"It looks like there's a little bit of shenanigans going on" - Kenny Blankenship, United School Employees of Pasco
Land O' Lakes, Florida -- Mitt Romney will return to the Bay area Saturday with a political rally at the Land O' Lakes High School football field. But the fact that Romney is allowed to hold the rally at a Pasco County school has some saying the district has a double standard when it comes to Republicans and Democrats.
Romney's campaign is paying at least $2,000 to rent the field for the rally, yet two years ago Democrat Alex Sink was denied weekend rental of a school classroom to shoot a campaign ad by the district.
"We just have to chalk it up to politics. I guess the rules for the Republicans are different than the rules for the Democrats were," Sink said.
The feeling is shared by Kenny Blankenship with the local teachers union, who calls it hypocrisy.
"So it looks like there's a little bit of shenanigans going on. Do you think it's politics at play? I don't know what else it could be, yeah," said Blankenship.
The decision to allow the rally was made by Pasco County Schools Superintendent Heather Fiorentino.
The district's policy does give her the authority to approve requests for facilities, if the request and event fall between board meetings. Fiorentino says Sink's request was denied because it was for commercial use while Romney's event is a rally.
She points to last year's visit by Joe Biden at a Pasco elementary school as proof she's not playing political favorites.
Yet some like Sink aren't buying the explanation.
"So if that's the policy they don't want their facilities to be used as a political backdrop, that should apply equally to Democrats and Republicans as well," Sink said.
Romney's campaign dodged the controversy when asked by 10 News to comment on the district's decision.
Instead, it released the following statement that only said:
"The Romney campaign is honored Land O' Lakes High School agreed to allow Gov. Romney to hold an event at their campus. The campaign is pleased to have the opportunity to discuss Governor Romney's vision for a stronger middle class and his plan for a better, brighter future for all Americans."
Doors for Saturday's rally open at 5 p.m. The rally is expected to attract about 10,000 people.