Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kerrigan 'educates' DC donors

Republicans cried hypocrisy last week when Politico ran an item that suggested the Democratic convention might be looking for money from Washington’s influential K Street lobbying firms.

Self-imposed party rules for this year’s convention bar contributions from lobbyists and corporations.

Politico Influence, a section dedicated to coverage of Capitol Hill lobbying, reported that “Paper has been circulated on K Street on the Charlotte 2012 Convention Host Committee’s fundraising packages … The four-page document … was distributed after an inside-the-Beltway meeting Democratic National Convention Committee CEO Steve Kerrigan held before the holidays.”

The packages, on which The Observer has reported, offer premium levels – including choice hotel rooms – in return for contributions.

Convention officials say Kerrigan was not soliciting lobbyists. Host committee spokeswoman Suzi Emmerling said Kerrigan was “educating Beltway types about the new rules.”

“Because this is the first convention in history that will not accept monetary contributions from lobbyists, corporations and PACs (political action committees), a big part of our fundraising effort is educating donors…,” Emmerling said.

Said state GOP spokesman Rob Lockwood: “If this event is solely funded ‘by the people,’ (Democratic) Chairwoman (Debbie Wasserman-) Schultz must have meant, ‘the people of K Street.’” Jim Morrill