Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Obama and Convention Funding

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

The LA Times has an interesting article today that explains the state of funding for the both the Democratic and Republican Conventions. Unlike Barack Obama's campaign, convention funding comes primarily from lobbyists and corporations.

The person in charge of coming up with the money to fund the Democrats' convention, Steven Farber, is a federal lobbyist. Farber, a partner at the law firm of Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber & Schreck, which has offices in Denver and Washington, remains $11.6 million short of the $40.6 million the Denver host committee pledged to raise to help fund the convention, which has a budget of about $70 million.

Corporate contributions overall to the two parties' conventions amounted to just $1 million in 1980 and $8 million in 1992. The amount rose to $56 million in 2000 and $142 million in 2004, according to the Campaign Finance Institute's report. This year, the report says, these contributions are expected to total $112 million but could go higher.
According to the article, the Obama campaign has been asked for help with convention funding but has not yet responded.
In a statement provided Tuesday to The Times, Obama campaign spokesman Hari Sevugan said: "Moving forward, one of Sen. Obama's reform priorities will include changes in the way party conventions are funded to assure they can be run without dependence on soft money," the loosely restricted corporate and union donations that constitute most of the funding for conventions.