ENTERPRISE: Political Non-Payoff

An enduring element of American genius is the ability to turn almost any activity into a thriving multimillion-dollar business. Political conventions, however, are a partial exception. They have indeed become a growth industry, but no one seems to be getting rich off them.

At least $50 million changed hands at, near or because of this year's two Miami Beach conventions, up from an estimated $40 million split between Miami Beach and Chicago in the last presidential election year. The biggest single expenditure by far was for television. ABC, CBS, and NBC spent about $20 million for convention coverage. They did...

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