WBEZ | Republican National Convention http://www.wbez.org/tags/republican-national-convention Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Why isn't this bigger news? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-08/why-isnt-bigger-news-102087 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RNC%20AP.jpg" title="Delegates cheer as Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan walks to the podium to address the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)" /></p><p>The most horrifying moment of this year&rsquo;s Republican National convention didn&rsquo;t happen onstage and did not involve any big names.<br /><br />It was, instead, an off the cuff moment, in the margins, just moments before Ann Romney gave her big speech Tuesday. It involved two attendees &mdash; names unknown, delegate status unknown &mdash;&nbsp;and a CNN camerawoman since identified as Patricia Carrol.<br /><br />It&rsquo;s been more 48 hours since the incident and, so far, it appears to have been successfully buried by the RNC with CNN&rsquo;s cooperation.<br /><br />What happened?<br /><br />According to <a href="http://politic365.com/2012/08/29/this-is-how-we-feed-animals-two-ejected-from-gop-convention-after-racist-incident/"><em>Politics365.com</em> and various other news outlets</a>, sometime Tuesday, two convention attendees approached Carroll, who is an African-American, <a href="http://mije.org/richardprince/cnn-camerawoman-not-surprised-peanut-throwing#Carroll">threw a handful of nuts at her</a>, and said, &ldquo;This is how we feed the animals.&rdquo;<br /><br />To the RNC&rsquo;s credit, they immediately kicked out the two offenders. Did they offer an apology to the Carroll? I don&rsquo;t know.<br /><br />To CNN&rsquo;s discredit, they have refused to follow up on the story. In fact, they didn&rsquo;t even initially report the story: It was David Schuster of Current TV who tweeted about the incident.<br /><br />Here&#39;s a report on <a href="http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/08/cnn-rnc-convention-camerawoman.php?ref=fpnewsfeed">CNN&rsquo;s official statement</a> on the matter on Tuesday: &ldquo;CNN can confirm there was an incident directed at an employee inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum earlier this afternoon. CNN worked with convention officials to address this matter and will have no further comment.&quot; (Carroll told the Maynard Insitute she was hoping the story would go away.)<br /><br />And that&rsquo;s it.<br /><br />Why in heaven&rsquo;s name would CNN fail to continue its coverage of this very shameful racial episode?</p><p>Race is an integral part of this election &mdash; both good, in the surprisingly <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-08/gop-convention-marvel-diversity-real-101967">diverse convention line-up</a>, and bad, as in the blatantly <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/ron-fournier-romney-is-playing-a-racial-game/2012/08/29/6273f244-f213-11e1-adc6-87dfa8eff430_blog.html">false race-baiting welfare ads</a> currently running from the Romney/Ryan campaign.<br /><br />Race is also an integral part of life in America, and on this planet. It absolutely matters what your race is, for good or bad, whether you&rsquo;re obvious or not, whether you proudly wear it on your forehead or hang your head in shame, whether you willfully use it to your advantage or just sit back and let the advantages work for you, whether you actively fight against its disadvantages or surrender to them.<br /><br />Two people went to the GOP convention this week and felt safe enough in those confines, and in that crowd, to approach a black woman and treat her like an animal.<br /><br />That&rsquo;s what happened.<br /><br />Seriously, why isn&rsquo;t that bigger news?</p></p> Thu, 30 Aug 2012 12:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-08/why-isnt-bigger-news-102087 GOP convention a marvel of diversity (for real) http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-08/gop-convention-marvel-diversity-real-101967 <p><p>Once <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/wp/2012/08/26/gop-revises-convention-schedule/?hpid=z2">the GOP convention</a> finally gets off the ground Tuesday, it will be a multicultural marvel that Democrats will be hard pressed to replicate.<br /><br /><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Sandoval%20AP.jpg" style="height: 205px; width: 310px; float: right; " title="Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada is one of the high-ranking Republicans of color being showcased at the GOP convention this week. (AP/file)" />Oh, sure, the Dems have multi-culti prince Barack Obama, and they have the extra added attraction of an openly-lesbian congresswoman in Wisconsin&rsquo;s Tammy Baldwin to kick things off.<br /><br />The Democrats <a href="http://www.demconvention.com/speakers/">also have</a> keynoter Mayor Julian Castro and his fellow mayors Cory Booker, Michael Nutter, Antonio Villaraigosa and Anthony Foxx; California&rsquo;s Attorney General Kamala Harris and Rep. Barbaba Lee; Illinois&#39; own Tammy Duckworth; and TV personalities Cristina Saralegui and Eva Longoria.<br /><br />But with the exception of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, the Dems won&#39;t be showcasing a lot of minorities who are in the major leagues as governors or U.S. senators. The ugly truth: There are no Democratic governors of color besides Patrick, and besides Daniel Inouye of Hawai&#39;i, who could put anyone to sleep, and New Jersey&#39;s Robert Menéndez in the senate, that cupboard&#39;s pretty bare too.<br /><br />It&rsquo;s a total mystery to me why Menéndez, the Democrats&rsquo; most senior and most powerful Latino, isn&rsquo;t on the convention schedule &mdash; especially in a year when Latinos will play a crucial role in nearly all the swing states. Menéndez is about as mainstream a Dem as you can get. He even sits on the party&rsquo;s Senatorial Committee. And he would offer a progressive Cuban-American presence to counteract the GOP&rsquo;s marquee star, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. (Sorry, Saralegui&rsquo;s Cuban and a big star but can&rsquo;t match Menéndez or Rubio in gravitas and power.)&nbsp;</p><p>Rubio&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;playing the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awQkJNVsgKM">Obama 2004 </a>role&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;will introduce Mitt Romney as the party&rsquo;s nominee on Thursday night. If that&rsquo;s not arriving, I don&rsquo;t know what is.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-08/who-ted-cruz-101421">Ted Cruz</a>, the GOP senate shoo-in in Texas, will also speak.<br /><br /><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Haley%20and%20Jinal%20AP.jpg" style="height: 189px; width: 300px; float: left; " title="South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, left, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal at a meeting of the National Governors Association in February. (AP/Susan Walsh)" />Then the GOP will roll out its parade of governors of color: Susana Martínez from New Mexico, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Luis Fortuño of Puerto Rico, and even pro-choice Brian Sandoval of Nevada. With the exception of Jindal and Fortuño, all have been elected since 2010.<br /><br />When it comes to <a href="http://aboutmittromney.com/celebrities.htm">celebrities for Romney</a>, the convention&rsquo;s leaving Ted Nugent, Scott Baio and even Clint Eastwood out of it, focusing instead on three clean-cut Olympians, including Derek Parra, the <a href="http://www.qsports.net/webdp.html">first Mexican-American to ever win a medal at a Winter Olympics</a>. (Parra, of course, competed at Romney&rsquo;s Olympics in 2002.)<br /><br />The two African-Americans on the sked&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;Condoleeza Rice and Saratoga Springs, Utah, Mayor Mia Love (also a Mormon!)&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;will be aiming less at blacks, with whom the GOP has zero chance, then at women.<br /><br />I&rsquo;m not saying I agree with any of these folks about anything, except maybe with Sandoval and Rice on choice, but it&rsquo;s objectively impressive that the Republicans &mdash; who have historically resisted civil rights and social change &mdash; can pull off that line-up while the Dems struggle to come up with a big name Latino to keynote.<br /><br />It&rsquo;s also objectively true that the GOP platform does not represent the interests of Latinos or other minorities when it comes to education, healthcare and immigration, among the big issues for communities of color.<br /><br />But you can&rsquo;t deny that the GOP has been smart in taking its very few minorities and elevating them super fast, positioning them for future minority votes. Some of these GOPers may not have much substance, some may be shooting stars and some of their stands may not represent their ethnic communities.&nbsp;And, of course, this rainbow of speakers will not be reflected in the overwhelmingly white audience that will go nuts for them.<br /><br />But right now it&rsquo;s undeniable that, Obama aside, the GOP has the headliners.</p></p> Tue, 28 Aug 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-08/gop-convention-marvel-diversity-real-101967 Illinois Republicans unfazed by storm delay at national convention http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/illinois-republicans-unfazed-storm-delay-national-convention-101968 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/photo(1).JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois Republicans are moving forward with their scheduled itinerary in Tampa, Florida despite the one-day delay of Monday&rsquo;s events at the Republican National Convention.</p><p>The national Republican Party postponed Monday&rsquo;s scheduled speakers and votes at the main convention center because of the threat of a tropical storm heading toward the Tampa area over the weekend. Come Sunday evening, though, it appeared as if the worst of the storm was heading west of the city.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>On Sunday, Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady downplayed the effect any severe weather would have on the plans of the state&rsquo;s delegation. He said they would continue their work on Monday and throughout the week, despite the disrupted convention schedule and an ominous-looking sky above.</p><p>&ldquo;Our schedule will continue as scheduled. We&rsquo;ll have our breakfast and we&rsquo;ll have the lunch meetings that some of the sponsors have put together. And then we&rsquo;ll have the event that night at the hotel, so our schedule doesn&rsquo;t change at all,&rdquo; Brady said. &ldquo;And I think we&rsquo;ll be back on our full schedule Tuesday, I hope.&rdquo;</p><p>The Illinois delegation is staying at a hotel about 27 miles west from the national party&rsquo;s events happening at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, where Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is expected to formally accept his party&rsquo;s nomination for president later this week.</p><p>Upon arrival at the Illinois delegation&rsquo;s hotel, guests could pick up a series of different pamphlets supporting conservative causes. One included a schedule of classes for &ldquo;Newt University,&rdquo; which will include sessions on health care, energy and job growth taught by Newt Gingrich. Another pamphlet encourages convention-goers to sign up for a new email address with the domain name &ldquo;@reagan.com.&rdquo;</p><p>The state&rsquo;s delegation is made up of a collection of elected officials, traditional party supporters and young people faithful to the GOP who are attending their first Republican convention. In all, Illinois is represented by 69 Republican delegates, but several more tag along for the week&rsquo;s events. Many attendees from Illinois boarded a bus Sunday evening to attend a welcoming party for all convention-goers at Tropicana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team.</p><p>As a steady drizzle fell across Tampa, the streets were deserted outside the stadium except for a large battalion of security officers. A chain link fence surrounded the perimeter of the stadium while groups of officers on bicycles rode along in packs.</p><p>Inside, Republicans mingled and noshed on buffets of seafood and Cuban food while the group Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy performed acrobatics on a cube-shaped stage high above the floor. Multiple live music acts also played for the crowd that was enveloped by a landscape of red, white and blue table cloths, decorations and sculptures.</p><p>Sitting in the dugout at Tropicana Field, Illinois State Senator Kirk Dillard said the weather delay wouldn&#39;t dampen their spirits. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re gonna use the down day to gather around and get to know one another,&quot; he said. &quot;Illinois&rsquo; a very diverse state.&nbsp; And, you know, there&rsquo;s a lotta folks from Cairo to Rockford&rdquo; in Tampa for the convention.</p><p>With Monday&rsquo;s main events pushed back, the rest of the convention will work on a more condensed schedule. Speakers at the main event on Tuesday are scheduled to include former presidential candidate Rick Santorum,&nbsp; Ohio Governor John Kasich and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.</p></p> Mon, 27 Aug 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/illinois-republicans-unfazed-storm-delay-national-convention-101968 Photos from the Republican National Convention http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/photos-republican-national-convention-101963 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/7897323228_015cb3d64d_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="PictoBrowser120826225015">Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer</div><script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.db798.com/pictobrowser/swfobject.js"></script><script type="text/javascript"> var so = new SWFObject("http://www.db798.com/pictobrowser.swf", "PictoBrowser", "620", "660", "8", "#EEEEEE"); so.addVariable("source", "sets"); so.addVariable("names", "Republican National Convention 2012"); so.addVariable("userName", "chicagopublicmedia"); so.addVariable("userId", "33876038@N00"); so.addVariable("ids", "72157631264436018"); so.addVariable("titles", "on"); so.addVariable("displayNotes", "on"); so.addVariable("thumbAutoHide", "off"); so.addVariable("imageSize", "medium"); so.addVariable("vAlign", "mid"); so.addVariable("vertOffset", "0"); so.addVariable("colorHexVar", "EEEEEE"); so.addVariable("initialScale", "off"); so.addVariable("bgAlpha", "90"); so.write("PictoBrowser120826225015"); </script><p>&nbsp;</p><p>WBEZ reporters Alex Keefe and Tony Arnold are in Tampa, Florida bringing you all they see.</p></p> Sun, 26 Aug 2012 19:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/photos-republican-national-convention-101963