Most transparent convention evah won’t release the names of its donors?

posted at 3:21 pm on August 21, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

It looks like the Democrats’ convention organization is taking a leaf out the Most Transparent Administration Evah‘s playbook, promising in advance that they’re going to do something for the sake of transparency and then, you know… not doing it. The Democrats have been pretty vociferous about their plans to not accept donations from corporations and to regularly disclose the names of the their convention’s monetary contributors, but alas — raising money is hard, and such transparency hasn’t come to pass, reports WaPo:

In its marketing materials, the party promises that the “people’s convention,” set to begin Sept. 3 in Charlotte, N.C., will be the “most open and accessible ever.” But the names of donors, some of whom are giving up to $100,000, will remain secret until federal disclosure documents are filed Oct. 15, six weeks after the parties have ended and public attention has shifted to Election Day.

Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the nonpartisan Center for Responsible Politics, said the decision not to disclose donors until October “just seems to run counter to the message that this is the people’s convention. You’d think transparency would be something celebrated, not reduced.” …

The host committee for the convention, known as Charlotte in 2012, had published on its Web site its policy that donors would be disclosed online “on an ongoing basis.” And the contract city officials signed with Democratic Party officials specified that “all contributions, monetary or in-kind, shall be disclosed publicly . . . within an agreed upon regular timeframe on the host committee’s website.”

The committee removed that language from its Web site last week following an inquiry from The Washington Post. …

The Charlotte host committee, in an agreement with the Democratic Party, banned direct corporate donations but accepts corporate donations of goods and services. City officials also have created a separate entity that accepts corporate money to fund events around the convention, including a welcoming party for journalists paid for by Time Warner Cable.

I’d say that Democrats are feeling the squeeze after their decision to ban corporate money, which traditionally accounts for a hefty bit of the financing for both parties’ conventions (although unfortunately, it seems, there weren’t any adequate non-corporate stadiums to be had, heh) — hence the decision to cut the convention from four days to three, and the channels in place for conveniently getting around their own no-corporate-cash rules.

Team Obama is constantly criticizing Republicans for their lack of campaign-related disclosure, and the Democrats make explicit promises that they’re going to do things more nobly… but then reality sets in and they’re forced to walk it back. What’s up with their apparent eagerness to be hoisted upon their own petard?


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