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The people's convention?


The 1% prepares for the DNC National Convention in Charlotte. Some of them paying $1 million dollars for a ticket.

From Washington Free Beacon…

Steve Kerrigan, the committee CEO, recently convened a meeting with lobbyists and other Beltway power brokers at the Jefferson Hotel in Washington D.C. Democratic sources told Bloomberg that Kerrigan, a former national political director for Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), touted an expensive array of convention “packages” that were aimed at attracting ultra-wealthy donors.

One of the options is the $1 million “Presidential” level, which includes a “premier uptown hotel room” and “concierge services,” as well as the $500,000 “Gold Rush” package.

Convention leaders have also sought to court ultra-wealthy donors by moving the president’s acceptance speech to Bank of America Stadium (the bank is headquartered in Charlotte), the 74,000-seat home to the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the decision was intended to allow “greater participation from all walks of life.” However, Democratic sources confided that the move would allow convention organizers “to sell more skyboxes to wealthy donors,” according to Bloomberg.

Committee officials dispute the report. “Decisions about convention planning are driven by engaging more people in the process, not by money,” Kerrigan said in a statement.

Still, the decision was criticized on the left by those who were not pleased with the idea of Obama accepting his party’s nomination under the banner of the country’s second-largest financial institution, which received a $45 billion taxpayer-funded bailout during the financial crisis. Obama himself has directed some tough rhetoric toward Bank of America. For example, when the bank proposed charging a $5 monthly fee to debit card users, Obama complained that the bank was “using financial regulation as an excuse to charge consumers more.”

But “educating” the super-rich is not the only way the DNC has sought to sidestep its convention fundraising rules. For instance, while the convention committee isn’t accepting cash donations from corporations, there are no corresponding restrictions with respect to “in kind” donations such as food or equipment, which can add up to millions of dollars. The DNCC has also established a separate “Hospitality” committee, called the New American City Foundation, to sponsor parties and other events associated with the convention, which is not bound by the same fundraising restrictions.