Host committee for RNC disappointed with lack of state help

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XCel Energy Center
XCel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul will host the Republican National Convention in Sept. 2008. RNC host committee leaders say they are disappointed the state did not provide financial help for the convention.
MPR photo/Tom Weber

The local host committee for the Republican National Convention says it's disappointed the state didn't follow through on promised financial help.

In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, local host committee chief executive Jeff Larson tells Governor Tim Pawlenty and legislative leaders that he's disappointed and has a "grave cause for concern."

As the host committee was trying to lure the convention to St. Paul, it negotiated a package that included a state commitment to back the committee's fundraising with a letter of credit that would be tapped if there's a cash flow shortage.

The Legislature didn't pass a bill seeking a $39 million letter of credit in 2007. And in 2008, a smaller amount of $14 million also wasn't approved.

Legislative leaders didn't respond Friday to requests for comment. A host committee spokeswoman says the committee has met its fundraising goals so far.