Trump Campaign Asks Donors to Convention With $1 Million Package
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is enticing big-spending donors to the Republican Party’s convention in August by offering packages that cost almost $1.2 million dollars per couple.
Trump Victory, the joint effort of the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee, sent out invitations Tuesday with details of the perks available at the convention in Jacksonville, Florida, from Aug. 24-27. The invitations, obtained by Bloomberg News, offer various tiers of support, all with different levels of access to Trump as well as RNC and campaign officials.
The offers rise by increments to a maximum of $1,161,200 per couple for the “Presidential Trust” package, which guarantees premier access to the convention arena, with “special Trump Victory hospitality,” including lounge benefits, priority seating and a behind-the-scenes tour. There is also a “Vice Presidential Trust” for $580,600.
Presidential trustees will also have their names in the official programs, recognition on convention signage, and VIP access to all Trump Victory-sponsored events, including a chairman’s lunch. The package also includes a reserved hotel room on nearby Amelia Island.
The cheapest offering starts at $1,000-$5,600, which gives donors a reserved hotel room, access to the convention and “hospitality throughout Convention Celebration week.”
Trump will accept the nomination in the city’s VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, which holds about 15,000 people. Despite rising cases of Covid-19 in Florida, the RNC announced last week that it would move the “celebration” segment of its nominating convention, including the president’s acceptance speech, to Jacksonville.
The event had been scheduled to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, but that state’s governor, Roy Cooper, refused to accede to requests by Trump that all coronavirus social-distancing measures such as mandatory face masks be lifted. The RNC said the “official business” of the convention would still take place in Charlotte, where a smaller group of party officials would meet to formally nominate Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, but the two candidates wouldn’t attend.
Convention-related activities organized by Trump Victory will take place on Amelia Island, about 30 miles from Jacksonville, where donor hotels will be located, according to the invitation. Trump Victory has arranged for transportation into downtown Jacksonville each night.
The events are being organized by RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, RNC Co-Chairman Tommy Hicks Jr., Trump Victory Finance Chairman Todd Ricketts, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale and Kimberly Guilfoyle, national chair of the Trump Victory Finance Committee.
The packages do not include hotel costs, with the invitation clarifying that rooms and expenses must be covered by the attendee. In addition, each attendee must pay a $5,000 fee in order to attend the convention.
The RNC and the Trump campaign have received criticism for proceeding with the convention and resuming campaigns rallies, which would bring large crowds of people together and defy social-distancing orders during the coronavirus outbreak.
New cases in Florida’s surged Tuesday to the highest level ever, extending a concerning upswing in confirmed infections six weeks after Governor Ron DeSantis began a phased reopening of the state.
Cases rose by 2,783, or 3.6%, to 80,109, compared with an average of 2.5% in the previous seven days. Florida had been reporting about 5,000 cases a week through most of May, but the numbers have been climbing since early June,
National health officials are warning about the risk of a second wave of infections beyond the initial U.S. hot spots, led by New York and New Jersey. Florida was among the states pushing hardest to ease lockdowns imposed during the first wave of a disease that has killed more than 116,000 Americans.
The Trump campaign is holding its first rally after the lockdowns on Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Pence will host a pre-rally reception, and donors interested in participating must contribute $5,600 or raise $25,000, according to an invitation obtained by Bloomberg News.
Trump Victory is also planning an event in Montana at the end of the month. Donors can pay anywhere between $1,000 and $100,000 to attend the Mountain West Ranch Retreat from June 30 to July 1, hosted by Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr., her boyfriend.
Democratic Party leaders have been trying to come up with contingency convention plans amid the pandemic, with some delegates having expressed concern over traveling to Milwaukee for the nomination of former Vice President Joe Biden.
The Democratic National Committee has already approved a plan to allow delegates to vote remotely, and moved the event from mid-July to the week of Aug 17.
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