By Johnny Kampis | Watchdog.org
CULLMAN, Ala. — The Alabama Republican Party welcomed a site selection team for the 2016 Democratic National Convention to Birmingham on Monday with faux open arms.
Alabama’s largest city is one of five finalists for the honor, and the first to receive a visit by the committee, which will hear a pitch from state Democrats on Monday and Tuesday.
ALGOP Chairman Bill Armistead wrote on his blog Monday the party supports Birmingham’s bid for the convention, but not so much in an altruistic fashion.
POLITICAL SPECTACLE: Denver hosted the 2008 DNC. Birmingham hopes to host 2016′s version.
“I can think of no better way for the citizens of our state to see the vast differences between the parties than to have the Democrats bring their radical leftist show here,” Armistead wrote. “Their staunch support of homosexual rights, gay marriage and abortion are in stark contrast to the conservative beliefs that dominate in our great state.”
Those conservative beliefs and status as a nonswing state are why pundits peg the Magic City as a long-shot to secure the bid. Birmingham also faces an uphill climb against a list of heavy-hitters that includes New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Columbus, Ohio.
Birmingham Mayor William Bell said the city would have to raise about $30 million, largely for upgrades to the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center, if it wins the nomination, but noted the city could benefit from a $200 million economic impact during the four-day event.
In his post, Armistead took a shot at the Obama administration for its handling of the surge of undocumented immigrants on the U.S.-Mexico border.
“If Birmingham wins the bid to host the DNC, I look forward to them explaining to Alabamians why their party and President have condoned, no encouraged, bringing in these illegal aliens,” Armistead wrote.
The committee will visit the other sites by October and pick a winner by early 2015.