It's a loophole in the soft money ban John McCain co-sponsored. Barack Obama, of course, has very publicly shooed special interests away from his campaign and the Democratic National Committee.*
The parties swear the money is needed to supplement federal funds: $16.3 million apiece and another $50 million to both St. Paul Minnesota and Denver Colorado for anti-terrorism. That'll buy a lot of silly hats. (We can only hope they're not demanding an Improvised Explosive Device Hunt** with the Homeland Security dough.)
Soft on money
According to the Democrats:
“The 2008 Democratic National Convention will bring together a unique group of business leaders, high-level lawmakers, members of the national and international media and prominent academics,” said a brochure from the host committee. “This is a rare opportunity to play a leadership role in a substantive discussion on timely issues affecting your industry with company executives, scholars, elected officials and members of the media.” (New York Times)And the Republicans?
...one of the three co-chairmen of Mr. McCain’s presidential campaign, Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, has taken the lead in soliciting corporations on behalf of the Republican convention in St. Paul, with promises, according to literature from the Twin Cities committee, of golf outings and private dinners with Republican leaders, including Mr. McCain and other members of Congress. (New York Times)
* A thought; give Hillary Clinton something to do.
** If you're a McCainite, don't get excited. That's IED's, not IUD's.