This opinion piece was posted today in Cleveland.com .
Kevin Knedler has been the chairman of the Libertarian Party of Ohio since 2007. He is currently running for Secretary of State of that state.
Amid the hoopla surrounding the announcement that the Republican Party will bring its 2016 convention to Cleveland, it’s been forgotten that Ohio just hosted a national political convention. The Libertarian Party, America’s third-largest political party, brought its 2014 convention to Columbus in June. Attendees numbered in the hundreds, a far cry from the estimated 50,000, including media, that the GOP are expected to bring to Cleveland.
There’s one other difference. Every penny spent on the Libertarian convention came from the pockets of Libertarians, with an assist from private businesses that paid for space in the vendors’ area. No tax money was spent directly on this convention, even though Columbus benefited from tens of thousands of dollars worth of additional economic activity.
In March, President Obama signed a bill ending the direct federal aid that gave each of the old parties about $18.2 million for their 2012 conventions. But that doesn’t end the gravy train of tax money. A July 16 article on cleveland.com notes that Cleveland City Council voted to donate $2.5 million to help cover the costs of the GOP’s visit. The city is also “guaranteeing the possible use of city-owned facilities including FirstEnergy Stadium, Public Square, Malls A B and C, public areas of City Hall, Public Hall and a couple of city-owned parking garages,” a multi-million dollar value. Cleveland will also apply for a $50 million federal grant to cover security costs.
Libertarians think this kind of largess to the establishment political parties is just wrong.
Finish the article here .