Julie Rubsam of Denver figures her accessory line of creative buttons and T-shirts touting President Obama will be a convention hit.
She visited Charlotte last week, showing off her items to local shops. Apparently, many liked what they saw.
Several businesses say they’ll sell her products in upcoming weeks and during the convention. They include Visit Charlotte and Charlotte Marriott City Center, both uptown; Beehive, also located uptown in the Overstreet Mall; and Paper Skyscraper on East Boulevard.
With products featuring bright colors, script fonts and wordplays – such as “Barackin’ the cradle” baby rompers – customers responded, Rubsam said.
“Ours is just different,” says Rubsam, a lifelong Democrat. Products prices generally start at around $2 or $3 for buttons, and around $20-$25 for t-shirts.
DenverCrat donated 20 percent of its proceeds to the 2008 convention. Rubsam said they plan to do the same this year. They’re teaming up with Freeman Screen Printers and Embroidery in Charlotte to produce products.
Now in the works are products featuring the Charlotte skyline. “I don’t blame you guys for celebrating the city,” Rubsam said. “It’s great here.”
Maybe that’s why they’ve added an additional name to the business website: CarolinaCrat. Celeste Smith
Democrats in West Virginia seek distance from Obama
Thousands of Democrats are coming to Charlotte for their party’s national convention, but the news last week was about which Democratic officeholders won’t be here.
Their unofficial reason for staying away: They don’t want to turn off conservative voters by seeming too close to President Obama, who will be re-nominated here.
The president is pretty unpopular in West Virginia – a federal inmate got 41 percent of the vote against Obama in the state’s May 8 presidential primary. So it was no big surprise that some of the top Democrats in the “Mountain State” would be no-shows in Charlotte.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin and U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall all plan to skip the convention, reported the Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette.
Tomblin has even evaded questions about whether he plans to vote for the president in November.
Conservatives planning another event at DNC time
On the heels of news that Charlotte-area conservatives will stage a “Rock the Red 2012” festival during convention week, here’s another right-of-center event being planned.
“Charlotte 714” is being advertised as a big Christian church service set for Sept. 2 – the Sunday before the DNC kickoff – at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre.
The night of nondenominational prayer and music will be staffed by local preachers and feature at least one nationally known contemporary Christian music group, says David Benham, one of the Cabarrus County backers organizing – and bankrolling – the event.
The goal, he said, is “to bring moral restoration” to Charlotte.
Benham said he won’t let the event become an anti-Obama rally, though evangelicals opposed to abortion rights and same-sex marriage – a description that fits Benham and most of those expected to attend – are not among the voters the Democratic president is counting on this November.
Plus, Denham’s father is Flip Benham, an anti-abortion crusader who was convicted last year of stalking a Charlotte doctor.
“Charlotte 714,” by the way, gets its name from a Bible passage – 2 Chronicles 7:14 – that says God will “heal their land” if people pray and “turn from their wicked ways.” Tim Funk
Coming up this week:
On Wednesday: Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan speaks on “Strengthening Neighborhoods and Making Affordable Housing Possible.” Lecture is part of Mayor Anthony Foxx’s convention dialogue series. Free. 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., McKnight Lecture Hall, Cone University Center at UNC Charlotte. Register at accesstoamericajune27.eventbrite.com.
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