Monday, Sept 1, 2008
When followers of erstwhile presidential candidate Ron Paul said they were going to stage an alternate convention, they meant it. Pretty much everything about Paul’s grassroots Rally for the Republic stands in stark contrast to the Republican national convention getting underway in St. Paul.
Its delegates are on their way via “Ronvoy,” a caravan of minivans and charter buses organized on the Internet. Many are eschewing hotels in favor of campgrounds and RV parks in Twin Cities exurbs, according to organizers. Still others will arrive just in time for the rally, a 12-hour marathon of speakers and entertainers taking place Tuesday at the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis.
“Most of our people are not wealthy,” said Drew Ivers, a longtime GOP activist who is Paul’s delegate coordinator. “They’re working people feeling the pinch. They’re not country-club elitists. With the price of gas, they’re caravanning in in minivans and the like.
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“These people are sacrificing to make this happen,” Ivers added. “I think it’s commendable.”
Speakers expected at the rally include former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, MSNBC correspondent Tucker Carlson, anti-tax lobbyist Grover Norquist, Barry Goldwater Jr., son of the late presidential candidate, and Barb White, a candidate in Minnesota’s fifth congressional district.
On hand to entertain the 10,000 supporters organizers say they expect will be musicians Marc Scibilia, Rockie Lynne, Sara Evans and Aimee Allen, the voice behind “The Ron Paul Revolution Theme Song.” Tickets, still available at Ticketmaster at press time, are priced at a cheeky $17.76.
$4.7 million in campaign coffers
A physician and 10-term congressman from the greater Houston area, Paul officially suspended his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination in June. Instead, he announced, he would use the $4.7 million remaining in his campaign coffers to underwrite the Campaign for Liberty, a grassroots effort to push libertarian-minded candidates for local offices across the country.
This article was posted: Monday, September 1, 2008 at 11:18 am