Democrats move convention kickoff event
(CBS News) The Democratic National Convention's Labor Day kickoff event is being moved from the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina to Uptown Charlotte, organizers announced Monday. Democrats maintain the latest change to the convention schedule is a matter of logistics, denying reports that it's due to a budget shortfall.
The Speedway was initially chosen to host the event in order to create a family-friendly atmosphere and reach a wider audience. Convention organizers, however, said the move to Uptown puts the kickoff event, called CarolinaFest, closer to other convention facilities like the Time Warner Cable Arena and the Charlotte Convention Center.
"Caucus meetings are open to the public and will be easily accessible from CarolinaFest 2012," Dan Murrey, executive director of the convention host committee, said in a statement. "The move will make it easy for Charlotte-area residents to utilize public transportation to attend the event and provides additional economic opportunities for local businesses."
On Monday, Bloomberg News reported that the host committee has fallen short of its $36.6 million fundraising goal, in part because of a party ban on direct contributions from corporations. Unions are also reticent to donate because North Carolina is a so-called "right to work" state, meaning the state bars union contracts that require non-members to pay dues.
The host committee told the Charlotte Observer the change of location isn't about funding.