Politicians, Community Leaders to Guide DNC Planning
The nonprofit charged with hosting the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte has recruited more than 100 past and present elected officials and community leaders to help in the effort. The majority of the names on the "Charlotte in 2012" host and steering committees are Democratic city and county officials, state lawmakers and members of Congress - both current and former. But a handful of Republicans have agreed to help out: former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot and the three Republicans currently serving on the City Council. It's a tricky assignment for Councilman Andy Dulin. "Am I going to have more Democratic paraphernalia floating around the city of Charlotte than I would like? Sure," said Dulin at a press conference announcing the host committee members. "Would I like to be supporting the Republican convention? Sure. But the Democrats are coming and I'm committed to helping the host committee and the steering committee make it a great convention for the city." Dulin hopes Democrats "have the best time they've ever had, spend lots of money, have a safe time, and then are disappointed in November." "But I'm not worried about November now, I'm worried about safety and business opportunities in September," added Dulin. The host and steering committees will be responsible for recruiting volunteers and donations for the convention effort. The Charlotte host committee has committed to raise nearly $37 million for the Democratic National Convention and none of it can come from corporations or lobbyists. Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers is leading the fundraising effort as co-chair of the host committee. He says the money is coming in, but the effort is challenging. He and other host committee officials have repeatedly refused to say how much they've raised (even though organizers for the Republican convention have released their fundraising numbers). In an interview last week, Rogers said the Democratic National Convention Committee has recommended silence: "One of the things that the DNCC really impresses upon us is that we need to work hard, raise the money, not talk about how much we've raised at any time because we just need to keep the momentum going and continuing to raise the money," said Rogers. If you say you're reaching the goal, donors may not feel the sense of urgency, says Rogers. The host committee and the DNCC have pledged to disclose donations regularly online, but have yet to establish a timeline for that disclosure.