for cost of Boston convention, Libertarians say
WASHINGTON -- In light of a surprising new poll showing that 62 percent
of Americans oppose taxpayer-funded conventions, Libertarians say the
Democratic Party should immediately reimburse taxpayers for the $40
million cost of staging their Boston event.
"Let's hope the American people love this convention, because they paid
for it," says Libertarian Party National Chair Mike Dixon. "There's
something terribly wrong when two rich guys running for office can
force ordinary Americans to pay for their televised advertising
"If John Kerry and John Edwards really care about the little guy,
here's their chance to prove it: Give the money back."
The organizers of the Democratic and Republican national conventions
have each received checks for $14.5 million from the Federal Election
Commission to finance their events. That, combined with an estimated
$25 million in security costs that each will incur, means that
taxpayers will foot the bill for nearly $40 million for each event.
The Libertarian convention, held over Memorial Day weekend in Atlanta,
was financed entirely with private funds.
"In a Rasmussen poll released on Sunday, Americans made it clear that
they want to kick politicians off the welfare wagon," Dixon said.
The survey, commissioned by the Libertarian Party, asked: "Should tax
money be spent to stage the Democrat and Republican national
presidential nominating conventions?" An overwhelming majority of 62
percent said no, 24 percent said yes and 14 percent weren't sure.
Libertarians are proposing two alternatives to taxpayer-financed
One: Let corporate sponsors and other donors, who already gave a
record $103.5 million to the two major parties' host committees, pick
up the entire tab.
Dixon said: "Former Democratic National Chairman Don Fowler is quoted
as saying, 'Some of the best lobbying in the world is done at these
conventions. It is a tremendous boon for special interests.'
"As long as Democrats and Republicans have something to sell, special
interests will have something to buy. It's better to charge these
fatcats up-front than to send taxpayers the bill for their weeklong
Two: Make Kerry and Edwards pay the $40 million personally.
"Kerry's personal fortune is estimated at $60 million, and Edwards is a
multi-millionaire trial lawyer, so both can afford it," Dixon noted.
"It's simply outrageous for these two wealthy politicians to bilk
ordinary Americans to pay for an event at which they're scheming for
yet more ways to bilk us if they get elected. They should have the
decency to give the money back."
They will say the same thing about the Republican convention, don't worry.