August 19, 2008

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Crunching numbers for this year’s Democratic and Republican national conventions


In 1992, the Democratic and Republican national convention committees took in a whopping $8 million, combined, in private money. You’d think that would buy all the hooch, hors d’oeuvres and balloons you could possibly want to throw a really bitchin’ political party. 

But this year, the two conventions are expected to rake in over $110 million in corporate donations. From AT&T to Google and Kraft, from Morgan Stanley to Lockheed Martin, big business is slapping logos on official DNC tote bags and throwing swank private soirees for delegates and VIPs. Bad for democracy, you say? Nah, that’s just good business.


$60 million — Estimated total cost of the Democratic National Convention in Denver

$16.5 million — Amount paid by taxpayers through the presidential campaign fund checkoff

$5.5 million — Estimated cost of using INVESCO Field at Mile High Stadium for Sen. Barack Obama’s acceptance speech

“The Diaphragm” — Nickname used by INVESCO executives for the Denver stadium because of its resemblance to the birth-control device

125 — Number of bloggers credentialed for the convention (as of Aug. 11)

30 — Number of bloggers credentialed for the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston

1831 — First political convention held — by a third party, the Anti-Mason Party, in Baltimore

1832 — First Democratic National Convention, also held in Baltimore

0 — Number of bottles of water at committee-sanctioned events: The committee is mandating that all food service be completely green.

Feb. 1, 2008 — Date that AT&T is named the “official wireless service of the 2008 Democratic National Convention”

July 9, 2008 — Date that major telecommunications corporations, including AT&T, were granted retroactive immunity from prosecution for civil-rights violations under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

2,118 — Delegates required for nomination

2,229.5 — Number of delegates pledged to vote for the nomination

of Obama

$340 million — Amount raised for Obama’s campaign as of July 29

$272 million — Amount spent on Obama’s campaign as of July 29

$122,000.45 — Amount spent per delegate for Obama’s nomination

$8,083 — Amount spent per delegate for President Bill Clinton’s 1992 nomination

$12,536.24 — Amount spent per delegate for President Bill Clinton’s 1992 nomination, adjusted for inflation

$6 million — Amount donated to the Democratic National Convention’s host committee by Qwest Communications, the convention’s single largest donor

$6 million — Amount Qwest donated to the Republican National Convention’s host committee

43 — Miles of cables that the DNCC has run to set up its systems

$50 million — Amount of a federal grant to Denver for convention security

$947,364 — Amount spent by Denver police on surveillance cameras for the convention

88 — Number of Mark IV launchers with pepper-spray projectiles purchased by the Denver police to assist with crowd dispersal

—Kel Munger, Cosmo Garvin, Sacramento News & Review