If the Republicans choose Sin City as their 2016 convention site, whatever happens in Las Vegas might not stay there.
American Bridge, a PAC that operates as a progressive research and communications outfit, plans to stalk GOP convention attendees throughout Sin City’s bars, casinos and other locales.
The group’s goal is to find dirt that might undermine members of the party most closely aligned with family values, Politico Playbook reports.
“American Bridge’s plans would scatter trackers with video cameras from one end of the Strip to the other and would include a rapid response war room in the city to turn the footage into instant products — even potentially television ads — exposing whatever activities and hypocrisies they catch on film,” a Democratic operative is quoted as saying
Playbook’s source says American Bridge “would be looking to capture everything from the late night carousing of politicians to simply filming candidates who claim to be the bastion of family values entering and exiting bars and casinos.”
Taking a gamble on the GOP’s Vegas choice, American Bridge has gone as far as setting up a website with the address SinCityGOP.com to track Republicans’ movements.
“In making their selection, Republicans would do well to remember that Las Vegas is already the city with the most cameras per capita of anywhere on the planet. What’s another two or three dozen American Bridge trackers added to the mix?” reads the site.
The site also encourages users to provide their names and email address to receive updates.
“And if the RNC does choose Las Vegas, this is the site for all the action. What happens in Vegas… will go right here.”
This organized spying effort is part of a bigger operative strategy from American Bridge.
Last year, they openly discussed increasing their oversight of Republicans in political races across the country, through both the 2014 and 2016 elections. The group was founded by David Brock, who started Media Matters for America, and is run by Brad Woodhouse, an ex-communications director for the Democratic National Committee.
“It’s a sad PR stunt by a Democrat Consulting firm trying to make money,” said Jack St. Martin, executive director of Las Vegas 2016.
But the Republican National Committee saw a silver lining in the Democratic group’s campaign.
“The more the merrier, hope they spend a lot of money to help us boost local businesses in whatever city we choose, would be a good first step toward fixing President Obama’s economy,” RNC spokesman Ryan Mahoney told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Despite its potential for embarrassment, Las Vegas is seen as an ideal spot for a large political conventions. The city’s airport is accommodating, and it has numerous hotels and restaurants. And it would be very near Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate and big GOP donor who plans to help finance the convention.
Overall, the convention stands to bring an estimated 50,000 visitors while generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the tourism-dependent city.
The topic of prostitution has bothered other prominent Democrats for different reasons. Last month, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has long sought to put an end to the legal sex trade, questioned whether the GOP would hold court in Las Vegas given the city’s bad image and its proximity to legal prostitution.
Prostitution is illegal in Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, but legalized in surrounding counties.
Las Vegas is one of eight cities vying for the coveted GOP convention spot. Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Phoenix also have their names in the hat.
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