Today is the sec­ond day of the 2012 Repub­li­can Nation­al Con­ven­tion in Tam­pa, Flori­da. Here’s a roundup of some of the goings-on there, as report­ed by The Seat­tle Times’ Jim Brun­ner, The Stranger’s Paul Con­stant, and oth­er jour­nal­ists who are in town cov­er­ing the con­ven­tion from a nation­al perspective.

At the Hol­i­day Inn this morn­ing in Clear­wa­ter (a sub­urb of Tam­pa) the Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­can del­e­ga­tion heard from spe­cial guest Bob McDon­nell, who is the gov­er­nor of Vir­ginia as well as the cur­rent chair of the Repub­li­can Gov­er­nors Asso­ci­a­tion (RGA). McDon­nell appar­ent­ly came pri­mar­i­ly to sing the prais­es of Rob McKen­na, the par­ty’s can­di­date for gov­er­nor. (McKen­na him­self is not in Tam­pa, hav­ing elect­ed to stay home and cam­paign in the Ever­green State). Accord­ing to the Seat­tle Times’ Jim Brun­ner, who was in the room and heard the speech, McDon­nell sin­gled out Wis­con­sin’s Scott Walk­er as one of the best gov­er­nors in the coun­try… and then sug­gest­ed McKen­na would gov­ern like Walker:

He [Walk­er] rep­re­sents what gov­ern­ing is all about. You look peo­ple in the eye, you have the courage to tell them the truth about what you can and can’t afford, about what poli­cies you have to put in place… and then you get elect­ed and you actu­al­ly do it.


That’s what Scott Walk­er did in Wis­con­sin, and that’s what Rick Hill and Rob McKen­na are going to do in their states as well.

Democ­rats have long sug­gest­ed that Rob McKen­na is a Scott Walk­er wannabe, while McKen­na’s cam­paign has tried its best to dimiss the juxtaposition.

But now the chair­man of the Repub­li­can Gov­er­nors Asso­ci­a­tion has made the very same com­par­i­son. That’s pret­ty telling.

Mean­while, as if we need­ed anoth­er reminder that the author­i­ties have resolved to put pro­test­ers’ First Amend­ment rights on ice dur­ing the nation­al con­ven­tions, The Stranger’s Paul Con­stant reports that police offi­cers shooed a cou­ple of Work­ing Wash­ing­ton activists away from the Clear­wa­ter Hol­i­day Inn (which, again, is the host hotel for the state Repub­li­can del­e­ga­tion). The activists had not been plan­ning on dis­rupt­ing the break­fast meet­ing — they sim­ply want­ed to be in a place where Wash­ing­ton’s Repub­li­can del­e­gates could see them. But they left after police told them to get lost and threat­ened to arrest them if they didn’t.

Two white suprema­cists were eject­ed from the Tam­pa Bay Times Forum after they phys­i­cal­ly and ver­bal­ly assault­ed a black CNN cam­er­a­woman. The two indi­vid­u­als — who have been described in some press reports as Repub­li­can del­e­gates — report­ed­ly threw peanuts at the woman and sneered, “This is how we feed ani­mals.” The assault took place in front of sev­er­al witnesses.

CNN con­firmed the inci­dent and said it had worked with the Repub­li­can Par­ty to address the mat­ter, but had no fur­ther comment.

The net­work ought to do us all a favor and actu­al­ly report on this sto­ry instead of just say­ing, Yeah, that hap­pened. Who are these racists? Are they del­e­gates? Repub­li­can Par­ty lead­ers? Or just guests at the con­ven­tion? Is their ejec­tion per­ma­nent? (Let’s hope they’re not going to be allowed back in).

ThinkProgress did a great job ear­li­er this evening of live­blog­ging the RNC dur­ing the prime­time speak­ing seg­ments. They man­aged to keep an eye on the tra­di­tion­al medi­a’s cov­er­age while also high­light­ing some of the incon­ve­nient truths ignored by speak­ers like Chris Christie of New Jer­sey, who gave the keynote address… and referred to him­self more often than Mitt Rom­ney. (For instance, key indi­ca­tors show that New Jer­sey’s econ­o­my has not improved since Christie took office after defeat­ing Demo­c­rat Jon Corzine in 2009).

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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