ACLU wants seat at RNC 2012 convention planning table

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When the party comes to town, the protesters are sure to follow.

Next year, Tampa hosts the 2012 Republican National Convention, when the party will nominate a challenger to incumbent President Barack Obama. The event is expected to draw more than 50,000 delegates, politicians and news reporters to the Bay area.

Inevitably, like political conventions in previous years, the event also will draw tens of thousands of protestors from across the country.

Past political conventions have also attracted lawsuits, something the American Civil Liberties Union said could be minimized if it has a seat at the planning table alongside city officials, law enforcement and others to determine where and when demonstrations can be held, and ensure the protestors will be treated fairly if arrested.

“If a city wants to host a national political convention, then they also have to be prepared to host a protest,” said Michael Pheneger, president of the ACLU in Florida. “We believe that we could add something to the planning process.” Continue reading Christian Wade’s article here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.