Monday, September 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

DNC 2016 effort under way. First question: Who pays?

U.S. Rep. Bob Brady convened a "working group" of political, tourism and labor leaders this morning at the Union League to launch his push for Philadelphia to host the Democratic National Convention in 2016. A big question to work on answering: Who pays for what if the city hosts the big show?

DNC 2016 effort under way. First question: Who pays?

Mayor Michael Nutter and U.S. Rep. Bob Brady during a debate in the 2007 race for mayor.
Mayor Michael Nutter and U.S. Rep. Bob Brady during a debate in the 2007 race for mayor.

U.S. Rep. Bob Brady convened a "working group" of political, tourism and labor leaders this morning at the Union League to launch his push for Philadelphia to host the Democratic National Convention in 2016.

A big question to work on answering: Who pays for what if the city hosts the big show?

Brady, who spoke to the media after the private meeting, seemed to take seriously Mayor Nutter's concern about the effort's cost.  Four times, Brady said the city would not have to spend tax dollars to host the convention.

"We don't think the city has to put up anything," Brady said after the group heard a presentation from the team that produced the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. "We have to guarantee that."

Nutter, who did not attend the meeting or send anyone from his staff, first expressed interest 11 months ago when Brady publicly floated the idea of a Philadelphia bid for 2016.  He did so again this week but reiterated a long list of concerns about security, fund-raising and organizing.

One major cost is security. Montgomery County Commission Chairman Josh Shapiro said "the dynamics of where those dollars come from have shifted dramatically to the federal government and away from the local and municipal and county governments" since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Brady, who plans to brief Nutter on the meeting, said the economic impact in the region from hosting a convention would be "astoundingly on the upside" to any money spent on the effort.

A non-profit established to run the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in 2000 raised $66 million for the effort, including $39 million from taxpayers in the Philadelphia region. A report compiled by the city later said the convention resulted in $345 million in economic impact for the region.

The Democratic National Committee is issuing a request for bids next month to cities interested in hosting the 2016 convention. Minneapolis, Cleveland, St. Louis, Dallas, Columbus and The Meadowlands in northern New Jersey are all rumored to be interested in bidding.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@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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