The Washington Times - July 22, 2008, 09:43AM

If tickets cost $17.76, you know who’s behind it: Ron Paul, the former Libertarian who sought the Republican presidential nomination this year, is hosting what he says will be “the most spirited and provocative political event of the year.”

It’s his Rally for the Republic, which he’s holding in Minneapolis from Aug. 31 through Sept. 2, wrapping up in the middle of Republicans’ own convention in St. Paul. It’s worth noting that Paul’s event ends two days before the Republican convention — just enough time to give the GOP VP nominee and John McCain, the presumed presidential nominee, an unfettered stage for their speeches.

This is a guy whose supporters dressed in colonial outfits, complete with fife and drum players, for last year’s Iowa straw poll, and who regularly gets the largest cheers for the simple mentions of words like “freedom” and “the Constitution.” With an audience like that, here’s betting Paul’s convention gets at least some buzz from the horde of reporters in town that week.

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Here’s what Paul promises convention-goers:

“Later this week I will announce two internationally renowned musicians as headliners for the Rally for the Republic. We’ll also be joined by rock star Aimee Allen, NBC’s Tucker Carlson, Barry Goldwater Jr., Gov. Gary Johnson, conservative stalwart Grover Norquist, former Reagan deputy Attorney General Bruce Fein, presidential historian Doug Wead, MTV’s Adam Curry, musician Mark Scibilia, and Frank Sinatra impersonator Rick Ellis. Other special guests will be announced soon.

Stephen Dinan, national political correspondent, The Washington Times