Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Democratic groups are rewarding donors in Charlotte, North Carolina, this week with special events including a Wednesday dinner with celebrity chef Alice Waters and a “Super-O-Rama” festival following President Barack Obama’s nomination acceptance speech.
Like their Republican counterparts in Tampa, Florida, last week, the Democratic groups are using the party’s national convention as a way to reach out to donors, thanking them with perks -- and, of course, asking for more cash. Invitations to some of the top events were posted online by Politico and the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington-based watchdog group.
As reported in Political Capital, Bloomberg’s online blog, Waters, who helped start the organic-food movement, is a guest at a “Celebration of Truthiness” event planned tomorrow night at Charlotte’s Mint Museum. Media Matters for America, American Bridge to the 21st Century and the American Independence News Network are listed as hosts.
Other guests at the events surrounding the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte include Democratic strategists Paul Begala and James Carville. Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Minnesota Senator Al Franken also are planning to attend.
The invitation carries a caveat for Franken: The senator “is appearing at this event only as a special guest. Senator Franken is not asking for funds or donations.”
Billionaire financier George Soros gave $1 million in June to American Bridge, which conducts opposition research to assist Democrats, and his aide says he also funds Media Matters, a nonprofit media watchdog. Soros is the 22nd-richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with an estimated net worth of $21.9 billion.
Donors to Obama-backing Priorities USA Action or House and Senate super-PACs allied with Priorities can participate in Thursday night’s “Super-O-Rama,” taking place at the North Carolina Music Factory. Actress Jessica Alba and rock band Scissor Sisters are among those expected to attend.
The big donors start their special convention activities with a cocktail hour with Begala tonight. They’re also eligible to attend a political brunch tomorrow and break bread with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, among other elected officials. The invitation notes the federal office-holders in attendance “are not asking for funds or donations.”
Democratic outside groups want to leverage these convention activities for an infusion of cash, since they’re being out-raised by the Republican groups, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Republican-leaning super-PACs had spent more than $161 million through the end of July, compared with the $45 million Democratic super-PACs had spent, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based campaign-finance research group.
To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Bykowicz in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at email@example.com