Tough Times

A story in today's New York Times -- and previewed yesterday by Matt Drudge -- details Denver's problems raising money for the upcoming Democratic National Convention.

"So far, the Denver host committee is about $15 million short of the $40.6 million it must raise by June 16," the Times reports. "With only $25 million raised so far, the committee is scrambling to offer a new round of special deals for corporate underwriters, as well as to devise a backup plan should the fund-raising fall short and plans for the convention need to be scaled down."

The money raised by Denver, which will be supplemented by federal funds for security and the party staffers planning the convention, goes to covering the very hard costs of making the Pepsi Center and other convention facilities ready for prime time. “We will raise the money,” Chris Lopez, a spokesman for the host committee, told the Times. “We are working every day to get it done. We are in a situation where we have to get it done and we will. We can’t make any excuses.”

Over the past few weeks, as word of fundraising woes trickled out, the excuses offered included the economy (although the Republicans are ahead of their fundraising goals in Minnesota) and the fact that having two candidates still competing for the Democratic nod has put all financial focus on the race, rather than the convention. But with the rules committee meeting on the Florida/Michigan issue on May 31, and the last primary June 3, that competitition might finally be coming to an end. An end that no one would welcome faster than the Denver host committee.

Because it would mean that on June 4, Denver would finally have a clear field to raise a fast 15 mill in just 12 days. And one less excuse. -- Patricia Calhoun

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun