Monday, February 7, 2011

Labor unions fuming over Charlotte's win is reporting that organized labor is angry over the selection of Charlotte to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Union organizers contend that North Carolina is the least-organized state in the nation.

The selection was “a calculated affront,” said Rick Sloan, communications director for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Union workers are also angry about the convention's starting date: Sept. 3, 2012 - the Labor Day holiday.

Read the full report

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cleveland mayor weighs in

Add Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson to the list of those weighing in on today's DNC announcement. His city was one of four finalists for the 2012 convention along with Charlotte, Minneapolis and St. Louis.

“While we are disappointed in the DNC’s decision, we were very competitive and we are proud of the effort that we put forward. I send my congratulations to Charlotte for being chosen,” Jackson said in a statement.

Meanwhile, there was no mention this afternoon of the DNC decision on the homepage of, which draws in news from The Plain Dealer and other news outlets. Earlier today, the site ran a wire report announcing Charlotte's selection as convention host. -- APRIL BETHEA

NYT: McCaskill worried DNC would hurt re-election

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri was worried her reelection bid could be "complicated" if the DNC were held in her state, the New York Times is reporting.

Meanwhile, McClaskill said today she was "bitterly disappointed" that St. Louis was not selected as the DNC site, but very proud of efforts to land it there, according to Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call. Read their report by clicking here.

McCaskill was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 and is a key ally of President Barack Obama. Her seat is considered to be one of the more competitive Senate races in 2012.

McCaskill, according to the Times, "took her concerns directly to the White House, according to party leaders familiar with the selection process. She argued that her re-election could be complicated if the convention was held in St. Louis, because the Democratic gathering will almost certainly attract protesters and compete for fund-raising."

The snippet was included near the at the end of a report on the Times website today about Charlotte's selection as host of the Democratic National Convention. Read the story by clicking here.

A couple weeks ago, McCaskill said she was worried about St. Louis' chances of hosting the DNC because she hadn't received any new insight on the city's bid from the White House. "I wish I knew," McCaskill said at the time. "I'm worried that I don't, to tell you the truth because I would think by now that somebody would have given me some kind of glimmer of what is going to happen." -- APRIL BETHEA

Congressman: Minneapolis a "smarter" choice

A Minnesota congressman says Minneapolis, and not Charlotte, would have been a smarter pick for the DNC.

"Charlotte’s a good place, so congratulations to them," U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota was quoted in the Minneapolis Star Tribune as saying. "But I wish it had been here. It would have been smarter to be here. You’ve got the entire Midwest.”

Meanwhile, Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak "is putting the best face on the city losing out on landing" the DNC, according to a report from Minneapolis-St. Paul television station KSTP.

"Rybak says he's disappointed, but he says Minneapolis proved itself capable of hosting a major event simply by being a finalist, according to the story which you can read here. "He vowed the city would continue competing for such events in the future."

St. Paul hosted the Republican national convention in 2008. -- APRIL BETHEA

Somber St. Louis

Somber and disappointment is in the air in St. Louis -- the other city considered a front runner for the 2012 Democratic National Committee convention.

A story on the St. Louis Post Dispatch web site said today's announcement "ended with a thud an all-out effort by city officials here to land the event, and the thousands of visitors and national attention that comes with it." Read the story in its entirely by clicking here.

"I think this was a huge missed opportunity for the DNC to hold the convention in a swing state that’s in the heartland of swing states," the newspaper quoted U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis, as saying.

St. Louis television station KSDK said city Mayor Francis Slay was proud of how far his city came, but believes the final decision came down to "electoral politics." "He said they had the backing and support of Republicans and Democrats in St. Louis," the TV station reported.

Slay's chief of staff told the Post-Dispatch that the decision "came down to the wire." "Democrats went so far as negotiating a contract with the city that was written but never signed," the newspaper reported.

In a statement, St. Louis City Democrats Chairman Brian Wahby said today's DNC announcement was not the news officials wanted to hear, but he offered sincere congratulations to Charlotte and look forward to being there in September of 2012."

NC GOP chair: We welcome DNC but ....

The North Carolina Republican Party issued a video response to today's announcement that Charlotte will host the Democratic National Convention in 2012 entitled "Welcome to North Carolina." You can view the video by clicking here:

“We look forward to Charlotte being in the spotlight in 2012, but North Carolinians will not be fooled again by empty promises of 'Hope' and 'Change.'," state Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes said in a statement.

"Just last November, North Carolinians rejected the failed policies of President Obama and Governor Perdue and elected Republicans to lead the North Carolina State House and State Senate for the first time in over 100 years. We welcome the Democrats to Charlotte, but they must answer for their misguided policies that have led to more debt, more spending and more government.” -- APRIL BETHEA

Charlotte leaders react to DNC decision

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx and other officials cheered today's announcement that the city will host the 2012 Democratic National Convention in a news release posted on the "Charlotte in 2012" organizing committee website.

In the release -- which you can read in its entirety by clicking here -- Foxx said the city has "an unmatched opportunity to show the world what a beautiful, energetic, innovative and diverse city we are building in Charlotte"

"As we tell the story of Charlotte, and what a great place our city, state and region are to live and do business, we also will tell the story of America to our fellow citizens and our neighbors around the world,” Foxx said.

Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, who co-chaired the organizing committee, said in the release: “Charlotte’s selection clearly elevates our city to a new level in national and world stature. Only a few singular events in the U.S. rival the domestic and worldwide media exposure of a major political convention: a presidential inauguration, a royal wedding, the Super Bowl and the Olympics. The economic and reputational significance of being chosen for this honor cannot be overstated.” --April Bethea

Michelle Obama's statement

I am thrilled to make sure you are the first to hear some very exciting news. Charlotte, North Carolina will host the 46th Democratic National Convention in 2012.

Charlotte is a city marked by its southern charm, warm hospitality, and an "up by the bootstraps" mentality that has propelled the city forward as one of the fastest-growing in the South. Vibrant, diverse, and full of opportunity, the Queen City is home to innovative, hardworking folks with big hearts and open minds. And of course, great barbecue.

Barack and I spent a lot of time in North Carolina during the campaign -- from the Atlantic Coast to the Research Triangle to the Smoky Mountains and everywhere in between. Barack enjoyed Asheville so much when he spent several days preparing for the second Presidential debate that our family vacationed there in 2009.

And my very first trip outside of Washington as First Lady was to Fort Bragg, where I started my effort to do all we can to help our heroic military families.

All the contending cities were places that Barack and I have grown to know and love, so it was a hard choice. But we are thrilled to be bringing the convention to Charlotte.

We hope many of you can join us in Charlotte the week of September 3rd, 2012. But if you can't, we intend to bring the spirit of the convention -- as well as actual, related events to your community and even your own backyard.

More than anything else, we want this to be a grassroots convention for the people. We will finance this convention differently than it's been done in the past, and we will make sure everyone feels closely tied in to what is happening in Charlotte. This will be a different convention, for a different time.

To help us make sure this is a grassroots convention -- The People's Convention -- we need to hear from you. We want to know what you'd like to see at next year's convention, how and where you plan on watching it -- and the very best way we can engage your friends and neighbors.

Brad, please share your input with us right now -- how can we make The People's Convention belong to you and your community?

I can't believe it has been more than two years since my brother Craig introduced me at the 2008 Convention in Denver. It truly feels like it was yesterday.

As I looked out at a sea of thousands of supporters that night, I spoke about my husband -- the man whom this country would go on to elect as the 44th President of the United States. I spoke about his fundamental belief -- a conviction at the very core of his life's work -- that each of us has something to contribute to the spirit of our nation.

That's also the belief at the core of The People's Convention. That the table we sit at together ought to be big enough for everyone. That the thread that binds us -- a belief in the promise of this country -- is strong enough to sustain us through good times and bad.

Barack talked at the State of the Union of his vision for how America can win the future. That must be the focus now, and I know so many of you will help talk about our plans with your neighbors -- that through innovation, education, reform, and responsibility we can make sure America realizes this vision.

But, conventions take time to plan, so please help us make sure that your thoughts and your ideas will ring all the way to Charlotte. Get started now:

Looking forward to sharing this together,