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 »

DNC Boost $120M Less Than Promised

Democratic National Convention at Wells Fargo Center - end

The scene at the DNC about an hour after Hillary Clinton’s speech ended | Photo: Dan McQuade

The 2016 Democratic National Convention generated about $230.9 million for the city, according to the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.

That’s about $120 million less than the $350 million total economic impact originally predicted by the convention’s chief executive, Rev. Leah Daughtry – but it’s still a boon for the city.  Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Brandon Szeker

Brandon Szeker

Brandon Szeker

Brandon Szeker is the public relations manager for Philly PR Girl and has previously done media work at CBS Radio, Beasley Broadcast Group, and Philadelphia Weekly. A member of the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus, Szeker tells us about his incredible opportunity handling some of the big names at the Democratic National Convention.

Congrats on surviving an epic week. How did you get the opportunity to be a part of it?
I met April Mellody, the deputy CEO for communications of the DNC, at a PR convention that she was the keynote speaker at in Philadelphia. Immediately after her speech, I ran up and introduced myself, and exchanged business cards. We exchanged a few emails talking about my involvement with the local Philadelphia media outlets, and she asked for a résumé. After a brief phone call, and several months of waiting, I was told I had been chosen to work for the DNC as a media booker and surrogate liaison. Read more »

The Hillary Clinton Selfie That Almost Wasn’t

Northern Liberties residents Marion and Harper Leary with Hillary Clinton on Friday, July 29th at Temple University. (Photo courtesy Marion Leary)

Northern Liberties residents Marion and Harper Leary with Hillary Clinton on Friday, July 29th, at Temple University. (Photo courtesy Marion Leary)

Harper Leary really wanted to meet Hillary Clinton. So when the presidential candidate and her large entourage went to McGonigle Hall at Temple University on Friday afternoon for a speech, the 10-year-old Penn Charter student and one of her moms, Marion Leary, pedaled their bikes up to see her. Alas, they arrived a little late. Read more »

Bernie Delegates Claim They Made $5,000 Selling DNC Credentials

Room 224 at the Philadelphia Airport Econo Lodge.

Room 224 at the Philadelphia Airport Econo Lodge.

I would have thought that I was walking into a swingers party. A cheap motel near the Philadelphia airport. A bunch of people crammed into two rooms smoking copious amounts of weed and drinking beer and shots of tequila. But it wasn’t a swingers party that I was invited to. It was a party for Democratic National Convention delegates, some of whom were selling their prized credentials — the security passes that allowed them past the DNC fence and into the main hall at the Wells Fargo Center. Read more »

Michael Nutter’s New Website URL Is Manutter.com

Front page of MANUTTER.com

The front page of Michael Nutter’s new website, manutter.com

Man utter.

That’s how I first read the URL of Michael Nutter’s new website, manutter.com, which launched today in advance of his speech at the Democratic National Convention.

The site touts his accomplishments, his major issues and, amazingly, his ability to do “Rapper’s Delight”:

“Michael Nutter is also a frequent and enthusiastic performer of The Sugar Hill Gang’s 1980 classic, Rapper’s Delight.”

Read more »

Feds: Knives Found on DNC Protester

Security fence outside the Wells Fargo Center with protesters

If you go past this DNC fence without credentials, you WILL be arrested. (Photo by Dan McQuade)

The first batch of protesters arrested for trying to defeat the eight-foot-high security fence down at the DNC did so by going over it. The second group took a different approach. Read more »

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