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Conservatives Threaten to Sue Charlotte over 'Rock the Red' Flop

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo

It's going to be hard for a Republican to have much fun in Charlotte, N.C., during the Democratic National Convention, all the more so since the city's Regional Visitors Authority last week pulled the plug on a concert for area conservatives that was being billed as the counterweight to the Democratic pep rally that will renominate President Barack Obama.

The "Rock the Red" concert promoter, Republican political consultant Jason Lambert, has hired a lawyer and is considering legal action after the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority accused him of failing to pay the rent he owed on the concert venue, Bojangles' Coliseum. The coliseum, named for the Tarheel State's prized fried chicken franchise, is about four miles east of where the Democrats are meeting.

Billed as an alternative to the Democratic National Convention, Lambert had recruited country music star Travis Tritt as well as the Charlie Daniels Band and Lee Brice to perform at the Wednesday event.

South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney and North Carolina General Assembly Speaker Thom Tillis were also supposed to speak.

Lambert's attorney John Snyder, a partner with the law firm FSB FisherBroyles, is looking into possible litigation.

Snyder, who was previously the district attorney in Union County, southeast of Charlotte, says the city didn't live up to its promise to help promote the event and had fumbled the ticket sales arrangement with Ticketmaster, making it impossible for conservatives to buy tickets, which ranged from $25 to $139, for a time.

"They didn't do what we expected them to do," he said.

Snyder said he doesn't know how many tickets were sold, but that all would be refunded.

An announcement late in the week on the Bojangles' Coliseum website read, "This show has been canceled. Refunds are available at the original point of purchase." Below that, it says "Availability: Buy Now."

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