JIM SHARPE

Be careful when wishing for a GOP convention in Arizona

Jun 5, 2020, 12:05 PM

Great news: 2.5 million jobs were added to the US economy in May and our unemployment rate fell to 13.3%!

But the fact that 13.3% would’ve never been considered a good unemployment number just a few short weeks ago is a sign of how big of a hole we still have to climb out of.

But look! On the horizon! Who could it be – riding in to rescue Arizona from our economic COVID-caused coma? It’s the Republicans!

Not with a Republican tax cut or another Republican bill with trillions more in economic relief – but with the Republican National Convention. 

I’m already rubbing my money-grubbing paws together just thinking about the possibility of thousands of Trump Train tourists landing at Sky Harbor, renting cars and practically throwing cash out the window as they drive to their hotel next to the Gila River Arena  – the very arena where they will cheer Donald Trump on to another victory!

It could happen!

Congresswoman Debbie Lesko told me on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News that, “President Trump is very open to having it here in Arizona.”

WOOO-HOOO!!! 

We should … be … excited …  right?!

Well, hang on a second. What about the cost of security for a political convention?

“Millions of dollars are provided to do the security [and] that’s for both the Republican convention and the Democrat convention … so that money is already appropriated,” Rep. Lesko assured me.

That’s good. But if you take all the social upheaval we are seeing right now, multiply that with the ginormous political divide we already had and then add the searing, white-hot hate many have for Donald Trump, will a political convention here require millions more in security than we’d be provided?

Could we see a repeat of the protests and rioting that was seen at the 1968 Democratic Convention? Or could the 2020 Republican Convention be worse?

Would the cost of keeping the convention (and our citizens) safe mean spending more than we gain?

You know, through the federal government, we already fund these bloated, days-long infomercials called “nominating conventions” to the tune of $75 million each.

And here’s one other safety concern to consider: Will the Republicans who would show up en masse go sans mask? The whole reason they are moving their convention out of Charlotte, North Carolina, is because President Trump doesn’t like that state’s coronavirus restrictions.  

Yes, Arizona needs an economic shot in the arm, but until they have a shot in the arm for the coronavirus, and we know won’t need to deploy hundreds of security personnel to keep people from getting shot in our streets, maybe we should be a little pickier and choosier about what we want to save us from our economic downturn doldrums. 

Jim Sharpe

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Be careful when wishing for a GOP convention in Arizona