GOP filling $10 million convention gap

Aug. 10, 2008 at 2:47 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn., Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Republican Party officials have only recently found a $10 million shortfall in funding for their upcoming national convention in St. Paul, Minn.

The deficit has already been nearly filled by GOP officials who say the celebration of John McCain's presidential nomination was never in doubt. But the belated fundraising lays out the problems facing midsize cities hosting conventions in a declining economy, reported the Los Angeles Times Sunday.

"It's a challenge for midsize cities to raise this kind of money for conventions like these," said Jeff Larson, who is a a GOP political consultant and chaired the Twin Cities host committee for the convention. "I think both (Republicans and Democrats) recognize they are going to have to find a way to do things a little differently in the future."

Republicans say they will reach the goal of the $56.9 million needed for the Republican National Convention, beginning Sept. 1, with the help of GOP donor Robert Wood "Woody" Johnson IV, owner of the New York Jets and heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune.

Some say it is an example of how "soft money" can slip through to political campaigns beyond spending limits.

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