Democrats say there’s no truth to a Bloomberg report that the party is struggling to raise funds for its Charlotte, N.C., convention.
The move comes as party planners are grappling with a fundraising deficit of roughly $27 million, according to two people familiar with the matter who requested anonymity to discuss internal party politics. With a party ban on direct contributions from corporations, the host committee has raised less than $10 million, well short of its $36.6 million goal, said one of the people.
Democrats denied that there was any fundraising problem, or that money had anything to do with the decision to move the free kick-off event from the Speedway to Uptown.
“Our fundraising is on the right track,” said host committee spokeswoman Suzi Emmerling. “The Bloomberg report is inaccurate. We were never going to cancel this event, that was never an option.” The event was moved, she said, to be closer to the actual convention.
In April, Bloomberg reported that Democrats were halfway to their fundraising goals. Tuesday’s story says they are only a third of the way there.
While Bloomberg blames the party’s ban on corporate cash for the shortfall, the kick-off event is not part of the actual convention and thus not subject to the same restrictions. Organizers formed New American City, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit that does take corporate donations, for these non-official events.
Democrats are getting around their self-imposed ban on corporate cash and individual donations over $100,000 in various ways.
Seventy-two percent of the $61 million raised for the 2008 convention came from donations of $250,000 or more, and the party has been scrambling to cover costs under the new restrictions. Lobbyists have been encouraged to bundle donations, corporations can give in-kind contributions and charitable foundations can give unlimited gifts.