[Update] Nutter: “I Am Interested” In Philly Hosting the 2016 Democratic Convention
[Update 1:38 pm] Mayor Nutter’s spokesman, Mark McDonald, contacted PhillyMag to set the record straight: Mayor Nutter is interested in bringing the 2016 Democratic National Convention to Philly—but there’s a process that has to be gone through, first.
He quoted Mayor Nutter as saying “I am interested” in hosting the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Some background: When the city decided in 2010 to beg off bidding for the 2012 convention, it alerted national Democratic leaders that it probably would be interested in the 2016 gathering, McDonald said. “We are on record with party elders to that effect,” McDonald said.
Wednesday’s meeting of local Democratic bigwigs, he said, was the beginning of a process that will report back to the mayor on the feasibility of hosting the convention.
“There is, however, a process of due diligence one has to go through first,” McDonald said. That involves forming a committee, raising support from corporate sponsors, and determining the costs of security—which will have increased significantly since Philly last hosted a convention, the Republican gathering that nominated George W. Bush, in 2000.
“This is obviously a very expensive undertaking … but one that will benefit the city and the region,” McDonald said. Despite media reports suggesting the mayor isn’t necessarily on board with the effort, “this is not a case of Mike Nutter pouring cold water and dragging his feet, not at all.”
[Original 12:42 pm] CBSPhilly reports on the movement to bring the Democratic National Convention to Philadelphia:
About twenty officials gathered for the 90-minute, closed-door meeting that included Montgomery County commissioner Josh Shapiro.
“What you saw are people from labor, business, all across the region, folks with different political ideologies, people who ultimately want to see the same thing: which is an exciting event that is critical for the economy, critical for economic growth, great for our hotels, and great for the region, to be able to bring the 2016 Democratic Convention here,” Shapiro said afterward.
A problem? Mayor Nutter’s not really on board. But U.S. Rep. Bob Brady believes the convention can be hosted “with no city money.” And State Sen. Anthony Williams believes Nutter will give the effort his backing. “Once he sees what we are seeing, and has some general understanding supported by the specifics,” Williams said, “I would imagine that he would be as enthusiastic as the rest of us to have this convention in Philadelphia.”