There is no way to really describe how great it is to have Absolute Rights at the Republican National Convention for the first time in its history.
We have worked very hard and are very proud to be able to bring you the coverage you want to see from the convention.
One of the first things that no one can deny is different about this Tampa is its security.
Everywhere that you look, on almost every corner, is a sign that this town is under serious ‘lock and key.’ It’s almost as if the town is being run by martial law.
Whether it is large amounts of troops, or barricades on every corner, you get a feeling that it’s more than just you and your ‘friends,’ in town… something bigger is watching you.
We had an opportunity to take a look around downtown Tampa and speak to a few of the locals about what they were seeing. We wanted to show you exactly what you were missing by merely watching the convention on TV. On Sunday, the Absolute Rights team walked around town and uncovered what you may very well never see…
Watch the video here and you be the judge:
I’m not sure whether or not to think that what we saw was shocking or not. We knew that there would be higher security with a lot of VIPs in town, but was this too much?
I can personally say that the security guards and soldiers were all very nice people to talk to, but maybe that was because we had media credentials… who knows what it would be like if we didn’t.
In my reporting career, I have had the opportunity to go through multiple areas of the world that were in the middle of war… Thailand and Cambodia being two of them; and when I was there, it didn’t feel as intense or ‘thick’ as it did in downtown Tampa.
I have even worked on Capitol Hill for many years and never in my time had I felt as uncomfortable or controlled as I did just strolling down the streets of Tampa.
In the middle of filming, I stopped and asked my producer what it felt like to be there. He took a second, looked around the streets and said one simple word, “creepy,” and I couldn’t disagree with him.
It felt like we were being watched from every position we could think of.
Many of the downtown sidewalks were blocked by barricades and behind those barricades were thousands, I’m not exaggerating… thousands of troops.
There were very few troops or sheriff’s department members anywhere alone… in fact many of them were in groups of 15 to 30. We saw buses coming and going filled with full armed officers. Whatever is going to happen in the streets of Tampa, Florida this week will be controlled completely by these government officials.
When you drove into the city, there were police cars at every exit. There were also mobile solar-powered transmitters every mile or so on the way in to the downtown area.
Local residents had never seen anything like this. They were concerned about simple things like how they were going to get to work this week. Many people we spoke to were actually afraid of the police presence, which was shocking to all of us.
And that’s without knowing how much technology is monitoring us from every angle and every direction. I can only imagine that our cell phones are being listened to and we have at least one set of eyes on us at all times, which of course has been ‘justified,’ by the security threats in the area… and as far as we know, there have been many.
According to multiple websites, the terror threats are high for this area. The Occupy people, or someone claiming to be them, have apparently threatened to throw acid and Molotov cocktails at convention goers as they enter, and there are many threats on Republicans from actual terrorist groups.
Being the political stage that the world is watching right now is no small matter, and is nothing less than a big target for those who hate America…
But was this security too much? You be the judge.
The estimated cost of security alone for the convention was $50 million dollars. That’s right, $50 million dollars… and we only physically saw a small part of that on the streets. Beyond that there are those cameras and cell phone listening devices (which are even at our hotel 26 miles away from downtown) and all the people monitoring them from afar.
With our country in shambles economically, should the federal government use your money to essentially protect a big party?
I want to hear from you on this issue. Reply to this email to let me know what you think about the use of your money for this event.
I also want to know what you want to know about the convention. We are here to represent your voice and thoughts. So email me with suggestions of who to talk to and what to ask. The Absolute Rights team will be here to dig up the stories you want to hear and see.
Remember to not only stay informed by watching the Republican National Convention on TV, but also by keeping your computers tuned to Absolute Rights to read and see the stories you aren’t being told. And as always,
Be smarter than they think you are.