA, June 12 2012 – The rollercoaster ride for Ron Paul’s supporters continues amidst more delegate wins and Senator Rand Paul’s controversial endorsement of Romney.
Liberty Unleashed, the nonprofit group incorporated in Florida by Paul supporters specifically to organize Paul Festival, announced today that it had signed a contract with the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa to hold the event there August 24-26. The RNC starts August 27.
Paul Festival will be three days of music, entertainment and activism featuring nationally-known musicians, comedians and other entertainers.
It will also feature plenty of the ideas shared by those who make up what Paul’s supporters call “the liberty movement.”
Liberty Unleashed and the Fairgrounds needed approval from the RNC Committee on Arrangements (COA) in order to proceed with the event. Both major parties typically lock up hundreds of venues in the host city during the week surrounding their national conventions. Liberty Unleashed had claimed that the COA was blocking the event to alienate Paul’s supporters.
Coming on the heels of Rand Paul’s endorsement, this latest development may lead to speculation about a deal that included release of the fairgrounds.
The COA had maintained that they were not blocking the event and that the request was simply in line with many others. The Paul Festival announcement was made after the COA was closed for the day. An e-mail was sent asking for clarification and an update will be provided should they respond.
Ron Paul’s supporters were dealt two discouraging blows last week. On June 6, Paul sent a personal e-mail to update supporters on his projected delegate count at the convention. In it, he conceded that he will not have enough to clinch the nomination, but was optimistic that the Paul delegates can influence the party platform.
The next day, Rand Paul appeared on the Hannity Show to endorse Romney. Controversy has raged over both the endorsement and its timing ever since. Official Paul campaign blogger Jack Hunter attempted to put the move in political perspective with a personal message, but the controversy continues amongst Paul’s passionate base.
Amidst all of this, Paul won a surprising number of delegates at Arkansas’ Republican State Convention this past weekend. Today, senior campaign advisor Doug Wead announced that Paul beat expectations in New Mexico as well. While Paul did not win majorities in either state, it is expected that he will have majorities in at least five, the magic number required to be eligible for the nomination.
So, while Ron Paul prepares to wind down his campaign and end his career in Congress, his supporters ride the ups and downs of continuing his Revolution. If you’re wondering who they are, then come down to Tampa August 24-26. They’ll be here, 100,000 strong, celebrating Ron Paul’s birthday and the movement he started.
UPDATE: June 13, 2012 12:25 PM EST.
RNC Communications Director James Davis contacted us today with the following response:
“The COA has not made any determinations on venues yet, including for the Paul Festival occurring at the Florida State Fairgrounds,” said Davis.
The RNC was unable to comment on what that means for any contract already signed between Liberty Unleashed and the Fairgrounds regarding holding the Paul Festival there Aug. 24-26.
Tom Mullen is the author of A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.
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