The Washington Times - September 1, 2008, 03:32AM

Many of the political events and fundraisers scheduled for this week have been scrapped or changed into fundraisers to benefit the Gulf Coast.


Party planners throughout the Twin Cities have been forced to walk a delicate tightrope between promoting the Republican message and not appearing sympathetic to the residents of the Gulf Coast facing a potentially devastating hurricane.

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The convention is typically an excuse for lobbying groups to host parties and receptions to make friends for their causes.


Many of the parties Sunday, including bashes planned for later in the week by the liquor industry, were converted into fundraisers for groups such as the American Red Cross.


A party scheduled to be hosted by RightNow, Lifetime Network and Rock the Vote to honor female politicians was renamed “RightNow Relief for the Gulf Coast. Attendees were encouraged to make a donation to the American Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund at the door.


“Although this should be a celebratory time for the women of RightNOW!, we are Americans first and foremost. We understand that there are bigger and more important things affecting millions of Americans living in the Gulf Coast region, and at this trying time our thoughts and prayers are with them,” the group said.


The Creative Coalition, an arts organization hosting many events this week, said it’s still figuring out how it’s going to proceed and hopes to have a plan by Monday morning.


Other parties continued as planned Sunday, through guests were mindful of Gustav.


Music from the bash in honor of the Southern Delegation – featuring former Van Halen member Sammy Hagar – could be heard out on First Avenue in Minneapolis Sunday night.


Speakers at a Rock the Vote event honoring the Screen Actors Guild reminded guests to keep residents of the Gulf Coast in their thoughts.


Jennifer Haberkorn, reporter, The Washington Times