GOP delegates endure long bus rides

Aug. 29, 2012 at 2:16 PM
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TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Republican Party officials say they are looking into a bus foul-up that left some delegates trapped for 2 hours without air conditioning.

The mess occurred Tuesday night as the first full day of the convention came to an end, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Former state Sen. Carlene Walker of Utah said she got to her hotel room at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, more than 3 hours after she left the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

The trip should have taken about 10 minutes.

"It was the bus from hell," she said. "It was a nightmare."

State Rep. Brad Dee, majority leader of the Utah House, said the problems began as soon as delegates left the building: "Instead of lines for the buses, there were masses for the buses."

There were also problems because of street closings for security reasons, and delegates said drivers refused to let anyone off the buses once they boarded.

One Illinois delegate was overheard describing an effort to get a driver to speed the trip. He said he collected $600 from fellow passengers and offered it to the driver in exchange for a quick trip.

National Chairman Reince Priebus told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer that party officials met Wednesday with the Secret Service and the bus company to discuss how to prevent similar fiascoes on the last two nights of the convention.

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