Well-heeled locals kick in big bucks to help Republicans party like rock stars

The lede of


New York Times story is about Democrats struggling to raise money for the convention in Denver, but the more interesting nugget for Minnesotans is this:

The Democrats’ situation contrasts markedly with that of the Republicans, whose committee is on budget in its $39 million fund-raising drive for the Republican National Convention, to be held in Minneapolis-St. Paul on Sept. 1-4. Teresa McFarland, a spokeswoman for the host committee, said it expected to meet its June 15 target of having 80 percent of the money raised by that date.

In fact, the Twin Cities committee has budgeted $58 million for the convention, nearly $20 million more than it is contracted with the Republican National Committee to raise. Half of that $58 million is to be raised from Minnesota companies, and half from national fund-raising, according to the committee’s marketing material.

Ms. McFarland said that her committee had been aided by the fact that 19 Fortune 500 companies are located in the region and that “we have been thrilled with the generous support of the local community.”

It's interesting that the RNC has so much money banked, considering Republicans were recently crying about the state refusing to kick in a multi-million dollar line of credit:

In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, local host committee chief executive Jeff Larson tells Governor Tim Pawlenty and legislative leaders that he's disappointed and has a "grave cause for concern."

As the host committee was trying to lure the convention to St. Paul, it negotiated a package that included a state commitment to back the committee's fundraising with a letter of credit that would be tapped if there's a cash flow shortage.

The Legislature didn't pass a bill seeking a $39 million letter of credit in 2007. And in 2008, a smaller amount of $14 million also wasn't approved.

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