There’s a whole lot the general public isn’t aware of  when it comes to the GOP convention in Cleveland Ohio. For some reason, there seems to be a media black out of sorts going on, and very little information is getting through aside from that which the powers that be want the general public to know.

Since I, the fearless leader of the Passionate Pachyderm Herd which has more than 2.5 million members, will be attending the GOP convention, I thought I would clue you in on a few things.

First of all, if you intend to be in Cleveland Ohio from July 14-22 for any reason what so ever,  haven’t made hotel reservations a year in advance, Your likely going to be sleeping in your car, truck, van, or bus unless of course you have VERY deep pockets. Right now, there are virtually no hotel rooms available during that time within a two hour drive going for less than $600 per night. In fact, even the Motel 6 is sold out of rooms after hiking their rate to well over $240 per night.

It seems in preparation for the Convention, the GOP contracted with area hotels reserving more than 16,000 hotel rooms for convention goers, media, and staff. This would be great if you were lucky enough to have been one of the 16,000, however, as it turns out, this year that number fell significantly short of the number needed, and those who were not able to make the cut have been left scrambling to find accomidations in a city not prepared to handle the massive influx of people for a two week period.

Lest you think attending the Convention as a member of the media is as simple as driving to Cleveland and showing up at the Quicken Loans Arena, I can tell you from personal experience it’s not that easy. First a minimum of three months ahead of timeyou must identify yourself as a member of the media to the GOP and express your interest in attending.

You must disclose all your information and accomplishments, your web site, Facebook pages, Twitter user name, radio shows you may be affiliated with, publications you might have had etc.

once the GOP decides you are the sort they want to report on and see at the convention, they will send you a notice saying you must fill out and submit further information for secret service clearance along with a current passport type photo of yourself. The questions include things like where you live, where you were born, are you a U.S. Citizen and so on. Now it takes about six weeks to hear back from the GOP, and another four to six weeks to get your USSS clearance.

If you opt to wait until your certain you will be able to attend after going through this process to make travel arrangements, well, you are pretty much out of luck, unless of course as I pointed out, you have extremely deep pockets and can afford to pay upwards of $6-700.00 per night for a simple hotel room.

once you have been cleared and processed through all of this, have found accomidations and made your travel plans, it is virtually impossible to obtain any information ahead of time which details the planned Schedual of events. Nothing is published online, and asking the friendly GOP convention representatives results in nothing more than the sound of crickets chirping in the background.

I have however discovered an interesting informational document for members of the press, in order to get actual desk space you must pay $150. If you want a chair for the week, $250, if you want a lamp, $150. Should you decide to eat during the convention, be prepared with a bundle of cash, because a simple sand which lunch will run you about $25.

Parking for the week will cost you $150. If you reserve a space in time. Though they have a person handling ADA needs such as parking and accessibility, there is no way to reach that individual, because emails go unanswered and no phone numbers are provided. I guess disabled members of the media are on their own even if that means being forced to park more than a mile from the arena.

Now just up to this point, you have spent hours preparing to attend, and before you have even left your home, you’ve spent well over $1000.

I realize that the GOP has to pay for putting on this convention, But, honestly, paying $700. For a place to sit and a place to park plus upwards of $1,200 for a hotel just to be able to report on the convention for the American people is more than a little over the top! (Just my opinion folks)

‘Now of course if your covering the event as a member of the main stream press who have nearly limitless funds to use you’re not concerned with these exorbitant costs, in fact, no doubt you won’t even know what it’s costing the organization you work for, but in this day of organizations like Passionate Pachyderms Digital Media Group, these costs are more than a little prohibitive, and I can’t help but wonder if that is in fact by design.

Keep checking Passionatepachyderms.com for more up to date stories as we take our herd on the road and into the Republican National Convention over the next 30 days.



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