Thursday, January 29, 2015

Update: Darrell Clarke walks back comments on city funding DNC 2016

City Council President Darrell Clarke this morning said city tax dollars will be spent to support the 2016 Democratic National Convention if Philadelphia is chosen to host the event.

Update: Darrell Clarke walks back comments on city funding DNC 2016

City Council president Darrell L. Clarke, left, speaks during an event at JFK Plaza earlier this year.
City Council president Darrell L. Clarke, left, speaks during an event at JFK Plaza earlier this year. (DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer)

This post has been updated, as City Council President Darrell Clarke has walked back his comments.  Here's a statement from his spokeswoman, Jane Roh:

“The City will provide logistical support such as reinforced police and traffic monitoring presence as it does for every large-scale event Philadelphia hosts. Those functions are functions of the City and can correctly be described as taxpayer funded. However, there are no plans to appropriate additional funding for the Convention in 2016 out of the general fund, as New York City is reportedly planning to do, and Council President Clarke unequivocally believes that Governor Rendell and the host committee will meet or exceed the private fundraising goal target in order to guarantee a successful and history-making Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in 2016.”

EARLIER POST:

City Council President Darrell Clarke this morning said city tax dollars will be spent to support the 2016 Democratic National Convention if Philadelphia is chosen to host the event.

Mayor Nutter and former Gov. Ed Rendell, who have spent the last two days guiding 17 Democratic National Committee officials around the city, have previously said the city would put up no money to host the event.

"You always have to provide logistical support, where you do spend city money," Clarke said this morning after a private breakfast meeting with the DNC officials at the Comcast Center, where fundraising was a key topic. "But the return on that investment is significant."

New York this week said it would raise more than $100 million in private money and put in $10 million of city tax money in a bid to host the event in Brooklyn.

"We will do whatever we need to do to get this convention, within reason obviously," Clarke said. "But I think we can match New York or any other city that's still in the running, as it relates to our package."

Clarke, who compared the financial support from the city to other large events held here, said he does not yet know how much city money will be needed.

As we reported today, Rendell said this morning's meeting would include a city pitch to the DNC for raising at least $60 million in private money to host the event, with a goal closer to $83 million.

Birmingham, Ala.; Columbus, Ohio; and Phoenix are also in the running to host the convention.

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William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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