Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review July 7, 2000 / 4 Tamuz, 5760

Michelle Malkin

JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Jeff Jacoby
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Debbie Schlussel
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Partying on the people’s dime -- BOTH DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN PARTY LEADERS will hold national conventions this summer funded with millions of tax dollars. Never have a donkey and an elephant looked more alike. For all the braying and trumpeting about their ideological differences, the two major political parties are twin beasts when it comes to celebrating on the public dole.

That’s right. When you see all those flag-waving, confetti-throwing, G-d-Bless-America-crooning convention delegates on TV next month, don’t let yourself feel too patriotic. Feel ripped off.

In Los Angeles, citizens will cough up $4 million to help the private host committee in charge of coordinating the Democratic National Convention. That’s on top of $7 million in in-kind public contributions from the city for police and transportation costs. And that’s in addition to about $13 million in federal funding (given to each of the party conventions).

City leaders and Democratic Party officials had initially pledged to take full financial responsibility for the event. The convention organizers proceeded to rake in massive corporate donations – all tax-deductible – from Microsoft, AT&T, DaimlerChrysler, General Motors and United Parcel Service, among others. Firms are providing host committee members with free computers, cell phones, and cars.

Despite such corporate largesse, the Democrats claimed a $10 million budget shortfall last week. Their eleventh-hour bailout was approved by the city council after intense lobbying by the city’s Republican-in-name-only mayor, Richard Riordan, and by President Clinton’s personal ATM machine, Democratic fund-raiser Terry McAuliffe.

Even as he reached into public coffers to help Gore and the Dems, Mayor Riordan bragged that his own personal fund-raising efforts -- $5 million over six weeks -- had raised “far more private money than has ever been raised by a host committee in the history of any Democratic convention.” Riordan is also donating $1 million from his own bank account. Bravo, Mr. Moneybags. So why the need to tap the public piggy bank and siphon off funds from basic municipal services?

L.A. City Councilman Alex Padilla, who voted for the $4 million gift to Democrats, pooh-poohed the convention welfare handout. ''At the end of the day, what it comes down to is a dollar per person in the city of Los Angeles,'' he said.

Maybe so, but when a person is forced to pay for politics with which he disagrees, it’s wrong -- no matter how you divvy up the booty. The subsidy is essentially a government donation to the Gore campaign. As California political strategist Arnold Steinberg noted in National Review Online, the $4 million cash infusion “allows the Democratic National Committee to spend that amount in soft money for Gore, instead of having to allocate or raise that amount for their convention deficit.”

The Los Angeles Times editorialized that the city needed to pay up to avoid having “egg on its face.” But by allowing the private host committee to break its promise and by caving in to its last-minute demand for city funds, Los Angeles showed itself to be a world-class pushover. (It should be noted that the newspaper’s parent company, Times Mirror, made a donation of more than $5,000 to the host committee and is a corporate underwriter of Staples Center, the city’s publicly-subsidized convention facility. So much for independent media watchdogs.)

On the opposite coast, the Republican Party – which supposedly stands for limited government and fiscal responsibility -- is gearing up for an even bigger shindig at public expense. The private host committee for the GOP convention in Philadelphia netted $7 million from the city, $7 million from Pennsylvania, and $3 million from the Delaware Port Authority. Among the amenities government will provide: a media complex, shuttle system, lighted boat parade, state trooper escorts, 350 motor coaches, and “street concierges” who will offer tourist tips.

Corporate welfare, we’re always told, more than pays for itself. Democrat and Republican conventioneers argue that the economic benefits of the events will far outweigh the public subsidies they’ve extracted from taxpayers. That’s the same bogus argument used by civic cheerleaders to subsidize not only convention centers, but also stadiums, parking garages, symphony halls, cinema complexes, and other bottomless downtown money pits.

If these projects were so lucrative, the private sector would have funded them on their own. And the party animals would keep their insatiable snouts out of the public trough.

JWR contributor Michelle Malkin can be reached by clicking here.


06/29/00: When "Indians" exploit their own
06/23/00: Kids in a public school daze
06/21/00: Fed up with Fannie and Freddie
06/19/00: D.C.'s gag order for Christians
06/16/00: Dads, daughters, and PETA's spoilsports
06/13/00: Tune out Eminem's pitiful "poetry"
06/07/00: "Pained" Dem leader Torricelli deserves to feel some; Why hasn't he?
06/05/00: Tom Green's hidden health-care lesson
06/01/00: Farming out the pork
05/30/00: The perils of medical quackery
05/26/00: Awarding medals by race is a disgrace
05/22/00: Have Simon & Schuster execs lost their minds!?
05/17/00: Sports plebes vs. plutocrats
05/15/00: Whitewashing Red China's record
05/12/00: Our mothers' hands
05/08/00: Focus on the real Waco
05/05/00: An Internet victim's sad story
05/03/00: Phony pooh-bahs of journalism
05/01/00: Zoo tragedy triggers dumb reaction
04/24/00: Ecoterrorists on the loose
04/19/00: Beware of Elian's psychobabblers
04/17/00: The truth about Erin Brockovich
04/13/00: In defense of an armed citizenry
04/10/00: Playing hardball with taxpayers
04/06/00: Read W.'s lips: More new spending
04/04/00: The liberal media-in-training
03/31/00: Sticking it to the children
03/28/00: Declaring war on HOV lanes
03/22/00: Clinton and the Echo Boomers
03/17/00: Is Bush a Liddy Dole Republican?
03/13/00: Katie and the politics of disease
03/10/00: Maria H, Granny D, and the media Z's
03/07/00: Bubba Van Winkle wakes up
03/03/00: Double standard for day traders?
02/28/00: Sluts and nuts --- and our daughters
02/24/00: Zoning out religious freedom
02/15/00: The Baby Brain Boondoggle
02/10/00: Buddhist temple untouchables
02/08/00: CDC: Caught Devouring Cash
02/04/00: Hillary's poisoned poster child
02/01/00: Corporate welfare on ice
01/28/00: The silly sound of silence
01/26/00: The Old Media meltdown
01/20/00: The pied pipers of KidCare
01/18/00: Our imperious judiciary
01/14/00: Tune out Columbine chorus
01/12/00: Dying to be an American
01/10/00: Time for smokers' revolt?
12/30/99: Reading, writing, PlayStation?
12/27/99: Fight money-grubbing mallrats
12/23/99: Christmas for Cornilous Pixley
12/20/99: Who will help the Hmong?
12/16/99: Shame on corn-fed politicians
12/13/99: EPA vs. the American Dream
12/09/99: Look behind the Pokemon curtain
12/06/99: Amateur hour in Seattle
11/30/99: Stop the Ritalin racketeers
11/23/99: Welfare for a sports fatcat
11/19/99: Jeb Bush's political ploy of the week
11/16/99: Ben & Jerry serve up junk science
11/12/99: A monumental waste of our veterans' resources
11/10/99: Tax-and-spend schizophrenia
11/05/99: Spooky Guy Haunts the Capital
11/02/99: Mourning the loss of the last Liberty Tree
10/27/99: AOL goes AWOL on parents
10/22/99: The persecution of Harry Potter
10/20/99: Don't doctor the law
10/14/99: The trouble with kids today
10/12/99: Pro-animal, pro-abortion, anti-speech?
10/07/99: Beltway press corps needs more skunks
09/30/99: ESPN overlooks athlete of faith, grace, and guts
09/27/99: Personal freedom going up in smoke
09/15/99: Farewell, "Miss" America
09/10/99: Will George W. work for a color-blind America?
09/03/99: Feminization of gun debate drowns out sober analysis
08/27/99: America is abundant land of equal-opportunity insult
08/10/99: Protect the next generation from diversity do-goodism
08/04/99: Sweepstakes vs. state lottery: double standards on gambling
07/21/99: "True-life tales from the Thin Red Line" (or "Honor those who sacrificed their lives for peace")
07/21/99: Reading, 'Riting, and Raunchiness?
07/14/99: Journalists' group-think is not unity
06/30/99: July Fourth programming for the Springer generation
06/25/99: Speechless in Seattle
06/15/99: Making a biblical argument against federal death taxes

© 2000, Creators Syndicate