Charles R. Lewis, founder Center for Public Integrity, said the environment is conducive to the networking that has become the lifeblood of national political conventions.
"The conventions are a chance for their donors to hobnob directly with the lawmakers, Congress and obviously the Presidential candidates and the future cabinet, perhaps, of the United States," Lewis said. "It is a schmooze fest involving the wealthiest interests in the United States that want to be close to power."
On Thursday, the ultimate schmoozing will occur at the Victory Council lunch, held at an area resort. There the elite donors will have lunch with Romney, his Vice Presidential pick, Paul Ryan, Ann Romney, and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. After lunch, they will be given the chance to pose for photos with Ryan.
Busses will then shuttle the special group to the Convention, where they will have a reception with Gov. McDonnell and "the Romney sons." All that will build to the convention's most anticipated moment. From the Road to Victory Suite, they will watch Romney accept his party's nomination.
And when they depart Tampa at the week's end, they will carry gifts of appreciation, including such high-end mementos as brass clocks for their mantels and wooden captain's chairs with personalized brass plaques imprinted with Mitt Romney's signature.