Pa. House Committee: Um, Ed, About That DNC Surplus …

rendell, harrisburg, capitol

The state House Appropriations Committee would like former Gov. Ed Rendell to testify about how the 2016 Democratic National Convention Host Committee spent $10 million in taxpayer money.

Rendell, who chaired the host committee, has reportedly agreed to answer legislators’ questions. The DNC host committee’s spending is already subject to an investigation by Pa. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, who said he would probe the committee’s spending after Gov. Tom Wolf asked him to do so earlier this month.  Read more »

Report: DNC Committee Promised to Give Leftover Funds to Charity

Democratic National Convention at Wells Fargo Center - end

Photo: Dan McQuade

The Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention had pledged to donate money left over after the event to charity, according to a report published by Philly.com this weekend.

But the committee used about $1 million of that surplus money to hand out bonus checks (ranging between about $13,000 and $220,000) to its own staff (which was offered weekly salaries) last November.
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Wolf: Leftover DNC Money Should Have Gone to Taxpayers

L: Gov. Tom Wolf | R: Photo by Dan McQuade

Gov. Tom Wolf says he is “disappointed” with how the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee of the Democratic National Convention spent funds left over after the event.

Last week, it was revealed that the host committee handed out more than $1 million in bonus checks to staff in November. The 12-person crew had raised more than $85 million for the four-day event held last summer – significantly more than its $60 million goal. Other than the bonus checks, some of the leftover funds were used for a $750,000 donation to the Philadelphia School District’s Right Books Campaign and for several $10,000 grants to various nonprofits.

But in a statement issued yesterday, Wolf said the committee should’ve prioritized taxpayers, who footed the largest portion of the event’s bill: $10 million.  Read more »

Philly DNC Host Committee Gave Out $1 Million in Staff, Volunteer Bonuses

Democratic National Convention at Wells Fargo Center - end

Photo: Dan McQuade

The Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention handed out about $1 million in bonus checks to staff and volunteers after the event wrapped up last summer.

The bonuses, pulled from funds left over after the convention, were distributed in November. Former Gov. Ed Rendell, who chaired the Host Committee, told Philly.com that he’d planned to hand out bonuses to committee staff all along – provided the committee had enough money left over afterward.  Read more »

Here’s Who Funded the Democratic National Convention in Philly

President Barack Obama and Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wave together during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Wednesday, July 27, 2016.

President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wave together during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Wednesday, July 27, 2016.

Those who are still wondering who funded the Democratic National Convention in Philly this past July are finally getting some answers.

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Philadelphia NOW: Williams Should Prosecute DNC Sexual Assault Case

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, center, accompanied by investigators Marc Costanzo, left, and Frank Fina, speaks during a news conference Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, center, accompanied by investigators Marc Costanzo, left, and Frank Fina, speaks during a news conference Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) released a statement today demanding that District Attorney Seth Williams prosecute the sexual assault reported by Gwen Snyder during the Democratic National Convention.

“Time and again, this organization has had to call on District Attorney Williams to simply DO HIS JOB,” the statement reads, referencing his previous handling of employees who were involved in the state’s “porngate” scandalRead more »

Can Social Media Bring Young Voters Into the Fold?

Girls High Young Voters

Student reporters Amina Thomas and Jaylynn Green interview Bernie Sanders supporter Galen Bratton during the DNC in July | Photo by Saleem Ahmed

Editor’s Note: This report was created by a team of student reporters from Girls High School, working as part of a Youth News Team program during the DNC. The student reporters were Amina Thomas, Jaylynn Green, Xani Wise, Janet Pennington and Rashiyah Powell. They were advised by Louis Austin, a teacher at Girls High, and Saleem Ahmed, a media lab instructor at WHYY. Philadelphia magazine staff helped guide the reporting.

If the United States were to be graded on voter participation, it would get an F. In 2012, the national average for voter participation was 57.5 percent, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center. In the same election, voter turnout in Philadelphia hit 58.8 percent, according to an NBC 10 report.

The problem may lie in a disconnect between young voters and the available candidates. According to FairVote, a voting advocacy group, young people are much less likely to vote than older ones. “From 1972-2012, citizens 18-29 years old turned out at a rate 15 to 20 points lower than citizens 30 year and older.”

Why are young people more likely to be disengaged from politics?

“Younger people don’t vote,” said Annie Tan, a delegate from Illinois. “Hillary Clinton has a mixed history and Donald Trump is a racist. Why vote when you don’t have a vote that matters or a candidate that doesn’t matter to you?”  Read more »

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