Las Vegas Hotels: Religion Raises Its Ugly Head, Disputes GOP LocationBy: Tina Volpe - April 12, 2014
Where is it written that a location has to be sinless in order to hold a political rally? Is there such a place on Earth?
And when have politics and religion ever gone hand and hand successfully?
But, some heavy hitters in the religious conservative right have warned the GOP (Grand Old Party) to cross Las Vegas off the list as a potential host city for its 2016 convention – warning that putting the next convention in Sin City will harm the party’s image and drive away supporters.
The religious political leaders sent a letter last week to Republican chairman Reince Priebus, putting him on notice that picking Vegas would generate friction. They call the city a “trap waiting to ensnare. … What could go wrong? The answer is obvious.”
Leaders from the religious right who have joined the effort include Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association; Phyllis Schlafly, founder of Eagle Forum; Andrea Lafferty, president of the Traditional Values Coalition; Paul Caprio, director of Family-PAC; and James Dobson, president of Family Talk ministry.
“The GOP is supposedly interested in reaching out to conservatives and evangelicals. Maybe that’s just a front, but if they really mean it this is not the way to do it,” Dobson said Tuesday. “Even though Vegas has tried to shore itself up and call itself family-friendly, it’s still a metaphor for decadence. There are still 64 pages of escort services in the yellow pages. … You can’t have it both ways.”
“This is the city of deep, dark secrets. … Are they going to cross the Rubicon?” added Paul Caprio, the director of Family-PAC. “Parties have images to American voters as to who’s pro-family and who isn’t.”
Perhaps the GOP planned it that way. After all, wasn’t it the married and strong Christian congressman Vance McAllister who was recently caught “French kissing” his scheduler, Melissa Peacock, in his Louisiana office in broad daylight? Of course he was immediately fired, however, it happens every day.
The list of political and sexual infractions for the “Grand Old Party” is long enough to reach around the world. Who are they kidding?
The executive director of the Las Vegas 2016 host committee, Jack St. Martin, isn’t giving up – and sidestepped the evangelicals’ objections Tuesday. With so much hotel and meeting space, he said, the city “offers the Republican Party and the conservative cause the best opportunity in a generation to house, train, educate, motivate and activate the grass-roots volunteers that make up the foundation of the GOP.”
Or, religion aside, perhaps the underlying reasons for avoiding “Sin City” is that it would be downright embarrassing for the GOP to assemble in Vegas, financially, aside from the bad publicity from “good Christian delegates getting drunk, gambling, stuffing dollar bills in strippers’ g-strings, etc.”
The party would be cozying up to Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul who donated nearly $100 million to GOP candidates and causes in 2012 and would be a major funder of the host committee.
Influential conservative blogger Erick Erickson called it “embarrassing” to open the party to allegations that it picked a convention site “to placate a donor.”
Perhaps they will end up there and have themselves a grand old time – maybe even in broad daylight.
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