Skip the balloons, fund medical research

( CNN) Aside from the candidates themselves, the 2016 Republican and Democratic Conventions felt oddly familiar. Both parties had elaborate stages and pulpits, slick video introductions, recognized musicians, goodies for their guests and no famine of balloons.

And yet, Americans might be surprised to learn that this was the first time since 1974 that their taxation dollars weren’t used to pay for these conventions.

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