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RNC Money: $3.1 million left over from Tampa's 2012 Republican National Convention

10:17 AM, Mar 5, 2014   |    comments
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The Tampa Bay Times Forum as it appeared for the 2012 Republican National Convention
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Tampa, FL - In order to put on the 2012 Republican National Convention the Tampa Bay Host Committee had to raise millions of dollars.

Records show the Committee did just that, collecting roughly $58 million in cash and in kind contributions.

But not all the money was spent and as of the Committee's last Federal Elections Commission filing, the group still had $3.1 million in cash on hand.

"It ended up being a pretty good surplus and I attribute that to the fact that we stayed on task, we stayed on budget, we didn't overspend and we came in right on time," Host Committee President and CEO Ken Jones recently told 10 News.

So what'll happen with all that leftover cash?

Jones says eventually it'll be distributed to Bay area charities.

But he says they must first wait for the Committee's audit to be returned, which he says has been delayed because the Democrats are still finishing their convention report.

"Until both audit procedures are done, the Federal Election Commission will not issue a final report, so until we get that report we can't really say legally where we're going to give that money to until we get clearance from Washington."

The impact of having the money distributed to local charities will be huge, says United Way Suncoast President and CEO Diana Baker.

"I think that level of funding to our non-profit community, in the environment that we're in could have a tremendous impact on people here in the Tampa Bay area," she said.

Baker notes the charities that receive money will have to decide how they want to spend it, since it will be a one-time gift.

"Non-profits will have to evaluate how they utilize those funds in order to make a one-time difference in something that will have sustainability into the future."

Jones tells expects the final FEC report to be back within next three to four months and once that comes in, he says the Host Committee will announce where that money is going.

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