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K Street cutting back on GOP convention in Tampa

By on May 29, 2012

“Many of the K Street outfits that are going plan to cut back from years past – hosting lunches instead of blowout parties, for instance,” reports Anna Palmer. “… [T]ight corporate budgets, ethics rules and unappealing [Tampa] weather [are blamed for cutbacks by] trade groups and lobbyists … Plus, Mitt Romney is anything but a creature of Washington, making him less of a draw for the inside the Beltway crowd. The strict Democratic convention rules, which don’t allow corporate contributions, are also dissuading companies from getting involved in Tampa because they are concerned about maintaining parity among Republican and Democratic activities.”

… “Convention spokesman James Davis said organizers have received hundreds of requests for official venues but acknowledged that things aren’t what they used to be. ‘The economy is in a bad place, while people want to have a presence, maybe they are being more strategic in some of the initiatives and events they are planning,’ Davis said. ‘It’s going to be more of a working convention,’ said Darrell Henry, a Republican convention planner affiliated with Conventions2012 [which is offering consulting services for Tampa and Charlotte]. …

“Several long-time convention goers on K Street are opting to stay away completely , going on family vacations if clients aren’t requesting their presence. … [RNC communications director] Sean Spicer said that demand for hotels, credentials and packages is extremely high. … Some of the big party throwers – including associations like the Distilled Industry Spirits Council and the Recording Industry Association of America – are still expected to underwrite major evening events. … U.S. Travel [Association senior vice president] Blain Rethmeier said the trade group will distribute items like themed hotel key cards with travel facts for delegates to ‘tell the story and shine some light on how our industry makes events like this possible – from the hotels, to the convention space, restaurants.’”

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