Mayor De Blasio, Sen. Schumer Seem Confident Barclays Center Will Be Selected


NEW YORK (CBSNEwYork) — Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz visited Barclays Center on Friday, and sat down for a closed-door meeting with Mayor Bill de Blasio ahead of deciding the site of the 2016 national convention.

De Blasio said the talks with the chairwoman and her staff have been “very productive.”

“I feel very good about the effort that we put forward,” de Blasio said. “I know it’s highly competitive, I know we’re coming down to the wire.”

“When you talk to the people making the decisions, they’re looking at the nuts and bolts and they feel good about what we have to offer,” de Blasio added.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he thinks the committee chairwoman will fall in love with the diverse and hip borough.

“Brooklyn represents comeback and so does the Democratic party and even America wants to represent comeback,” he said.

But Assistant Professor Matt Dallek from George Washington University told WCBS 880’s Monica Miller the DNC may try to win over undecided voters in swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, especially if Hillary Clinton is the presidential nominee.

“It’s really trying to reach out as broadly as possible in as many competitive places as possible and not just combing itself to one narrow slice of the country,” Dallek said.

The mayor dismissed the notion that his feud with police union leaders will play any part in the final decision, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.

“The decision makers in Washington obviously understand that history and they understand that different leaders have differences with unions and that doesn’t affect the day-to-day work,” de Blasio said. “They know from time to time there will be differences between labor and management. They are looking at the big picture — this is the finest police force in the country that can handle any and all events. That’s what matters to them.

“The NYPD is legendary for what it is able to do in terms of protecting big events, its capacity, its numbers, its logistical strength,” the mayor added.

De Blasio also said fears of a job action by police during the convention are unwarranted.

“What they’re looking at, of course, is other factors, the resources, understandably, first and foremost. This is a big, complicated endeavor. They need to know the resources will be there,” the mayor said.

Brooklyn is competing with Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio, for the right to host the event. Birmingham, Alabama; and Phoenix are also on the short list.

New York is sparing no expense, having already secured $20 million in public financing, Jones reported.

“Early on, some of the people deciding at the DNC said, ‘Well, Philadelphia’s hotel rates are half of ours.’ Well, it wasn’t too hard for us to add $3 million to our budget, and now to all the delegates the cost of a hotel room will actually be lower in New York than in Philadelphia because we’re going to subsidize it,” Schumer told CBS2’s Marcia Kramer.

The final argument to Wasserman Schultz included a promise to raise over $100 million if Barclays is chosen.

“The DNC doesn’t want to have to dip into its own pocketbook for the convention, New York will raise the money,” Schumer said.

The DNC is expected to make its decision in February, Kramer reported.