Several hundred media members will descend on Charlotte this week for a close-up look at the site of the Democratic National Convention.
Visitors from around the country and the world will tour Time Warner Cable Arena and the Charlotte Convention Center on Wednesday.
The tour is designed to provide technical, logistical and cost information to media groups planning to cover the event that kicks off Sept. 3.
The convention host committee will welcome the media at an invitation-only party Tuesday night at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Lobbyist: Dems made giving 'inconvenient' this year
New rules that bar the convention from raising money from lobbyists and corporations have left Washington lobbyists scrambling, according to Politico.
"Hired guns and in-house corporate execs are plotting ways around the new rules to make sure they'll have a prime opportunity to mingle with party operatives, " reported Anna Palmer and Robin Bravender.
They also quoted lobbyist Kenneth Gross saying, "The Democrats have made it inconvenient for corporations to donate to the convention but not impossible."
Democrats are trying to raise nearly $37 million for the convention under the rules, which also ban individual donations of more than $100,000.
However, the rules don't apply to the convention's host committee, which is raising up to $15 million the old-fashioned way. Jim Morrill
GOP to Florida delegation: Go to your (bad) rooms
Florida Republicans bucked their national party rules when they moved their presidential primary to Jan. 31.
Now their national convention delegates will pay the price.
When the GOP convention kicks off in Tampa on Aug. 27, Florida's delegates will have worse hotel rooms, worse floor seating and no VIP passes.
Those were the penalties issued last week by the Republican National Committee's rules panel.
They come on the heels of the RNC's decision to cut the number of Florida delegates in half, to 50.
"We're screwed," party official Tony DiMatteo of Pinellas County told the Tampa Bay Times. "We're going to have lousy floor space and lose a little prestige. And for what?"
The state's GOP leaders knew there would be consequences when they moved up their primary.
But they decided the extra influence they could have on the presidential race would be worth it.
Florida also was penalized in 2008. But by the time of the convention, the state's delegation was reinstated.
Even if the penalties remain in effect, Florida Republicans will still find "plenty of opportunity to have a great time," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus told the Times.
Home-state delegations typically get prime seats in the convention hall, and North Carolina isn't expected to be an exception to that at the Democratic convention. Jim Morrill
Matthews wants to lure visitors to Labor Day fest
The Town of Matthews wants convention-goers to start their partying early - in a family-friendly way, of course.
The 20th annual Matthews Alive! festival happens over Labor Day weekend in downtown Matthews.
It starts Friday and runs through Monday, the convention's first day.
The town typically draws more than 200,000 people who enjoy a parade, food and music during the four-day event.
"We are still in the very early planning stages but we would like to market Matthews Alive as a preliminary event for the media, DNC delegates and their families to enjoy," said Annette Privette Keller, communications director for the town. "We are very used to having large crowds."
Mary Tribble, chief of events planning for the city's host committee, told the Matthews Chamber last week that the festival might be something listed on the convention website, so out-of-town visitors know of the event.
8-page souvenir shouldn't be hard to top, Tribble says
While speaking to the Matthews Chamber, Tribble showed off a present she received for her birthday a couple of months ago: an original program for the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, purchased off eBay.
"Isn't it sweet? It's only eight pages," Tribble said, prompting laughter.
Tribble said some have joked that all she'll need to do is top that eight-page program this year.
"I thought, 'Well, I think we might be up to that.' "
"Any national convention has a lot of moving parts. ...
People ask me how it's going and I say it's very, very busy, but a lot of fun, and even the frustrating days are fun." Celeste Smith