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The DNC and Queen City Lemmings

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In the almost 30 years I’ve lived in Charlotte, I’ve noticed something quite disturbing – many locals will assume something is correct just because certain people with certain professional, political and/or educational credentials say it is correct.

How does this relate to Charlotte and the Democratic National Convention? Many “smart” people are saying that the DNC will be a huge economic boost for the Queen City. Hopefully they are right. But what analysis do they cite to back up their contentions?

The answer is none. As with many failed and/or ill planned CharMeck government projects, the hard questions are not being asked, much less answered. All indications now point toward the government’s financial management for the DNC being careless, sloppy and wasteful.

I’ve asked the following very basic questions of numerous public officials and others associated with the DNC, and as of now have zero answers:

* Who did the proforma numbers and financial analysis showing the DNC would be economically beneficial to Charlotte? What are the primary assumptions, and why isn’t such being shared with the public? Where are the Excel spreadsheets?

* What studies show that political conventions are an economic boost to the host cities/regions? I’ve seen one from the DNC Boston/2004, and it concluded that the benefit was $14.8 million. Not terribly impressive considering that a hometown boy, John Kerry, was nominated, and we were in the midst of a huge economic expansion. Charlotte’s economic circumstances in 2012 will be far riskier than Boston in 2004.

* Is there one person, someone truly accountable as part of an oversight committee, that will oversee/approve government expenditures for the DNC? Who is tracking the economic benefits? Mark my words: unless one particular person is held responsible for expenditures, then expenses will be out of control and performance lagging, as is nearly always the case with government (for local examples, look no further than ImaginOn, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, our new-new arena, and the Whitewater Center, to name but a quick few).

Why, nothing could be finer than having the DNC in Charlotte and Carolina, now could it? The DNC may be an economic boon to CharMeck, and I hope it is.

But why is no one answering these basic, fundamental questions?

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