Under the Dome

Dome: Obama to accept nomination in Panthers stadium

January 18, 2012 

President Barack Obama wants to deliver his acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination at the biggest venue in Charlotte: Bank of America Stadium, said Jay Carney, White House press secretary.

"That allows for greater participation by Americans from all walks of life," Carney said. "That's the reason why he did it in 2008 at Invesco Field (in Denver), and that's why he'll do it later this year in Charlotte."

Carney said the president wants the opportunity to deliver his speech before tens of thousands of Americans in person.

And, he said, "We certainly hope many millions of Americans are watching on television."

Obama will give his speech on the final night of the convention, Sept. 6.

The convention itself will be held at the Time Warner Cable Arena.

The stadium, where the Carolina Panthers play, seats 74,000.

Moving the speech to the stadium not only opens it to more of the public, but also creates perks for donors, who could be rewarded with skybox seats.

Officials are trying to raise nearly $37 million under new Democratic Party rules that bar corporate or lobbyist contributions or donations of more than $100,000.

A quick convention

And while we're on the subject, it will be a shorter convention - three days, not four.

The event will begin on Labor Day with a party at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

"We are shortening the convention program from the traditional four days to three to make room for a day to organize and celebrate the Carolinas, Virginia and the South," DNCC chief executive Steve Kerrigan said in an email sent to supporters.

That celebration will take place at the speedway, Kerrigan said, and it will be dedicated to "families and the community hosting the convention."

Who thought of it first?

Democratic state Rep. Bill Faison says Gov. Bev Perdue is late to the game with her sales tax proposal. His office issued a statement Tuesday that essentially suggests the governor stole his idea - which is debatable - and continues to disparage her.

"While the governor falls further behind the likely GOP opponent, she has finally decided to endorse a solid plan, and one I proposed months ago," he said in the statement. "I could have used her help in September on this issue as I tried to have it heard in the General Assembly."

For months now, Faison has traveled the state suggesting an increase in the state sales tax of seven-tenths of a penny to go toward hiring laid-off state workers (including teachers) and other causes.

Perdue's idea is to restore three-fourths of the expired 1-cent temporary sales tax exclusively to fund education.

Perdue first proposed extending the 1-cent tax in her 2011 executive budget - well before Faison made his proposal.

Christensen: 919-829-4532 or rchristensen@newsobserver.com

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