Article on How Tampa’s Surveillance State Profited from the Republican National Convention

Another article of mine was reprinted on Reason’s website, showing how the leftover spoils from the Republican National Convention have left a police state in the city of Tampa, Fla. Reason is a libertarian magazine that features great commentary and analysis on the pressing issues of our day. Enjoy: A vast network of surveillance cameras, armored trucks with weapons mounting capabilities, and state-of-the-art bulletproof vests strong enough to withstand high-caliber rounds. Those are just a few of the spoils enjoyed by the Tampa Police Department during the highly anticipated Republican National Convention, which occupied the city from Aug. 27-30 and hosted close […]

FL: Critics say Boehner used RNC rules committee to quash internal dissent

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog TAMPA — Delegates from 56 U.S. states and territories have come to the Republican National Convention here to represent the desires of millions of GOP voters who participated in presidential primaries in 2012. But party activists, delegates and influential observers allege the national party is using rule changes and sleight of hand to quash dissent inside the GOP. One critic called it a “power grab” by the national party. As reported by Florida Watchdog on Tuesday, party rules on who selects final delegates were changed to benefit the candidate leading the primary, silencing the delegates of future grassroots candidates. The […]

FL: RNC power brokers work to shut out insurgent candidacies

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog TAMPA — Billed as a national gathering of passionate Republicans unified to support their nominee for president and vice president, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, the Republican National Convention has, of late, shed that image, playing host to a high-stakes rules battle that could change the future of the party itself. The central conflict homes in on how individual delegates to the next convention will be chosen, the result of quick work by rule architects James Jopp Jr. and Ben Ginsberg. Jopp is the vice chairman of the Republican National Committee and Ginsberg is a delegate from the District of Columbia, as well as a […]

FL: As rain douses protests, cops keep strong grip on Tampa

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog TAMPA— As delegates and suit-clad Republican Party officials were busy rewriting the nominating rules for the Republican Party on Monday at the Tampa Bay TimesForum, detractors and protesters were getting their message out three blocks away at the Lykes Gaslight Park. Seemingly undeterred by the growing mass of police officers dressed head to toe in tactical gear and brandishing semiautomatic weapons, dozens of members of affiliated Occupy groups stood with signs and banners in support of Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul and Jill Stein, the Green Partypresidential nominee. There was also a large white banner demanding “Food Not Bombs,” an initiative of the local Occupy Tampa group. At […]

FL: Inevitable Romney faces week of unknowns at RNC

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog TAMPA— After a year and a half of the Republican presidential nomination process, it seems that the inevitable nominee will be nominated at the Tampa Bay Times Forum next week. Clinging to the title of presumptive nominee, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney will take to the floor at the Republican National Convention to shed that name and attempt to unite the 18 million voices that cast votes in the primaries, not always in his favor. The many months of attempting to find the “anti-Romney,” the candidate without a large state government health care plan or a more liberal governing record […]

FL: Stalled by GOP convention committee, Ron Paul festival goes on

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog TAMPA — During the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis,  more than 10,000 supporters of Texas congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paulgathered at a competing celebration they dubbed the “Rally for the Republic,” complete with speeches, music and campaign flair meant to clash with the official convention across town. The rally was organized by the Paul campaign after the congressman was denied a speaking role at the main convention, mostly likely because of his refusal to endorse Republican presidential nominee and Arizona Sen. John McCain. For the 2012 RNC in Tampa, after a long-fought primary process which has so far accumulated close to 245 delegates for […]

Preibus meets the troops in Wisconsin

By Yaël Ossowski | Wisconsin Reporter WAUWATOSA — After the tea party tidal wave hit the national and state capitols during the mid-term elections in 2010, establishment Republicans seemed uncertain on what this grassroots energy would become once given the reins of governance. Less than 20 months later, the battle that initially set its eyes on Washington, D.C., has now taken root in the Badger State, where Republican Gov. Scott Walker, a tea party sympathizer and conservative stalwart, is vying to keep his seat against the Democratic mayor ofMilwaukee, Tom Barrett, in Wisconsin’s historic recall election. What has made the race so dynamic and […]