On Tricentennial Week, City Divided by GOP Convention Proposal

The specter of the 2020 Republican National Convention will be the proverbial elephant in the room, today, as San Antonio's city council debates financial incentives behind closed doors, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The debate over whether to spend upwards of $70 to lure the RNC to the Alamodome has split city politics down party lines.  

As expected, the Bexar County Republican Party is urging the city to move forward to gain the bid.

"We feel that hosting a convention of this magnitude will bring economic gain to San Antonio and the surrounding areas, and local Republican Party officials are looking forward to having the opportunity to present the benefits of hosting the convention on the City Council’s public agenda," Laura Koerner, party spokeswoman, said in a statement.

But a growing number of business leaders want the city to just say no.  Christopher Herring, who heads the Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce, said at a rally this week that he thinks the event would divide the community.

"When he came to San Antonio the last time, we saw a MacArthur High School that chanted, 'Build the wall,'" he said.

He feels President Trump has been hostile to minorities, including African Americans.

"When the president referred to Africa as a 'hole,' and you know what I'm talking about, that reflected on everybody that looks like me."

The reason today's debate will take place in executive session is because it involves financial incentives.  Any time the city looks at luring an event, and money is involved, the dealings are kept in private.

Koerner urges the city to bring it out in the open."Republican Party principles support any discussions regarding the use tax payer money to held in public and not behind closed doors."

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