The Republican National Convention kicks off next month and it’s looking a bit chaotic

With the Republican National Convention just over a month away, party officials and Milwaukee leaders are still dealing with logistical complications, including security concerns, sponsorAnd Stupid marketing.

Taking place in downtown Milwaukee from July 15 to 18, more than 50,000 people, including about 2,429 Republican delegates, will descend on southeastern Wisconsin to watch the former President. Donald Trump, who, as of May 30, was convicted of 34 feloniesaccept the Republican nomination to get on the ballot in November’s general election — that is, if his July 11 sentencing date in New York is not impeded.

“We hope President Trump will be here to accept the nomination – we are very excited about that,” RNC Chairman Michael Whatley said this week during a news conference held at the main convention site in the Badger State. “Obviously, if we need to make contingency plans, we will.”

The Manhattan jury found Trump is guilty last month about falsifying documents to cover up hush money payments to Stormy Daniels, a porn star, before the 2016 election. He is the first former US president to be criminally convicted.

Trump’s attendance, as expected, means increased security concerns. The safety of convention sites, attendees and protesters has been a point of contention for RNC organizers, local lawmakers and the Secret Service.

Efforts to ban guns from convention venues, where items such as tennis balls and gas masks are banned, have failure due to concerns about violating state law or inflaming Trump’s pro-gun base.

So far, more than 70 groups have registered to protest against the conference through the city’s official portal. This March, the Milwaukee Common Council unanimously signed off on rules requiring protesters in designated security zones to march along a specific route.

Then, in April, RNC attorney Todd Steggerda in a letter to the Secret Service asking for protesters to be pushed further away from the conference, saying the current plan “creates a high and untenable safety risk to the attending public.”

The coalition marching on the RNC, which includes dozens of organizations, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin filed a lawsuit challenging the ordinance on Wednesday, arguing that the city’s regulations violate free speech rights. protesters’ arguments.

“Milwaukee rolled out the red carpet for the Republican National Convention and all its attendees, spending millions on their security,” Tim Muthan attorney for the ACLU, speak this week. “But sadly, the city does not appear to demonstrate the same commitment to protecting the First Amendment rights of those who wish to express opposing views on the streets of Milwaukee during the RNC.”

The head of the secret service, Kimberly Cheatlesaid Thursday that security plans have not yet been finalized.

Safety concerns aren’t the only thing organizers are grappling with.

Milwaukee-based department store giant Kohl’s announced this will not sponsor any event related to the RNC. This comes as organizers have increased the number of local companies that are financially supporting the conference.

Trump’s former chief of staff and current chairman of the Milwaukee host committee, Reince Priebus, speak the Wall Street Journal that nearly every Fortune 500 company in Wisconsin sponsored the event.

According to Federal Election Commission records, Kohl’s has not sponsored Republican or Democratic conventions in more than a decade.

However, the company’s decision motivated Backlash was swift on social media, with some on the right calling for a boycott of the company. “Conservatives, you know what to do: BOYCOTT KOHL’S. IT WILL BE LIKE BUD LIGHT, TARGET & DISNEY WORLD,” said one user posted on X; “@Kohls you are going bankrupt” said another shared.

For Milwaukee, this is a second chance at the political spotlight. The city hosted the event 2020 Democratic National Conventionbut was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing the event to take place online as the virus continued to ravage the country.

Wisconsin is proving to be as important a battleground state in 2024 as it has ever been, and Republican organizers are trying to take advantage of the moment. In 2016, Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the state by just 23,000 votes. Then, in 2020, now President Joe Biden win Wisconsin by about 21,000 votes, or less than a percentage point.

The RNC’s website is literally countdown every minute until the quadrennial conference begins, although earlier this week it received a lot of attention for all the wrong reasons: it mistakenly used a photo of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam instead of Milwaukee.


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