WASHINGTON Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx skirted questions about media reports of lackluster fundraising for the Democratic National Convention at a political conference on Tuesday.
Foxx and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the mayoral hosts of the Republican and Democratic national conventions, joined Politicos Mike Allen at the Newseum in Washington to talk about preparations. The conventions begin in less than two months.
Last month, Bloomberg news reported that DNC organizers were struggling to raise money. Two anonymous sources told Bloomberg that less than $10 million has been collected for the Sept. 3-6 convention.
Foxx said people shouldnt believe everything they read but declined to clarify how much has actually been raised. He said fundraising is right on track.
Pressed for details, Foxx reiterated the challenges of raising money without corporate assistance, but he declined to share any numbers.
Remember that were doing something thats different than any convention in history to not take money from corporations, PACs and lobbyists, Foxx said. And with all due respect to my colleague and friend Mayor Buckhorn, the convention down in Tampa is doing just that. Thats the way things have gone on in the past. Were building a new kind of airplane.
Democrats agreed to a goal of raising $37 million without contributions from corporate donors, PACs and lobbyists. These first-ever restrictions are part of President Barack Obamas effort to make this a peoples convention. The big-money groups have been fertile ground for convention fundraisers in the past and those are the donors for some of the money being raised for the RNC in Tampa.
In addition to the $37 million, the Charlotte host committee must also come up with $15 million to pay for welcome parties and other events. But corporate contributions are allowed for that fund.
The Tampa Bay Host Committee has raised about 80 percent of the $55 million it needs to help stage the Republican National Convention, host committee president Ken Jones told a group of business leaders last month. The committee depends heavily on corporate support, with 50 percent coming from Florida-based corporations and 50 percent coming from outside the state, Jones said.
Buckhorn called the GOP convention Tampas coming out party and said he expects the Aug. 27-30 convention to be the most watched television event this summer other than the Olympics.
Both he and Foxx sent teams to Chicago in May to observe security efforts at the NATO summit meeting.
If the summit is an indicator of potential protests, Foxx said Charlotte may have fewer demonstrators than expected.