CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Democratic super PACs and other outside political groups will be deprived of the party's most generous 2010 bankroller this election: Donor and bundler extraordinaire Ben Barnes is repudiating the outfits that don't provide full financial disclosure.
Since the 2008 election, the 74-year-old Texan has been the lobbyist who, along with his family, has given the most to Democrats -- more than $900,000 in donations to candidates and committees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. He has been in Charlotte all week for the Democratic convention with a few aides and was spotted busting a ...Continue reading
First lady courts LGBT donors over lunch
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- After a rousing convention speech Tuesday night that, among other things, commended LGBT Americans for their courage to marry, Michelle Obama spent about an hour Wednesday at a downtown Charlotte Marriott courting well-heeled gay donors.
According to one political consultant and LGBT activist there, she knocked it out of the park. “It was like a conversation in a living room almost,” said Palm Springs, Calif. LGBT activist and political consultant Greg Rodriguez.
That may be important, as a recent analysis showed that one in six bundlers for President Obama are gay. Another report identified 33 gay bundlers ...Continue reading
At Democratic super PACs briefing, strategists ask for more cash
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- If there were millionaires at Tuesday's happy hour for prospective donors of the three major super PACs backing congressional Democrats and President Obama, they were not the recognizable backers of the groups. And there was not much exclusive about the affair.
At the door of a cozy, downtown bar a short walk from the site of the Democratic Party’s convention, an employee checked off names of attendees on an iPad. But he did not seem to stop anyone, and so this reporter walked on through the door.
The event was one of several being hosted ...Continue reading
The many parties of the DNC, mapped
Just like in Tampa last week, there is a vast array of unofficial events taking place around the Democratic National... View ArticleContinue reading
Group of Democratic governors stand out among party-planners in Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It’s hard to get the nation's 20 Democratic governors in one place. But that didn't stop party organizers from trying with a swanky, '70s-themed event here Monday night, complete with women in go-go outfits dancing on tables and an ABBA cover band at a two-story downtown club.
One wide-eyed attendee, the president of a state teacher’s union attending his first Democratic National Convention, said he didn’t expect the party to be this good.
About seven of the nation’s governors showed, according an an employee of the Democratic Governors Association (DGA), which ...Continue reading
Access denied: Koch funded group bars Sunlight in Tampa
It was billed as a free Republican National Convention event that nonprofit group Americans for Prosperity was holding to honor two of its big funders, conservative billionaire David Koch and North Carolina businessman and political donor Art Pope. But when Sunlight tried to join the party on Thursday afternoon, the door was closed to us.Continue reading
Protesters evicted at Republican convention event
“What have I done to be kicked off the property?” retired teacher Karen Saal asked a security guard outside the Crowne Plaza Tampa Westshore Hotel. The guard's answer: the hotel manager specifically asked that she go. And she wasn't alone. Officials were also ushering peace activists off the hotel property after they interrupted a gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) honoring pro-Israel members of Congress during the Republican National Convention.
Saal, from Oregon, is against the "militarism" of Israel and the United States but said she was not protesting. She said she was just in the parking ...Continue reading
The many parties of the RNC, mapped
At the national political conventions, most of the action takes place not in the arena where the TV cameras roll,... View ArticleContinue reading
The three-tiered pyramid convention
(CORRECTION: This post has been updated to reflect a the correct time for today's YG Network event)
TAMPA -- The GOP convention is now in its third day, and you can divide the extravaganza three ways: The structure of this year's convention is a tripartite social pyramid.
At the tippy-top: The millionaire donors who are holding private meetings with top Republican officials and advisors to GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney advisors. It's a rarefied world into which the Huffington Post’s Peter Stone provided a small glimpse, along with a few other enterprising journalists.
The second level of ...Continue reading
Taxpayers paying for convention observers
TAMPA -- Not everyone can afford to go to Tampa—but taxpayers are footing the bill for some executive branch officials: the members of the Federal Election Commission.
Commissioners Donald McGahn and Matthew Petersen arrived at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Tuesday, dressed down compared to their usual formal attire at FEC public meetings.
The shaggy-haired McGahn, in jeans and a polo shirt, and Petersen, sporting a neater cut and wearing khakis with a button-down shirt, hung out Tuesday afternoon at the hotel with convention passes around their necks.
Both will head to the Tampa Bay Times Forum this evening to ...Continue reading