As the New York Times [ht: sm] points out,
This year the Republican and Democratic nominating conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia will be bankrolled entirely with money from corporations and wealthy individuals. Not since the Watergate era, when a $400,000 pledge to the 1972 Republican convention from ITT Corporation was linked to a favorable outcome for the company in a federal antitrust decision, has this happened. . .
The 2012 Republican convention in Tampa, Fla., cost about $74 million. That didn’t include millions more that corporate lobbyists spent on parties and concerts with top-name entertainment that took place outside the convention hall, and off-limits to TV cameras. The 2012 Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C., cost about $66 million. Democrats tried to limit corporate sponsorship that year, but that didn’t lead to less spending. The convention instead went into debt, which Duke Energy, one of the nation’s largest electric power providers, paid off by forgiving a $10 million loan.
This year, the two political parties together will most likely spend upward of $150 million on their conventions, all of it paid by private entities.
This summer, two cities in the United States will thus be able to host the best parties money can buy.