Mayor Villaraigosa to kickstart fundraising for Democratic convention in Charlotte

"No Labels" Political Organization Launches As Counterpoint To Tea Party

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File: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa speaks at the launch of the unaffiliated political organization known as No Labels December 13, 2010 at Columbia University in New York City.

It's a busy day for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on the east coast, speaking at a Washington conference on gang prevention before going on to Charlotte, North Carolina, host city of this summer's Democratic National Convention. The mayor is getting into fundraising mode.

This is Mayor Villaraigosa’s first visit to Charlotte since he was named chairman of the convention. Job one: help raise $37 million to pay for it. He says Democrats certainly have their work cut out.

Four years ago, most of the funding came from donors who gave at least a quarter-million dollars each. This year, Democrats changed the rules: no donations over $100,000 dollars, which means more people giving smaller amounts.

It’s been slow going. Villaraigosa says the recession doesn’t help. "These are tough economic times and it can be difficult."

Convention organizers have opened the door to some large donations for events such as the kickoff rally on Labor Day at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, which is expected to draw thousands. Bloomberg reports that registered lobbyists have been urged to bundle donations up to a million dollars.

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