Ron Paul's supporters have hit a snag in their effort to stage a high-visibility festival leading up to the Republican National Convention in Tampa this August.
The Republican National Committee has reserved most of the venues that Paul organizers might want to use, including the state fairgrounds not far from the actual convention site. GOP officials say they haven't decided how to allocate those facilities and that they haven't actually denied Paul backers the right to use them.
But Bryan Siemon, a Paul organizer, says if the GOP officials continue to delay an approval, there won't be enough time to properly arrange the festival, which Paul supporters say could draw 100,000 persons over three days. The festival would end the day before the GOP convention begins.
GOP officials and strategists for Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney worry that Paul forces may disrupt the convention or hold protests that will divert attention from Romney's agenda and his goal of uniting the party behind him.
Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, moved further ahead in the nomination race by winning all five GOP primaries that were held Tuesday, including the contests in California and New Jersey.
Some Paul backers dispute the projections of major news organizations such as the Associated Press that Romney has locked up the nomination. Paul supporters say Romney could fail to win the nomination on the first ballot, after which many delegates would no longer vote for him. This would open the way for Paul, at least in theory.