With Democrats struggling to reach their $36.6 million fundraising target for the Democratic National Convention in August, plans have emerged to move the event’s final day to the 74,000-seat stadium where the NFL’s Carolina Panthers play, reports the Charlotte Observer. That move will allow fundraisers to sell access to more luxury suites.
Democratic sources told Bloomberg News that Obama advisers are conscious of the political downside that could be associated with the move, but not because of the spectacle of a big-dollar cash grab. Party officials are instead concerned because Bank of America — one of the president’s most recent corporate whipping-boys — is the arenas named sponsor.
In October, Obama criticized the bank for its plan, which was later scrapped, to impose a $5 monthly fee on customers who use debit cards.
“People have been using financial regulation as an excuse to charge consumers more,” Obama complained on Oct. 6.
Charlotte businessman Cameron Harris, who is among the top fundraisers on the convention’s host committee, told the Observer that making Bank of America Stadium the site of Obama’s acceptance speech “was a possibility … from the very beginning.”
The committee is hamstrung by new fundraising restrictions, reportedly imposed by Obama himself, which prohibit them from accepting money from corporations and lobbyists.
But they still plan to raise up to $15 million in “in-kind” contributions from companies, and cash from wealthy individuals. The committee is also accepting unlimited funds from nonprofit organizations, including charitable foundations associated with the president’s corporate supporters.
Another member of the host committee, who spoke to the Observer on condition of anonymity, insisted that the Democrats will manage to meet their fundraising goals.
“Are they working hard and losing sleep over it? Yes,” the source said. “But they didn’t seem at all desperate. … I don’t have inside information, but I think they’re over halfway there, though.”
David is The Daily Caller’s executive editor. Follow him on Twitter