Clintons Support Brooklyn as Host of '16 Democratic Convention

Friday, 08 Aug 2014 06:23 PM

By John Blosser

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has picked up some heavy-hitter support in his drive to grab the 2016 Democratic National Convention for Brooklyn — former President Bill Clinton and current Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

The New York Times reports that insiders say the Clintons approve of Brooklyn for the major event. Onetime Clinton advisers, including Gabrielle Fialkoff, finance director for Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign, and other Clinton backers, like financier Alan Patricof, have gotten onboard with de Blasio in an attempt to sway the DNC to bring the convention to New York.

De Blasio termed it a "perfect scenario" for Brooklyn to host the nominating event, given that the former first lady was once a senator from New York, her husband accepted the Democratic nomination at Madison Square Garden in 1992, and, should Clinton score the nomination as many expect will happen, it would serve as a "homecoming," insiders told the Times.

Should Brooklyn win the convention, New York taxpayers would shell out $8.1 million and the city has plans to raise another $132 million in donations, according to a 49-page proposal de Blasio presented to the DNC.

The convention would be held at the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets, and has won the support of another prominent New Yorker, Nets center Jason Collins, the first openly gay player in the NBA. who told Politico at an event Monday, "That'd be awesome," Collins told Politico at an event Monday. "I think it'd be a lot of fun to see the DNC there."

Not so fast, New York.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter wants the convention too, and told the Daily News, "There is only one city in this country where the Declaration of Independence was created. There is only one Liberty Bell. It's in Philadelphia. Those are just facts."

He's citing the ease of transportation and number of hotel rooms readily close to the Wells Fargo Center, where the convention could be held. Even de Blasio notes the difficulties of transporting delegates around New York, since a dearth of hotel rooms in Brooklyn would mean that most delegates would be housed in Manhattan and ferried to Barclay's.

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell told the Times, "How would you like to transport in the middle of rush hour thousands of delegates from midtown to Brooklyn?"

Along with Philadelphia, other cities in the running are Birmingham, Ala., and Columbus, Ohio. The Republicans have already chosen Cleveland as the site of their 2016 convention.

Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman raised issues he said work in favor of his city.

"The Republican Party grabbing the convention in Cleveland has the potential of leaving this state to the Republican side in 2016," Coleman told Politico.

The Times says the decision on the Democratic convention will be announced late this year or early next year.

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