$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?

  • If it is any consolation, you won’t be missing much.

    • Below the age of 10–please find a family member to leave the kids with, or find a sitter. Not rocket science. There are some things/events that kids should be seen and not heard….just like I was taught when I was a kid. If they are old enough to have a cognitive understanding of what’s going on–fine.

      Otherwise, follow the same rules as in a restaurant. Nobody want to hear your screaming kids.

      • Dusty Boyer

        Don’t know what kind of kid you were/what kind of kids you have/what kind of kids you hang around, nor what kind of restaurants you frequent, but that remark was just … well.

        Children magically become well-behaved at the age of 10? All children under 10 do nothing but scream? Come on.

        I, too, thought this was outrageous. Of course I take responsibility for my kids when I take them with me – taking them to the grocery store doesn’t count as “having the grocery store babysit for me.” If I acted like it was, then the grocery store/RPV would be within their rights to ask me to leave.

        But if they are well-behaved, it is ridiculous and a HUGE liability issue to require parents to leave their children apart from them. Thank goodness I found out and made arrangements before driving 3 hours. I wonder what will happen to parents who still don’t know???

      • You’re an idiot.

      • BrianKirwin

        I’m amazed this came from a GOP Chairman. Besides, genius, how can kids be “seen” if they are left with a babysitter?

      • Why respond to me? I don’t have kids, and I’ve seen enough crooked conventions in my life. Personally, I think a political event would be sheer torture for any child, but I don’t have a problem with folks bringing them. I worked the polls, primaries included, since a little tike, although this convention and my experience with Project Orca have relieved me of my guilt for abstaining this time around.

        • BrianKirwin

          Conventions can be sheer torture for adults, too.

      • Boo Pam is the type we don’t want n the GOP anyways, a George Bush and Bob McDonnell lover.

  • In the words of my dear departer friend Pina Brooks Swift….what do you think GOP stands for?…”GET OUT YOUR POCKET BOOK”….

  • It might be better to air these concerns with State Central then on the web for the press to read.

    • The truth will set us free Zack.

      • Or it will lower the price to help out familes….or drive folks to the other side…yes money talks.

    • RepubMom

      No, Zach. They’re mostly deaf and have selective hearing at best. The louder the noise, the more chance for change.

    • Honestly, for the past few months people have been asking state central/the convention committee about being family friendly. Soft pressure kind of had to go up a notch.

    • They have been Zach. I vividly remember an SCC meeting in about 1994 — I was carrying a
      proxy — in which some old fart got up and complained about the fact
      that RPV was providing day care (gratis) for children of convention goers. I
      guess he won.

  • BrianKirwin

    Even if it was free, they say your kids couldn’t sit with you. Seriously flawed rules here.

    • MG Kenney

      This wasn’t the case in 2009. We all sat together and helped out. I whipped for Bolling and Cuccinelli’s respective races with my kids in my delegation. It was fun. Now what? What a mess, really.

      • BrianKirwin

        It’ll be a cold day in youknowwhere before I go to a convention where the rules insist I divide my family.

  • Many delegates that can easily afford the voluntary $35 do not. We should do a better job of encouraging our delegations to pay up. I could have done better.

  • Thus people get a *tiny* bit of insight as to what happens when Mr. Kenney steps out of line…

    • MG Kenney

      What are you doing online, Shaun? Get back to work so we can pay RPV.

  • RepubMom

    THANK YOU for stating everything I was thinking when I learned about that “Guest” fee yesterday. Whew, can you imagine rolling up Saturday only to be told at the door it’s $25/child. I called RPV yesterday and kindly told the fella that it was extortion. That the party of family values was shaking down families. That they were shooting themselves in the foot when we had to explain to their future voters/our kids that politics isn’t about finding honorable men to serve our country but rather all about the almighty dollar. That I would never give one red penny to the Republicans for this very reason, and then I find the RPV is snatching contributions in the form of $10,000 to hang signs a day before the event. His sincere and kind response: “How would you propose we pay for this Convention? It costs in the hundreds of thousands and we’re barely at the break even point.” Apparently those $25 guest seats aren’t already paid for and they were actually counting on me paying for my brood to occupy them. They should hear from every delegate who was planning to attend with their children. Let the phones ring off the hook. Fortunately we were able to make arrangements for ours, but I’m not looking forward to sitting in that tiny seat with a squirmy 4 year old (I was told you only had to pay for those occupying a seat) the whole day.

    • Yup. We don’t tend to lose money in primaries and canvasses. And, a correctly ran canvass can do as much for party building as a convention. Of course, it is easy for folks to participate and that scares the heck out of some folks.

  • Fluvegas

    These folks have clearly not seen the Kenney kids work a poll, event, room, or parade or they would drive to Kents Store to pick them up (like I do).

  • It makes one ALMOST want to support a primary instead of a convention.

  • John Mc

    On a side note, I often joke about the need for more regulation of the milk industry and the color of the caps … the Republican red in your post may hold true for Target, but perhaps not so at Safeway or Giant or WalMart. Imagine the horror when a 2-percenter drinks whole milk because they came from different stores but the caps are the same color!! OK … back to regularly scheduled programming.

  • Conservative#future

    I agree with you! Thankfully we got my seat before they raised it to $25 per seat! I may just end up volunteering for a campaign instead of sitting in a seat that I won’t be able to see things from, and I have very little chance of getting in on any action (such as: candidates shaking your hand, speaking with other delegates, and so on!) Very disappointing!

  • Radical Centrist

    Interesting from the Party that supposedly represents “family values”…

  • fishersvillemike

    If Terry McAuliffe were smart, he’d provide a bunch of money for families to attend the convention. But he’s probably mad that he didn’t think of charging people to attend.

  • Doesn’t cost anything to take your kids to the polls when you vote in a primary or canvass.

    • Plus, kids are a great help handing out materials. I know, because that’s where I first started out.

      • Yup. Mine help too since schools are closed here on Election Day.

  • Along with charging me 25 bucks not allowing my son to sit with me would not allow me to bring him to the Convention. My son has autism and wandering is a severe issue for our kids. Incredibly insensitive RPV! My son actively campaigns for our candidates and was even a guest of the Majority Leader but he couldn’t sit with me if I was a delegate. Shame on you RPV.

  • WHAT’s the big deal? Republicans ADORE! BARRIERS TO PARTICIPATION ! BARRIERS to elderly, disabled, and poor people to voting (lots of these don’t have the sorts of ‘IDs’ Republicans like). BARRIERS to gay and lesbian families (not only gay and lesbian individuals, but their families – including unborn infants, children, frail elderly dependents, and other family members – are treated like trash under Republican laws, policies, and regulations), BARRIERS to participation in protecting the Commonwealth and the nation (Republicans proposed laws to prohibit gay and lesbian participation in Virginia National Guard). BARRIERS to helping more foster children into adoption (Republicans passed laws restricting gay and lesbian households from fostering and adopting). BARRIERS to health care access (many areas of Virginia – particularly the largely rural Southside, and rural mountainous SW, Virginia) have health outcomes, and life expectancies – by a DECADE OF MORE! that’s right ten or more YEARS OF LIFE LESS – than the Virginia average, because of lack of support for accessible, effective health care in those area, particularly rural Southside, and rural SW Virginia. So, Republicans ADORE BARRIERS! including barriers to LIFE. So, the ‘so-called’ pro-life party is – in actuality – pro-death party: TEN YEARS OR MORE OF LESS LIFE in the areas of the Virginia that Republicans troll of votes, but then abandon without accessible, affordable health care. So, Republicans are – in a way – killing off their own voters! Wierd isn’t it?

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