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Big Corporate Influence is in the Bag

When the welcome bags for the 2008 DNC national party convention were revealed earlier this month, bloggers took notice. Why? Because the bags are covered in corporate logos.

As blogger and New York Times Bestselling author Glenn Greenwald points out, the national party is making little effort to conceal which companies are financing the convention, instead placing their logos unabashedly on the bag that every delegate and member of the media will receive when they arrive at the conventions [Salon.com, July 20, 2008].

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But the benefits of corporate sponsorship go well beyond prominent advertising on welcome bags. A quick look at the sponsorship packets that the host committees give to possible sponsors betrays the true purpose of corporate sponsorship - a guarantee that big-money contributors will have special access to elected officials attending the conventions. The fact that corporate donors have been so reluctant to disclose the exact amount of their contributions further suggests that their interest in sponsorship is far from benevolent.

The Denver host committee packet promises donors who give more than $500,000, "Platinum" and "Presidential" sponsors, access to premier Denver venues for corporate hospitality events and receptions. The Campaign Finance Institute (CFI) has reported that the original Minneapolis St. Paul host committee packet offered top sponsors a golfing outing with Republican leadership, in addition to a reception with local party officials and US Senator Norm Coleman.   

Though these perks were removed from the packet following a number of critical articles in local and national media, the fact remains that the primary benefit that host committees offer to corporate sponsors is exclusive access to decision makers. To ensure that ordinary voters have a voice at the conventions, Congress must act to close the conventions soft-money loophole.

Learn more about corporate sponsorship of the conventions and take action today!

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Comments

DannyD

...makes you wonder what they put IN THE BAG.

Arthur

What's the problem with showing who finances the convention? Those huge name advertisers are everywhere, no one throws a fit when a coke commercial comes on during a debate or other similar situation.

Michael Dickel

It's amazing how similar the tactics are, and how much campaign financing comes from similar sources to each party. If money buys the White House, does knowing who is spending help? I hope so. But it's disheartening to learn that many of the sources of funding, despite campaign rhetoric to the contrary, are more similar than different. See "Life as Usual in Board Rooms and Back Rooms." (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/943975/life_as_usual_in_board_rooms_and_back.html?cat=9)

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