TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A legion of special interests is hosting lavish parties for attendees at this week's Republican national convention.
The behind-the-scenes galas are allowing delegates and elected officials to mingle with donors and Republican elites. The parties give attendees a chance to attend concerts, munch on truffles and sip champagne just as the party prepares to nominate presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Also showing up are corporations with business before the federal government, including those with major financial interests at stake.
The parties come as the spotlight on how money influences politics has intensified this election. This is the first presidential race during which independent "super" political committees have taken a highly active role by spending unlimited amounts of cash on advertisements.