Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tommy! attempts to re-enact Altamont

Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson had to cancel an event designed to drive participation in the Ames, IA straw poll after local officials refused to waive the cost of security.

After the Ames City Council stripped requests for electricity fee and parking usage fee waivers out of a resolution approving permits for the event, Thompson's campaign reportedly has pulled the plug on the festival over concerns for the cost of the event.

Rennick Remley, Iowa communications director for Thompson's campaign, said a planned parade of motorcyclists from Des Moines to Ames is still planned, and work is being done to hold an indoor event at Olde Main Brewery, but details have not yet been finalized.

The Ames City Council is slated to vote tonight on rescinding the street closures, vending license and obstruction permit that were approved at a July 10 meeting. Discussion at the meeting about whether the city should waive fees to allow a presidential candidate to hold a rally led to an amended resolution that would have had Thompson's campaign footing the bill for the event.

Remley said city officials and police also were concerned about which groups of motorcyclists would show up to hear the live band scheduled to play at the event. The band, Remley said, is associated with the Hell's Angels, and city officials wanted more security to be in place for the event.

"The budget for the event wasn't very big," Remley said. "The city wanted more security and more police on duty, and with everything going on it just wasn't feasible."
Hell's Angels at a Republican event? Who's playing, the Rolling Stones?