STATEMENT ON DNC SELECTION OF 2012 CONVENTION HOST CITY
By Brian Wahby Co-Chair, St. Louis Host Committee Chair, St. Louis Democrats
The news today from the Democratic National Committee announcing Charlotte as the site of the 2012 Convention was not what we all wanted to hear, but we offer sincere congratulations to Charlotte and look forward to being there in September of 2012.
Despite our disappointment, this nearly year-long effort to win the Convention was a useful exercise for our region. We proved that St. Louis should swing for the fences. Clearly, we have what it takes to do big things. The significant investments we’ve made in ourselves and our city in the last quarter-century are part of what make us a great region. We have fantastic infrastructure, including light rail, world-class hotels and convention facilities. We have an ever more vibrant downtown, leading-edge institutions including Forest Park, City Museum, and of course the iconic Gateway Arch. But none of these compare to our greatest asset - our people. St. Louis' convention effort attracted the most enthusiastic and vocal support from its people than any of our competing cities. Thousands of you signed up to volunteer and thousands more joined our Facebook page.
This spirited support was lead by our political and civic leaders from both sides of the river, many of whom whole-heartedly joined the Host Committee. We would not have come this far without the great support of Mayor Francis Slay, Governor Jay Nixon, Senator Claire McCaskill, County Executive Charlie Dooley, Senator Dick Durbin, our bi-state Congressional Delegation.
Joining our effort were business and labor leaders including David Farr of Emerson and Civic Progress, Mike DeCola of Mississippi Minerals and the Regional Business Council, Bob Soutier of the St Louis Labor Council, Gerry Feldhaus and Jeff Aboussie of the St. Louis Building Trades Council, Nancy Cross of SEIU. To all of these great St. Louis leaders: Thanks for your leadership and commitment to St. Louis.
Of course there are many people to thank and in the coming days we will attempt to reach out to you, but we also want to recognize here the extraordinary efforts, commitment and leadership of Kitty Ratcliffe and her staff at the Convention and Visitors Commission. We are truly blessed to have such a dedicated and talented group of people working to sell our region as a premier location for tourists, meetings and conventions.
Again thanks to all of you who helped. St. Louis was a serious contender throughout this process, and we should be proud of our collective efforts. You proved that no league is too big for St. Louis. It is at times like this that I like to read the following quote from one of my favorite Republicans, Teddy Roosevelt:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
Thanks for allowing me the great honor to have lead this effort. Remember, 2016 is only 5 short years away.
Rep. Kathy Castor of Tampa said a bill moving today on the House floor to abolish public financing for presidential campaigns would also eliminate millions for security for the 2012 GOP convention in Tampa.
In an interview late this morning, Castor said the bill is "moving quickly" on the House floor, and that she has proposed two amendments that seek to save the portion of the public campaign fund that goes for security for national conventions.
"But they won't let the amendments come up," she added.
She said she expects a vote on the bill today.
In 2008, the Democratic convention in Denver and GOP convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul each got about $17 million from the fund, to pay for security, and Tampa expects the same amount or more.
Two things not mentioned in the article. Castor is a Democrat and St Louis, Charlotte, Minneapolis and Cleveland will be watching this vote closely.
Update: The bill passed.
A bill to abolish public financing for presidential campaigns, including an end to funding for national political conventions, passed in the U.S. House Wednesday, which Tampa Rep. Kathy Castor said raises concerns about funding for the city's 2012 Republican convention.
The public financing program provided about $17 million for the Democratic convention in Denver in 2008, and about $13 million for the GOP convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Planners for the 2012 convention in Tampa have been assuming they'll get a similar amount.
If that money isn't available, Castor said, it could open a hole in the budget for the event.
"It's got to come from somewhere," she said.
But two local Republican congressmen, who voted for the bill, said it wouldn't affect the Tampa convention.
"Nothing in this legislation will harm Tampa's ability to put on a first rate convention in 2012," said newly elected Rep. Dennis Ross of Lakeland.
In any case, the bill isn't likely to pass the U.S. Senate and become law, said a spokesman for U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, and President Barack Obama has said he opposes ending the public financing program. - Tampa Tribune
We've told you about the support that St. Louis has from labor unions and the lack of union hotels in Charlotte and Cleveland. Now Unite Here, which represents workers in the hospitality, food service and airport industries, is calling on the DNC to choose St. Louis or Minneapolis based on the lack of sufficient union hotels in Cleveland and Charlotte.
UNITE HERE urges Democratic National Convention Committee to choose host city that can house guests in unionized facilities
Minneapolis and St. Louis are only two options of four finalist cities
WASHINGTON (Nov. 10, 2010) – UNITE HERE, which represents people who work as housekeepers, waiters, dishwashers and cooks in hotels and other facilities, asks the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) to choose the 2012 Democratic National Convention (DNC) host city based on its ability to house a large number of delegates and guests in unionized hotels and facilities.
According to UNITE HERE, only St. Louis and Minneapolis are among the four finalist cities with the capacity to house a large portion of DNC guests in unionized hotels.
“Employees at union hotels are far more likely than employees in non-union hotels to get the sort of basic fair treatment for which the Democratic Party stands,” said John W. Wilhelm, President of UNITE HERE. “Charlotte and Cleveland do not meet the criteria when it comes to union hotels and facilities and should be removed from the list of finalist cities.”
Minneapolis has more than 20 union hotels and St. Louis has 10. Additionally, employees at sporting event facilities and convention centers in both St. Louis and Minneapolis are all union members.
UNITE HERE hopes the DNC Committee will not only support its members by holding the 2012 convention in either St. Louis or Minneapolis, but will also work with industry and political leaders to bring better jobs and union organization to those in the hospitality industry.
We won't know until the end of the year where the convention will be held but we do know when it will be held. Back in April the DNC announced that the 2012 DNC will be held the week of September 3rd, 2012.
I am excited to announce that the Democratic Party will gather for our 46th National Convention during the week of September 3, 2012. At the convention, we will re-nominate President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, and re-affirm our party’s values of equality, inclusion, diversity, and respect.
At the Democratic National Committee and across the country, we are looking forward to showcasing our principles on a world stage, and continuing our proud history of fighting for justice and equal opportunities and representing the interests of working Americans.
Wherever you are during the week of September 3, 2012, I hope you’ll join with us in promoting our Democratic agenda and re-nominating President Obama and Vice President Biden.
Democratic National Committee member Pat Cotham said fellow DNC members were raving about Charlotte during the group’s summer meeting in St. Louis, one of the Queen City rivals for landing the party's 2012 national convention.
She said members from Michigan, California and Alaska told her Charlotte would make the best host for the Democrats and the president's re-election bid in 2012.
"They're excited that we're a young city. They've seen all of our new things we have uptown. It has more energy and it's something new,” said Cotham. “They said St. Louis is old, just as Cleveland is and Minneapolis and they want to go to someplace different."
Meet me in St. Louis? For the leader of Charlotte’s competing bid for the Democratic National Convention, the answer today was going to be yes — at least this week.
Will Miller, acting executive director of Charlotte in 2012, was scheduled to speak to the Southern caucus of the Democratic National Committee on Thursday as part of the political party’s summer meeting. This morning, a spokesman for the Charlotte bid group said Miller had been forced to cancel his trip at the last minute for unspecified reasons.
Instead, David Young, the state Democratic chairman, and Pat Cotham, the newly elected Democratic National Committee member from North Carolina, will try to stir enthusiasm among the delegates in favor of Charlotte’s convention bid. Cotham replaced the late City Council member Susan Burgess as the N.C. committee member. Burgess died in June. She is credited with launching Charlotte’s effort to host the convention.
That Thursday’s meeting is in St. Louis — a finalist for the 2012 convention with Charlotte, Cleveland and Minneapolis — is coincidental. - Charlotte Business Journal
No word on whether anybody from Minneapolis or Cleveland will be there
Update: Charlotte Channel 9 reporter Blair Miller tweets that Will Miller did make it to the meeting.
St. Louis gets an extra chance this week to show off the city in hope of winning the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Biden, Kaine and Sebelius are to speak at the DNC's general meeting on Friday. They are to be joined by Missouri's two top Democrats -- U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (far right) and Gov. Jay Nixon -- who both have been dealing with the political fallout on a congressional and state level. Each has adopted a difference approach. McCaskill appears to favor more confrontation, while Nixon has opted more accommodation.
What will be intriguing is if Nixon and McCaskill -- once rivals, now allies -- bring up their political approaches when each addresses the DNC officials.
Also set to speak Friday: St. Louis County Charlie Dooley, who has a keen political interest in the political climate -- and Democrats' approach to it -- since he will be on the November ballot as well.
Speaking Thursday to the DNC representatives, along with Kaine, will be St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and state Democratic Party chairman Craig Hosmer. - St. Louis Beacon
The DNC will vote on a Proposed Charter Amendment which "updates language to reflect modifications in the proposed 2012 Delegate Selection Rules pertaining to Unpledged Add-on Delegates". If you're a regular reader you'll know that an Unpledged Add-On Delegate is also known as a Superdelegate.
- Charles Jaco from St. Louis' Fox2 does a great wrap-up of the DNC's visit
- Chuck Berry and Nelly entertained the DNC visitors and 1,500 (others estimate 3-4,000) people that signed up to volunteer for the convention should St. Louis win.
Although officials aren't even confirming the DNC presence, they were visible in a special "reserved" section. And some locals reported that the national party's scouts grilled local police, the fire department and Metro officials in sessions Thursday at Scottrade Center -- where the convention would be held, if St. Louis is chosen. On Friday, the convention entourage is said to start their day at Busch Stadium, then head off for a tour of the sites -- including a trip to the top of the Gateway Arch. - St. Louis Beacon
- And St. Louis' editorial writers are getting in on the action with a few quick jabs at the other cities bidding for the convention
All of this enthusiasm is well and good, but this effort is like an election campaign. Enthusiasm can only take you so far. To win, you have to go negative.
So let's take a look at the three cities we're competing against.
- You can see pictures from last night's concert here, here and here.
Now that Charlotte's DNC visit is done it's expected that they will visit St Louis next.It would make sense that the bid team would hold their Chuck Berry concert while the DNC is in town.The concert is tomorrow night.
Charles Jaco, who did the story above and has been a huge help to us, did an interview with Dick Durbin on his radio show. You can listen to it here. They discuss St Louis' convention bid at the 11:38 mark.
St. Louis: Politico has a look at what they call St. Louis' unconventional bid for the 2012 Democratic Convention:
As four cities vie to host the 2012 Democratic convention, the committee pushing St. Louis’s bid has developed a simple theory for how to win: nothing succeeds like an excess of enthusiasm.
Unlike Charlotte, Cleveland and Minneapolis – the three other finalist cities – St. Louis 2012 is hoping that showcasing local excitement about the convention will help sway Democratic officials to meet there. The host committee has already organized a concert this week with Chuck Berry to rally the city’s interest, and other events could follow.
St. Louis 2012 has also set up a sleek website to make its case and pressed its cause on Twitter and Facebook. (The St. Louis Facebook group has the most members of any city bidding for the convention, at 3,829.)
If the 2012 Democratic National Convention (DNC) site selection committee that quietly visited the Twin Cities this week found local enthusiasm for their event slightly muted, we hope they understand.
We're Minnesotans, after all. A wide grin and firm handshake are about as demonstrative of a hearty welcome as our innate reserve allows. Minnesotans aren't boastful people -- so visitors can safely take all the praise they heard the locals utter about the Twin Cities and double it for accuracy.
Charlotte: Two local Republicans announce their support for Charlotte's bid. We would note this is nothing new. Convention bids are always supported by local officials of the other party.
And the Denver Business Journal throws some cold water on all those economic benefits:
Back in 2008, I spoke with some economists who study “mega-events,” such as political conventions as well as Olympic Games, who said local planners often fail to fully account for lost business and other offsets when figuring the economic benefits of such events.
They and others often point to the case of Boston, host of the DNC in 2004. The city of Boston estimated shortly after its convention that the city’s economy gained $163.3 million from the DNC. The study did factor in $43 million in estimated economic losses from the convention from displaced events, lost tourism and fewer commutes into the city to reach its estimate of net benefit.
But then, a separate, independent study — by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston — found that the Boston DNC triggered $141.9 million in lost business, a much higher figure than the $43 million cited by the city of Boston. As a result, Boston’s net gain from the 2004 convention was just $14.8 million, according to the Beacon Hill study.
ST. LOUIS LEGEND CHUCK BERRY TO HEADLINE CONCERT IN SUPPORT OF ST. LOUIS 2012 DNC BID
St. Louis, Mo.— The St. Louis 2012 Convention Host Committee announced details today for the hottest concert ticket in town, in support of the city’s bid for the 2012 Democratic National Convention. The Committee previously announced a special rally and concert event on Thursday, July 29, but had not released event details. St. Louis is one of four finalist cities for the convention.
St. Louis legend Chuck Berry, and a very special guest, will rock downtown’s Kiener Plaza at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, 7/29. Free tickets are available at STL2012.org. Please note that the number of tickets is very limited and priority will be given to those who make a pledge to volunteer at the convention if St. Louis is chosen.
“Chuck Berry is one of our most celebrated citizens, and we’re excited about his support for our bid,” said St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay. “This rally is a great way to build and show grassroots support and energy for our bid. To get this convention and to make it successful, our greatest resource will be the people of St. Louis. We will need a lot of volunteers willing to work. We are holding the rally and concert to involve people in our bid. What better way to do it than with a St. Louis musical legend!”
The Host Committee noted that one asset St. Louis has is an engaged grass-roots community—after all, an astounding 100,000 people gathered beneath the iconic Gateway Arch to hear candidate Barack Obama in 2008. This rally is intended to build on that strength.
“For the Host Committee, the July 29 rally is a chance to show our support for the people of St. Louis, as they pledge their support for our community’s 2012 bid,” said Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.
St. Louis is a strong contender for the Convention, given the region’s central location and unique attributes as a family-friendly and diverse city capable of hosting the 50,000 delegates, press and other visitors in 2012.
If successful, St. Louis will enjoy a significant economic benefit from the Convention. In 2008, the Convention boosted Denver's regional economy by $266 million. For comparison, the 2009 MLB All-Star Game boosted the St. Louis economy by some $60 million.
St. Louis has updated their website with some cool new things. You can see the site at stl2012.org
The best addition (at least for people in the St Louis area) is the announcement of a concert on July 29th for the bid.
BREAKING NEWS… A very special concert event will be happening on July 29th. If you would like to show your support to make St. Louis the host city for the Democratic National Convention by requesting tickets, please visit the ticket request page.
Please note that tickets are extremely limited in quantity and priority will be given to those who make a pledge to volunteer at the convention if St. Louis is chosen.
With Charlotte's DNC visit scheduled for July 27-28th it could be a hint at when the DNC will be in St Louis.
The four finalists for the 2012 Democratic National Convention will be visited by the DNC over the next couple of weeks. Here is the schedule as we know it today. We'll add more dates as we find them out.
Minneapolis: July 18-20
Charlotte: July 27-28
Cleveland: July 20 (?)
St Louis: July 29-30
Way back in June of 2006, Matt was posting about the DNC's visits to potential host cities like Minneapolis and Denver who, as you know, went on to become the host city for the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Update: One of our sources tells us that the DNC is visiting Cleveland today. More info as it comes in.