Democratic outside groups are buttering up donors in Charlotte this week with special events including a Wednesday dinner with celebrity chef Alice Waters and a “Super-O-Rama” blow-out festival after President Barack Obama speaks Thursday night.
Like their Republican counterparts in Tampa last week, the Democratic outside groups are using the convention as a way to reach out to donors, rewarding them with perks — and, of course, asking them for more cash. Invitations to some of the top events were posted online by Politico and the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington-based watchdog group.
Waters, who helped launch the organic-food movement, is a guest at a “Celebration of Truthiness” event held tomorrow night at the Mint Museum. Media Matters for America, American Bridge to the 21st Century and the American Independence News Network are listed as hosts.
Other guests include Democratic strategists Paul Begala and James Carville. Howard Dean, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Al Franken also are planning to attend.
The invitation carries a caveat for Franken: The Minnesota senator, “is appearing at this event only as a special guest. Senator Franken is not asking for funds or donations.”
Billionaire financier George Soros gave $1 million in June to American Bridge, which conducts opposition research to assist Democrats, and his aide says he also funds Media Matters, a nonprofit media watchdog.
The Wednesday dinner will be closed to the press, according to an event planner who rejected Bloomberg’s request to attend.
Donors to pro-Obama Priorities USA Action or the House and Senate super-PACs allied with Priorities can participate in Thursday night’s Super-O-Rama, which is taking place at the North Carolina Music Factory. Actress Jessica Alba and rock band Scissor Sisters are among those expected to attend.
Those big wallets kick off their special convention activities with a cocktail hour with Begala tonight. They’re also eligible to attend a political brunch Wednesday. They’ll break bread with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, among other elected officials. The invitation notes the federal office-holders in attendance “are not asking for funds or donations.”
Democratic outside groups no doubt hope to leverage these convention activities for an infusion of cash, since they’re being out-raised by the Republican groups.
Republican-leaning super-PACs had spent more than $161 million through the end of July, compared with the $45 million Democratic super-PACs had spent, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based campaign-finance research group.