"It's going to be as big as the Super Bowl," Monica says of the convention, over the heavy thumps of a hip-hop song. "Why do you think they are having it here in Tampa? It's the Mons. People have got to see what it's all about, even Republicans."

For millions of Americans, the RNC will be a pivotal political moment. In picking Romney and Ryan, Republicans will commit to a radical vision in which government and its social role are decimated, while the rich pay lower taxes than at any point in time since the Spanish flu ravaged the Earth.

But for strippers, porn stars, and a small group of savvy small-business owners, the convention means something much simpler: money. And lots of it. They're banking big on the fact that the same guys waxing nobly about family values will be lining up at titty bars after midnight.

"The history we've heard about the RNC is that there are people who will come out and spend," says Tony Hernandez, the manager of the Tampa Gold Club, "whether it's the delegates or the construction guys setting up and breaking things down."

Strip clubs have pimped themselves out in anticipation. The Gold Club has installed more black granite and marble tile than in a P. Diddy mansion. There will be $7 grouper nuggets and $18 veal shank on the menu, Hernandez says, plus Dom Pérignon and cigars, of course. There will also be giant flat-screen monitors so delegates can tweet about the convention even while getting a lap dance.

But if that isn't elite enough for One Percenters, they can rent a private sky box with its own bar and stripper stage. A private entrance allows limos to pull right up to the door and prevents paparazzi from snapping politically embarrassing photos. And as a special convention bonus, delegates will also be treated to an assortment of their favorite adult-film stars.

"We're bringing in different porn stars from everywhere," Hernandez says.

In fact, nearly every club is already seeing an influx of porn stars, as well as out-of-state and out-of-retirement strippers. Hernandez says his club will keep things strictly apolitical, but others are playing right into the RNC theme.

"I'm going to do my Palin show," says Lisa Ann, a porn star who over the past four years has impersonated the Alaskan VP candidate in classics such as Who's Nailin' Paylin? and the point-of-view flick You're Nailin' Paylin.

Ann, who once appeared in a live sex scene with a Mitt Romney look-alike almost as stiff as the real thing, swears her performance isn't political commentary. "I'm sure that there will be a bunch of people from the convention there," she says, "but I'm not here to make fun of politicians."

There is at least one Tampa luminary for whom flashing T&A will be about more than making some cash. Joe Redner, the 72-year-old owner of Mons Venus, is a philosophizing free-speech advocate who has donated his land to the Occupy Tampa movement. He's also a pain in local politicians' asses. In 1976, Redner took over a bar called the Night Gallery, and after hearing on the radio about the Supreme Court's decision to allow nudity in movies, he concluded that nude dancing would have to be protected as well.

For years, Redner played cat-and-mouse with Tampa police. When a girl stripped onstage, undercover cops would arrest her. But as soon as they took her outside, Redner would replace her with another. Then he'd go bail out the first girl. "It took nine girls on a three-girl rotation for us not to get shut down," he laughs. "They ran out of undercovers!"

Redner was arrested dozens of times. Eventually, he won an injunction against the city's nudity ordinance. Since then, he has run eight times for political office. In 2007, he lost in a runoff for city council with 44 percent of the vote. He has pretended in court to be gay to prevent a homophobic law from being enforced. His battles have pitted him against Hillsborough County Christian fundamentalists such as state Senator Ronda Storms, who has likened Redner to the Devil.

Like other strip-club owners, Redner says he looks forward to taking Republicans' money. But he sees it as long-overdue economic redistribution from the rich to the poor (his dancers are self-employed, receiving 100 percent of their lap dance fees and tips).

"The big businesses, energy companies, and banks that back the Republicans have been stealing from the little people for years," he says. "Now we're going to take some of their money. I'm glad to."

Redner doesn't hide his opinions. He doesn't have time to. He's got stage 4 lung cancer and a deep cough that reminds him of his inevitable death. He doesn't want to see the country he's gone to jail for more than 150 times — yes, a country with titty bars and pornography — thrown out for a reactionary Reich.

He won't be in town for the RNC. Instead, he'll be in Vegas for a strip club convention. It's better that way, he says. In Sin City, Redner won't have to watch Mitt Romney preach about "family values" while calling for a war with Iran.

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19 comments
jesuschristodenogale
jesuschristodenogale

Owebama is a true racist. Why does the US President hate the advancement of the standard of living for Mexico’s poor? Barrack Hussein Obama; how dare you deprive Mexico these young educated and motivated people? These US educated and motivated illegal alien occupiers (brought to the US as babies) now in the US are the only hope for Mexico and you want to keep them here in the US. They could start businesses, create jobs, and improve the standard of living for the poor people of Mexico. Yet you want to be selfish and deprive Mexico of these talented youth who could make life better for all the people of Mexico. SHAME ON YOU! Have you no compassion for the poor now living in Mexico?  Gustavo Arellano, Steve Gallardo, Nicky Diaz Santillan, and La Raza need to insist that all these young educated and talented Mexicans be sent back to Mexico to help improve the standard of living for the poor Mexicans. Are you with us for the good of Mexico and its people?

Geenius
Geenius

HILARIOUS!!!,,What a pathetic 'piece of shyt' this stream of pathological lies is. Absolutely fascinating. There are 'the reasons' and 'the REAL reasons'  So why do people as bitter and resentful as this author and this joke paper, lie with this much pride and conviction to deceive? it's always over the 'definition of what is right and what is wrong'. Too bad their false conclusions and lying minds make them so pathetically mentally ill.  The mind that habitually lies is not sound and is diseased. Frustrated, desperate, always trying to force fit lies into a reality that just won't allow that square peg lie into the round hole of truth. They can't even go 24 hours without lying to themselves and others nor recognize truth anymore.

matlock
matlock

The New Times has turned into a worthless left wing political rag. Unless you are a liberal nut or in the pro illegal alien crowd there is no use for this fish wrap. I do pick up a copy from time to time when I need to light a fire.

bgray59
bgray59

Fun piece.  Looking forward to the "Gonzo  Guide" to the democratic convention.  Maybe you can show the kid with his lip torn off that Michelle's health care policy denied treatment to.

Thane.Eichenauer
Thane.Eichenauer

"And murder essentially is legal, thanks to the Stand Your Ground law."

 

Y'all are completely deluded and obviously think that if you repeat your claim often enough that someone will believe it.  

coyote_slim
coyote_slim

Wow and, will the Rethugs give Benny 'walking on the Sea of Galilee' Quayle some prime time? I mean, he bagged a bottle of baptismal Galilee for his urchin.

xinruaa11
xinruaa11

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fairymagic13
fairymagic13

Get em Issac - they're Godless Republicants and the LORD needs his vengence for the obstructionism they have wrought upon the chosen people, citizens of the United States! 

Robert
Robert

I've always been a big fan of Hunter Thompson, and I've always hated it when people try to imitate him.    

fairymagic13
fairymagic13

The corruption in the Republicant party is unbelievable.  I remember before the Iraq war stated, I was playing with my band at an expensive restaurant and some Republican corporate type was there with a bevy of girls-of-the-night and some business friends.  He was celebrating because he had already lined up a number of military contracts to support the war in Iraq - this was 2 months before the war started.  He said that he would be making millions on the war for basically doing nothing.  Iraq was a complete welfare move for military industrial types.   There was no objective to that war except making military contractors wealthy so that they would support Bush in his second run for the Presidency. 

 

They are a disgusting group of backward talking assholes! 

 

Artfan
Artfan

Ryan Sealock's illustrations for this story are delightful!

suewallick74
suewallick74

This article makes no sense.  IT'S ABOUT JOBS AND THE ECONOMY STUPID.  He's living in the past.  Our future is bleak.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

wow.....

 

Well stated

Tommy_Collins
Tommy_Collins

 @matlockIf you use the paper as fish wrap or to light a fire then it certainly does have worth and you've conflicted yourself. Not to mention that you must enjoy the articles or you wouldn't bother posting in response to one. Yojo.

 

saltywench
saltywench

 @coyote_slim His Mommy has a call in right now to make sure her baby gets the proper face time.

Tommy_Collins
Tommy_Collins

 @coyote_slimAs of August 29th he will no longer be an elected official... at the end of his current term in January.

 

restitutiontouscitizensfirst
restitutiontouscitizensfirst

 @suewallick74 aMEN TO THAT!  I don't think this site allows posting links - make google your friend and let your fingers do the walking . . . . Real Simple Math - Unemployment - they'll walk you through the real simple math to see that our true unemployment rate is 49%!

 
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