Details Emerge about Kansas City’s Failed 2016 GOP Convention Bid

by Ryan Lovelace

Behind-the-scenes details about Kansas City’s failed effort to host the 2016 Republican National Convention have been made public. The city released more than 5,000 pages of information related to its efforts to win the convention bid to the Kansas City Star. Before the GOP decided to take its talent to Cleveland, local boosters considered wooing the site-selection committee with tablet computers and baseballs autographed by George Brett, a hall-of-fame third baseman for the Kansas City Royals, the Star reported. Someone floated the idea of providing Kate Spade merchandise, but a consultant shot down that idea in an e-mail, saying it’s “all made in China and of the committeewomen I know, they’re either sporting Chanel or something from Kohl’s.”

The information also documents the city’s efforts to prepare for the arrival of the site-selection committee. Kansas City’s 3-1-1 information call center was put on alert in case a committee member called with a question about a good place to eat, and the city compiled a list of 137 bars that would stay open until 3 a.m. One task-force member went so far as to cover up a “Totally Nude” sign above a local adult-entertainment venue.

As a part of the effort, local governments used $265,000 of taxpayers’ money for the recruitment effort, according to the Star. This included $445 spent on popcorn, $990 on pins, and nearly $13,000 for a video shot with Kansas City police, but the majority of the taxpayers’ money was given to a local marketing firm.     

Ultimately, the Star did not identify why the GOP rejected Kansas City, but indicated that they thought the Sprint Center, an arena located downtown, did not have enough suites to accommodate wealthy donors. And while many Kansas City officials may have been sad to lose the opportunity to host the convention, at least one policeman was overjoyed that his city lost to Cleveland. “Just think of the work we just got saved!!!” a department commander wrote in an e-mail.   

View a slideshow of fun facts about Cleveland: 

The Corner

The one and only.