In a recent press conference, Mayor Anthony Foxx was pretty optimistic about the $55 million Congress has been asked to allocate toward the security set-up at DNC 2012 in Charlotte. After all, he explained, he made his pitch to members of both houses of Congress with the mayor of Tampa, Fla., whose city is hosting the 2012 Republican National Convention.
While he called the political climate in Washington “tough,” particularly when the topic is spending, Foxx said of the federal money, "We don't contemplate not getting it.” Of course, partisan bickering over raising the debt ceiling has only gotten more acrimonious since then.
On Tuesday, Foxx issued a formal statement on the debt debate consuming D.C. “I implore Congress to do what Charlotte businesses, parents, and every member of our community do every day,” it said. “Mourn the absence of better choices and make the difficult calls required to move us forward.”
The statement said: “If our nation fails to maintain the bedrock of its own full faith and credit, no one will remember the stand taken by Republicans or Democrats. They will not recall failed bills or negotiations. They will remember that, despite the known risks, our government failed to act.”
Since 9/11, convention sites have been designated as a “national security event” as a first step before receiving funds from Congress. For Denver in 2008, the money came in May before the late summer meeting.
In Charlotte’s case, Foxx said the money would be used for, among other things, bringing in between 2,400 and 3,400 additional police officers. He cited the need to protect the public as well as those attending the convention “in a world that’s every bit as dangerous as it was four years ago.”
But, the mayor also acknowledged that he’s “concerned about everything we need from the federal government.”
While the Charlotte host committee, city officials and the DNC staff inexorably march toward the 2012 convention, with plans taking shape every day, they are hardly operating in a vacuum. The toxic cloud emanating from Washington can’t be ignored.
Mary C. Curtis, an award-winning Charlotte, N.C.-based journalist, is a contributor to The Root, NPR, Creative Loafing and the Nieman Watchdog blog. Her “Keeping It Positive” segment airs Wednesdays at 7:10 on TV’s Fox News Rising Charlotte, and she was national correspondent for Politics Daily. Follow her on Twitter. http://twitter.com/mcurtisnc3.