After months of fighting efforts to make public the donors who paid for the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, the local fund-raising committee has released names and numbers.
The Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee has raised $85 million since the city began its endeavor in August 2014 to host the Democrats' presidential nominating convention in July. The numbers were made public when the committee filed its required finance report with the Federal Elections Commission on Monday evening. The committee had rejected repeated requests to release the information sooner, citing fund-raising conflicts.
The committee has spent $75 million. It owes $3.2 million to more than a dozen vendors and $2.1 million to the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. (PIDC) for an early loan.
Former Gov. Ed Rendell, chairman of the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee, called the fund-raising efforts and the convention itself "enormously successful."
"It raised the visibility of the city in an extraordinarily positive way," Rendell said in a Tuesday news conference call.
The host committee was set up to raise money for expenses related to the convention, such as transportation for thousands of delegates, remaking the interior of the Wells Fargo Center, and three welcoming parties.
Pennsylvania taxpayers were the biggest donors through a $10 million grant the state Department of Community and Economic Development gave the committee.
Top donors included the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers ($2.1 million), the Democratic Governors Association ($2 million), Independence Blue Cross ($1.5 million), the pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC Priorities USA ($1.5 million), and Facebook ($1.45 million).
Comcast donated $5.1 million in in-kind services, which included personnel, telecommunications, hospitality and events, and $500,000 cash. Peco donated $1.25 million in in-kind services, listed as utility work and labor.
The following corporations gave $1 million each: Aramark, Bank of America, and American Airlines.
Several wealthy Philadelphians also pitched in: H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, former owner of the Inquirer, the Daily News and Philly.com, gave $500,000; Richard Oller, founder and CEO of GoldOller Real Estate Investments, gave $50,000; Richard Vague, credit card mogul and investor, gave $30,000; Lisa Kabnick, senior adviser at Reed Smith, gave $25,000; Daniel F. Gordon, real estate investor, gave $25,000; and Rendell gave $15,000.
The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) gave the committee $4.4 million that it collected from various donors. The visitors bureau has 501(c)3 tax-exempt status, and offered to be the pass-through for donations from individuals who wanted a tax deduction or from nonprofit groups that wanted to give to a 501(c)3.
The host committee was not able to obtain a 501(c)3 designation from the IRS, so individual donors would not otherwise have been able to get a tax deduction on their donations. To address the issue, the host committee told donors they could give to the visitors bureau, which would in turn give their donations to the host committee to be used for "the promotion of Philadelphia," Rendell said Tuesday.
The PHLCVB released only three names of the donors that made up the $4.4 million donation - Dyson Foundation ($125,000), Drumcliff Foundation ($50,000), and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce ($10,000).
On the expense side, the committee paid $13.4 million to Hargrove Inc. of Lanham, Md., for construction. According to the filings, the committee owes Hargrove $2.4 million.
The committee also spent $7.5 million on the rental of 400 buses for approximately eight days, said spokeswoman Anna Adams-Sarthou.
A few local companies made out well with contracts. Cashman & Associates received $1.1 million to organize the party for the media and other consulting work. Perfection Events Inc. was paid $1.9 million to throw a welcome party.
Brandywine Realty was paid $1.1 million for office rent at 1900 Market St., of which $494,767 was gifted, according to the filings. The host committee paid for 55,250 square feet of space there.
LeapStarr Productions of Moorestown was paid $1.5 million to organize Political Fest.
Rendell said he expects there to be a surplus once every debt and payment is made whole. The numbers released Monday were only through Sep. 11.
"How we use that surplus will be decided when we know exactly what it is."
The host committee for the Republican National Convention released its numbers last week, showing that it raised $67.4 million and spent $63.5 million.