By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — US congressman Bob Brady is ramping up his effort to lure the 2016 Democratic National Convention to Philadelphia. Tomorrow, he’s hosting a meeting that he hopes will move the idea forward.
Rep. Brady (D-Pa.) says officials from Charlotte, NC who ran the 2012 convention will speak on Wednesday to Philadelphia leaders, including tourism officials and some city and state legislators, explaining the huge task of hosting a convention.
Then, Brady plans to relay the results of that discussion to Mayor Nutter.
“The mayor made a commitment to me that he’s going to do everything he can to get (the) 2016 (convention) here,” Brady said today, “so we’re going to try to give him what to work with to be able to get that done.”
Brady, the longtime head of the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee, will also take the results of the meeting back to his fellow congressperson, Debra Wasserman Schultz of Florida, who currently chairs the DNC.
For his part, Mayor Nutter is described by his spokesman as being “very interested” in having the city host the Democrats three years from now. But, in a statement, he cautions that the city would need to raise millions of dollars in private donations to pay for the event.
“It would be a great event for the city and region, but we must clearly understand what we’re getting into,” said the mayor.
Brady, though, thinks the host city costs are a non-issue.
“The money you make from them conventions is astounding,” Brady told KYW Newsradio this morning. “The hotels, the activity, the visibility: it’s a major moneymaking activity for the City of Philadelphia. And then the city will be the recipient of it. They’ll get the revenues back without putting money up front. Put x amount of dollars up, and you get many, many, many more back.”
The mayor, in his statement, notes that the security needs alone of hosting such a convention has risen dramatically since September 11, 2001. Philadelphia last hosted a political convention a year before the 9/11 terrorist attacks: the 2000 Republican National Convention.