Reversing a previous position that sought to limit corporate influence in politics, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is sweetening the pot for lobbyists and political action committees (PACs) that donate toward next year's nominating convention in Philadelphia.
According to documents seen by The Hill, those who give donations and bundled cash could see returns ranging from "preferred booking in a premiere hotel" to a photo-op at the official convention podium to VIP access to "the official Host Committee celebration, featuring celebrities and other luminaries, live music, and catering by Philadelphia's most recognized chefs."
The Hill reports that DNC chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) and other party officials met on Wednesday evening with approximately 50 people including "high-profile lobbyists" to go over the "menu of reward offerings."
People present at the meeting reported spotting representatives from firms that lobby for the energy, banking, and insurance industries—and critics were quick to lambaste the latest evidence of cozy ties between the Democratic Party and K Street.
With help from DWS, the Democratic Party has rediscovered its ability to sell itself to lobbyists. https://t.co/5xGRp5Qvd6
— Dan Riffle (@DanRiffle) October 23, 2015
— Tommy Goodwin (@tommygoodwin) October 23, 2015
DNC's message to lobbyists for the first post-Obama convention: "We’re back, we’re here, we want your help" https://t.co/qvcUOObPu3
— Robert Faturechi (@RobertFaturechi) October 23, 2015
The DNC is already slating VIP access to corporate lobbyists and bundlers. What Bernie Sanders is running against.
— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) October 23, 2015
The Committee announced this summer that it would lift the ban on donations from PACs and lobbyists for it convention fundraising but would "continue its policy of not accepting donations from political action committees and lobbyists for its general fundraising operations"—at least for now.