Nation & World

Democratic National Convention organizers say fundraising is on track

They're wooing donors with the promise of convention credentials, choice hotel rooms and VIP tickets.

Even lapel pins.

Charlotte organizers say they're on track to raise the nearly $37 million required for next year's Democratic National Convention.

"We're doing great," says Dan Murrey, executive director of the host committee.

But seven months after landing the convention, Charlotte organizers aren't giving any progress reports.

Last month the 2012 Tampa Bay Host Committee announced that after 15 months, it had raised $15 million toward its $55 million goal for next year's Republican convention.

"We typically don't follow the leadership of the Republican Party," says Steve Kerrigan, CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee.

Organizers of both conventions are trying to raise money during a struggling economy and amid growing frustration with both parties. Charlotte fundraisers, unlike their Tampa counterparts, face the added hurdle of new restrictions for what the party touts as "the People's Convention."

None of the $37 million can come from corporations, registered lobbyists or personal donations over $100,000. Gone are gifts such as the $1.7 million that Cisco Systems gave Denver's 2008 convention.

Of the $61 million collected for Denver, 72 percent came from donors giving $250,000 or more, according to the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute. A dozen donors gave $1 million or more.

The new restrictions, however, don't apply to the host committee itself.

To read the complete article, visit www.charlotteobserver.com.

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