WASHINGTON - The Philadelphia host committee for the Democratic National Convention will not release its donors' names until 60 days after the event, a key official said Tuesday, despite a recent state open records ruling saying the information should be made public.
The host committee, which is raising money to help pay for the city's costs for hosting the national Democratic rally next month, will follow federal law that requires it to disclose donors 60 days after the convention, said Kevin Washo, executive director of the committee.
"That's a host committee decision," he said at a news conference at the National Press Club. He said Democrats would follow the same process likely to be used by the fund-raising committee gathering money to help Cleveland host the Republican National Convention.
"The donors will be made public," Washo said. "We will file 60 days after the convention with all of our donors and all of the accurate amounts ... just like every other convention in the past 25 years."
He said that Federal Election Commission filing - "after the dust settles" - would allow an accurate comparison between the Democratic and Republican events.
Philadelphia's host committee, however, did reveal its donors in advance of the 2000 Republican National Convention in the city.
Last week, the state Office of Open Records said fund-raising reports for the Democratic event should also be made public. The office gave the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development (PAID) 30 days to respond to the ruling.
PAID has guaranteed a $15 million line of credit for the convention's host committee, and receives quarterly reports with donor names, amounts, and spending.
The Inquirer and freelance reporter Dustin Slaughter have sought the reports through Pennsylvania's Right-to-Know Act.
Philadelphia's host committee is still nearly $10 million short of its $64 million fund-raising goal, Washo said.
But he said the group expects to close that gap. He said many major projects continue raising money throughout the process.
"There is no shortfall," Washo said. "We're just talking about where we have to go."
Mayor Kenney, meanwhile, assured reporters at the same event that the city is prepared for any protests that may ensue.
He said the city is making arrangements for protesters to have space immediately across from the Wells Fargo Center, site of the main convention events.
"We want to make sure that people have an opportunity to express their First Amendment rights as loud and as long as they like, and make sure that everyone is kept safe in that process also," he said.