Whose Conventions Are They Anyway?

Both the Democratic and Republican conventions are bringing in millions of dollars in corporate sponsors, but there is no reporting requirement for either the political parties or the companies. There are a reported 146 organizational and corporate donors, but less than a quarter have chosen to disclose information about their donations. Some of the lead donors are telecom companies that just weeks ago received retroactive immunity from Congress for participation in the Bush spy program. AT&T is such a large scale donor that their logo is placed prominently on the attendees' welcome bags. Other identified donors include Motorola, Coca-Cola, Google, Qwest Communications, Comcast, and nuclear energy giant Xcel Energy. Stephen Weissman of the Campaign Finance Institute, explained that "to have that speech come off well, to have the lighting and the rigging and all of the sound and the Broadway producers who do it, to have the production and the setting look just right, to have specially built podiums and so forth, that will earn gratitude."