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.”
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.