PHILADELPHIA (KDKA) — Last summer when Democrats nominated Hillary Clinton, Philadelphia hosted the convention — which gave local delegates front row seats.
But that came with a price.
The Philadelphia Host Committee had to raise over $64 million to host the event, and $10 million of that came from state taxpayers in a grant, similar to a grant the Republican Convention got in Philadelphia in 2000.
When the 2016 convention was over, there was a surplus of $2.1 million.
While most of that money was donated to charity, some of the surplus was used to pay staff bonuses, ranging from $500 to $310,000.
That, said Gov. Tom Wolf, was wrong.
“I think there are a lot of questions about what happened with the surplus at the DNC,” said Wolf.
State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says he will audit at least the state tax money.
“If you were giving partisan officials bonuses with public money that would be unacceptable,” DePasquale told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.
But DePasquale says he needs to see all the documents before making that judgment, and the Host Committee says the state money was never used for bonuses.
Whether intentional or not, it turns out that Gov. Wolf has picked a fight with a fellow Democrat, former Gov. Ed Rendell.
Rendell chairs the Philadelphia Host Committee and defends the action of its staff.
Rendell — who signed off on the bonuses from private money — told KDKA’s Jon Delano that in exchange for low pay in the beginning he promised staff they’d get bonuses at the end.
Rendell said they worked incredibly long hours to bring off “the most successful Democratic convention in history.”