CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A $50,000 allocation for cyber security consulting for the Republican National Convention makes up only .002% of the county budget but was 100% the most controversial discussion during a marathon budget straw vote meeting for county commissioners.
The discussion was controversial in part because of President Donald Trump’s tweets threatening to pull the Republican National Convention out of the Queen City.
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“The notion the president would make infantile threats to not come to North Carolina unless we expose our self to the risk of infecting tens of thousands of people is an outrage. I was deeply offended,” Commissioner Trevor Fuller said. “I don’t want the RNC here. I have no shame to say it. If the president wants to go somewhere else, go. And don’t let the door hit you on the behind when you’re gone.”
Until told otherwise, the county and city are actively planning to hold the event. That’s why County Manager Dena Diorio pleaded for commissioners to keep the funding in place. They ultimately did.
"If we do go forward with the RNC we still need to make sure we do the necessary work around cyber security to keep our infrastructure safe," Diorio said.
In a news conference Tuesday, President Donald Trump said he wants to know within a week whether North Carolina can hold the convention with full attendance.
"I don't want to have it where we get there and then they announce after all the money was spent, all the work was done, all the people travel in, guess what. You can't put anybody in the arena or you can put a tiny number of people in the arena," President Trump said.
Governor Roy Cooper is asking the RNC for a written plan on how they will follow COVID-19 protocols.
“It’s okay for political conventions to be political but pandemic response cannot be,” Cooper said.
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At least one county commissioner is hoping Republicans will descend into Charlotte this late summer and bring their wallets with them.
“I don’t have a problem with the RNC coming here. I think we have to be bigger people than that,” Commissioner Ella Scarborough said. “Let them bring money. I would like to see them come here.”
The RNC is scheduled for Aug 24-27.
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