$175 User Fee To Attend the Convention

Hey RPV!

Thanks for instituting a $25-per-person guest fee for attending the Convention this year. Children need apply.

This was not the case in 2009. I went with my 5 kids so they could experience a Convention and see what it is like to be involved in the political process.

Fast forward to 2013. Apparently the great minds at RPV have decided that, because of limited seating, it would be wise (and profitable) to charge guests and children attending. Guests I can understand — and I believe they did this last time. But children? Way to encourage young people to get involved. Way to encourage families to be a part of the Convention.

In their generosity, they only charged $15-a-person if you pre-registered before May 10th.  Now it’s a $25, at-the-door, fee per guest. Children are considered guests.

And did I mention, guests and children (and therefore me)  would have their OWN SPECIAL SECTION? So I can’t even sit with my delegation either.  At that price, I am certain they’ll have gold-plaited crayons for the kiddies, right?

“Guests (including children) of individuals serving as delegates or alternates must also follow these guidelines and may only sit in designated guest sections. Children must be registered to attend.”

I now have seven children. 7 x $25.00 is $175.00. That’s a lot of milk.

We drink about 8 gallons of milk a week in our house, especially with having 2 almost-teen-boys. If milk is $3.50/gallon (whole milk for us), we spend $28/week on milk. That’s 6 weeks of milk. I could buy 50 gallons of milk OR I could attend the Convention.

You know this is Republican Milk. It has a red cap!
You know this is Republican Milk. It has a red cap!

For $175, I could pay someone to clean my whole house. I could take my kids for pizza WHILE they clean my house. The thought of arriving home to a clean house with a fully belly and the sound of cicadas serenading outside is tantalizing. Or I could attend the Convention and enjoy the comfort of a stadium seat and breathe in the stale, Republican air.

I could pay a babysitter. Since it is certain to be a good 10 hour day, I could pay a sitter $10/hour and also buy 3 pizzas ($30). I would have to bring my 6-month old with me ($25 RPV guest fee), plus then I need to tip the sitter. That works out to about the same $175.00, but at least I would have created a job with it, right?

Since we are the Party of self-responsibility, I suppose it is my fault for not knowing that this time around, my kids would be charged a “user fee”. After all, in all the brilliance that is RPV, this policy change is included on their online handbook section for “Guest Registration”. I didn’t read that part because I wasn’t bringing guests. I was bringing family. Children.

I suppose Senator Martin is more on-the-ball than me. He got the early bird special of $15, so he’s only paying $45 to bring his three grand kids on stage with him. By the time I realized it, the discount rate (only $105 for my seven kids) had passed.

What if we hadn’t found out?  Would I have driven down to Richmond and been turned away at the door? I don’t carry large sums of money and might not have even taken my checkbook. What then?  What will happen to other people who arrive with children in tow, who aren’t anticipating the additional cost? Will they be turned away?

So instead of participating in the Republican Convention this year, and teaching my kids about the political process, I will now be staying home. I was looking forward to being involved, seeing people I haven’t seen in years, finally meeting people I know online but not in person, and voting for my candidates.

I’ll still be a good homeschooling mom and help my kids understand the political process at home. We have a lot of movies to we can watch.  A Man For All Seasons, 1776 The Musical, All the Kings Men, and Michael Collins seem like a good place to start. Any other suggestions?

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