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Florida Delegation Stranded Without Buses To Republican National Convention In Tampa

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Florida had a wrench thrown into its Republican National Convention plans when now-Hurricane Isaac barrelled past Tampa, but Tuesday afternoon organizers whipped up their own trouble.

Convention coordinators forgot to book buses to take the Florida delegation to the convention, stranding angry officials at a hotel about 40 minutes from downtown Tampa.

"Well, that sucks," Hillsborough County GOP chair Art Wood told the Tampa Bay Times. "I guess it won't be the first glitch."

He was right. ABC News reports that when a last-minute bus finally came, the driver got lost on the way to the Tampa Bay Times Forum -- prompting one person aboard to suggest the driver was a Democrat.

It was the latest in a round of humiliations for the home state delegation, who were given less desirable seats, fewer VIP passes, "second-class" hotel rooms, and other penalties as a punishment for scheduling their primary earlier than March, according to the Miami Herald.

But fortunately for Florida, they weren't the only delegation with travel trouble. New Jersey’s delegates showed up an hour late to the convention when they decided to drive themselves, according to The Record, and other states' buses were late.

With the roll call for Republican party nominations set to kick off the convention, some attendees planning to nominate Ron Paul thought perhaps the transportation problems were staged to suppress their votes.

“I’m really disappointed and I’m verging on angry now, you know, because this [is] our entire state delegation, not just the alternates," John Bowery, an Iowa alternate delegate whose bus showed up 50 minutes late, told, adding, “We being there late is not good enough. We need to be there to represent our viewpoints.”

California’s four buses were more than an hour late, prompting the whole 172-member group to miss the opening remarks.

"The logistics at this convention are something else," California delegate Don Genhart told the Sacramento Bee.

Republican National Convention 2012
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