Monday, January 27, 2014


Anne Stone talks with Luke Stancil, 16, of North Carolina (center) and Sean Harrington, 20, of Arlington, Mass. (left) at a table in the larger Las Vegas 2016 wifi lounge at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting Friday, in the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. Photo by KAROUN DEMIRJIAN

With the 2014 RNC Winter Meeting drawing to a close the Nevada delegation is felling good about their chances for hosting the 2016 Republican National Convention in Las Vegas. 

“I feel good about it. I feel like we’re in the mix,” said Ryan Erwin, a powerful consultant in Nevada and one of the many influential Nevada Republicans who flew out to the RNC’s winter meeting in D.C. to help sell Las Vegas to the assembly. “I would be surprised if we’re not a finalist, because the response has been so strong.”

Erwin, along with Las Vegas 2016 committee Chairman and Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, were moving around the meeting with an air of fatigued but certain optimism Friday, having spent the better part of three days selling the merits of Las Vegas as a convention location to anyone with a question, opinion or free five minutes.

“The RNC, when it actually convenes, there are 168 people. It's a finite group. So the ability to actually meet and befriend and have conversation time with all the members is quite easy,” Krolicki said. “We want people to understand that we’re serious, we’re earnest, we’re real, we’re in it.”

For the time being, however, the site selection process is coming down to just eight people — RNC members who were elected by their peers Friday to vet all possible candidate host cities, conduct site selection visits and, eventually, pick a 2016 host.

What makes me very happy is to see the RNC speak openly about the logistical difficulties that occurred in Tampa.

“Logistics are terribly important to folks because the most recent experience of (convention 2012 site) Tampa is still in people’s minds,” Krolicki said. 
Few RNC members the Sun spoke with last week had anything good to say about Tampa. Memories of being stuck on convention buses in the sweltering heat, sometimes for hours, are still fresh. 
“I think last time, in Florida, we were closer to Havana, Cuba, than to Tampa,” recalled Shawn Steel, national committeeman from California and an alternate to this year’s site selection committee. 
“It’s important that you have a lot of hotel rooms as close to the site of the convention as possible,” said Bruce Hough, an RNC member from Florida. “Our hotel was an hour away, and that was in our own home state.”
That sucks donkey if you ask me. For 2016 it's imperative that the RNC find a host city that has a large number of hotel rooms within walking distance of the main venue.

However, there are some who do not share the enthusiasm for Las Vegas. 

Then there's the city’s reputation.
“The concern I have with the Las Vegas bid, quite frankly, is the ad campaign …'What happens (here), stays (here),'" said Kris Warner, an RNC member from West Virginia. “There are those of us who are Christian conservatives who would say … it's the image, and what are people going to think back home?” 
Warner said he had spoken with religious leaders from Las Vegas and wasn’t ready to write off the city yet. But he worried what would happen if, say, a Republican convention attendee partook of the vices available in Las Vegas — especially if it happened in view of the media or even a cellphone that records video. People might get disillusioned with the party pretty darn quick, he suggested — and that could hurt turnout in the general election.
As I pointed out before, Right Online 2012 was held in Las Vegas to great success with little or no incidents. To be blunt, if you are a RNC delegate/official/politician and you partake in Vegas vices knowing that the press and lefties like this are waiting to pounce then we deserve to lose.

Every single vice in Vegas is available in any of the other cities in the running for the 2016 RNC. This should not be a reason to disqualify Vegas from being a finalist to host the event.

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