Paul supporters say RNC is blocking festival plans

June 5, 2012 - 1:25 PM

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Ron Paul supporters are upset that Republican National Convention organizers aren't letting them throw a festival honoring the Texas congressman and presidential candidate the weekend before the event.

Spokesman Bryan Siemon said his group is organizing a three-day "PaulFest" at the Florida State Fairgrounds that would include music, comedians and speakers. But the Republicans control Tampa's public venues during the convention and haven't given PaulFest approval to use the fairgrounds.

Paul's libertarian beliefs have drawn him avid followers and some delegates. Supporters of presumed nominee Mitt Romney fear Paul supporters will protest during the convention, detracting from Romney's message and party unity.

Siemon said Tuesday that he is "disappointed" with convention organizers.

Organizers told the Tampa Tribune they are trying to match up various groups with available venues.