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Breath mints, ringtone cards, lapel pins — GOP gift bags stuffed with local goodies

Gift bags will be distributed to Republican National Convention delegates — and the media covering them — as a way to introduce them to the area and make them like us more.

More than 22,000 bags will be distributed.

Here an excerpt from organizers’ announcement:

“We appreciate the generosity and support of our local companies as well as the national organizations that donated items for the gift bags,” said Jeff Larson, CEO of the Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee. “We also are proud of the contributions of nearly all of Minnesota’s Fortune 500 companies, and we want the world to know these businesses are here and that Minneapolis Saint Paul truly is a great place to live, work, and run a business.”

The delegate gift bags are sponsored by FedEx; the media gift bags are sponsored by Coca-Cola/Southern Co. The 22,000 bags were compiled by Baskets by Design, a locally owned fulfillment company. — Joe Kimball

Here are the donors and the convention’s descriptions of the contents of the bags:

3M: Logoed Commemorative Convention Post-It Notes

Aflac: Duck with  credential (says “Aflac” when squeezed)

American Wind Energy Association: Collectible Lapel Pin

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, LD: Healthy Living Pedometer

AT&T: Lapel Pin, plus Free Ringtone Giftcard

Cargill: Truvia Zero Calorie Sweetener

Carlson Cos.: Free Appetizer at T.G.I. Friday’s

Chesapeake Energy Corp.: Wildflower Seed Packet

Eli Lilly and Co.: Sport Bottle, Hand Sanitizer, Healthy Living Guide Book

Ford Motor Co.: Flashlight Keychain with Compass, Safety Whistle

General Mill: Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars

Kraft Foods: Elephant-shaped Kraft Macaroni and Cheese

Mall of America: Mall of America 2008 Super Savings Coupon Book

Minneapolis 311: 311 Information Hotline Postcard

MSP 2008 Host Committee: Official Convention Guide and Regional Map

Northwest Airlines: Luggage Tag and NW Traveler Magazine

MPower: Festive Megaphone with Gourmet Popcorn

Qwest: Cell Phone Recycling Envelope and Internet Safety Tip Card

Direct Selling Association: A Family Memoir, “Faith of My Fathers,” by John McCain

West: Pocket Guide to the Constitution of the United States

The Travelers Companies: Red Compact Umbrella

UPS: Breath Mints in a Pocket-Size UPS Truck

Verizon Wireless: Postage-paid “Hopeline” Mailing Envelope

Visa Inc./U.S. Bank: Commemorative Water Bottle

Votimus: VOTIMUS Political Information Flyer

Walgreen Co.: Walgreen’s Brand Hand Sanitizer

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