WASHINGTON (CNN) - The national Democratic and Republican parties will each receive $16.4 million in federal funds to hold their presidential nominating conventions in 2008, the Federal Election Commission announced Tuesday.
The money essentially will fund official party activity that takes place inside the convention hall, while non-partisan “host committees” are generally responsible for activity that takes place outside of the hall. The major parties first began receiving public convention funding in the 1976 election cycle, in the wake of Watergate-era changes to campaign finance laws.
Taxpayers fund the convention grants voluntarily by donating $3 on their annual federal tax returns, the same method used to provide public funding for qualifying presidential candidates. In exchange for the funding, the parties agree to limit their spending and to file detailed disclosure reports.
Democrats will hold their convention in Denver, Colorado, from August 25-28, 2008. Republicans will meet in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, from September 1-4, 2008.