The Indianapolis Star has run two reports recently, covering the possibility that Indy could host the 2008 GOP national convention. The bid has been deep-sixed before it could even get going. From the latest Indy Star report:
Jennifer Hallowell, executive director of the Indiana Republican Party, said it notified the Republican National Committee that it wouldn't submit a proposal.
In addition to the cost and effort of pursuing a bid, Indianapolis would face a timing problem. The convention would conflict with the transition from the old RCA Dome to the new stadium and expanded Indiana Convention Center, which is not expected to open until late summer 2008.
Calling it a "timing problem" really glosses over the fact that the Convention Center will be torn up, thanks to the Governor tying its' expansion to the construction of a new stadium for the Colts. It's a dark irony that the Indiana GOP might have been able to host their party's biggest party of the 4-year election cycle, except that one of their own Governors in ram-rodding a political project home that should have been wholly private anyway left the only site in town for such a thing unavailable. Oh, well. Republicans from across the country can take their millions of dollars and bless some other city with it instead.
There was an error in the report that requires some housekeeping:
Indianapolis has never hosted a national political convention. Chicago has hosted the most: 13 Democratic and 13 Republican conventions.
That is factually incorrect. Indianapolis was host to the 2002 national convention of the Libertarian Party. That event was life-changing for me, in retrospect.
At the time, I was a resident of Cleveland, and served the Convention as a delegate from the state of Ohio. Ame had finished her Master's work and was review potential work locations where she could fulfill service requirements tied to her education. Indianapolis was on the list, along with New York City and some lesser locations.
I stayed on the north side, at Keystone at the Crossing, and was afforded a drive to and from the Convention, whereby I could meander around town en route, examining neighborhoods, picking up sales slips from houses with 'for sale' signs in the front yard.
I was rather taken by the friendly nature of people, both on the north side and in the downtown area. The cost of living was reasonable, and the Libertarian Party of Indiana was the best state affiliate I encountered at the Convention. The state income tax was 4% lower than Ohio, the property taxes were 75% lower than Cleveland, the sales tax was 3% lower than Cleveland, and there was no municipal income tax in Indy, versus a 2% tax in Cle. These were among the numerous factors that made the move exciting for me.
Now we have our own home in Fishers, and we plan to be here for many years to come.
So, please, correct that error in the Star. It is an injustice to our area, and to the Libertarian Party. The Indiana Libertarians did a great job of showcasing Indianapolis and the Central Indiana region.