DENVER (CBS4) – A major Denver event planning company says the Alabama Democratic delegation still owes it about $60,000 for work performed in September at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
“We were excited; we came up with a lot of different ideas,” said Tom Wright, the owner of Wright Group Event Services, about the work to be done for the Alabama Democrat delegation.
The Denver company transported tents, furniture, generators, fans, sound systems and infrastructure from Denver to the North Carolina city for the Alabama delegation’s convention parties. Wright says he paid about a dozen laborers to set up and work on the parties for the Alabama delegation, which were called “Sweet Home Alabama.”
Invoices show the agreed upon cost was about $100,000. The Alabama Democrats paid about $40,000 up front, agreeing to pay the balance at the conclusion of the convention. Wright says Bradley Davidson, the executive director of the Alabama Democratic Party, shook his hand and promised the money would be paid in Charlotte.
“And I shook (Davidson’s) hand and he said, “100 percent you’re getting the money,” and he guaranteed it,” Wright said.
But Wright says the promises from Davidson and the Alabama Democrats have not panned out.
“Do you feel like you’re getting stiffed?” Wright was asked. “Yeah, definitely,” he responded, nearly two months after the convention. “They’re deadbeats. It’s unbelievable. I can’t believe they’re doing this. It’s really disheartening.”
Asked if it was a partisan issue, Wright responded that he is a native of Canada and as a resident alien cannot vote in the United States.
“I love working for either party,” Wright said.
In an email following the convention Bradley Davidson wrote, “I am still working right now to figure out how much money the party actually has to pay out. I know I didn’t have enough money to cover our payroll next week and utilities at our (headquarters) in Montgomery. We literally wiped the party out on Friday when I was writing those checks before I left.”
Davidson did not respond to CBS4 inquiries requesting comment. However, James Anderson, a Montgomery, Ala. based lawyer for the Alabama Democratic Party told CBS4, “These people are going to pay their bills, what they owe. Obviously we owe this guy (Wright) money, but not as much as he is claiming.”
Anderson went on to say Wright Event Services doesn’t deserve full payment due to a three-page list of deficiencies at the convention which he supplied to CBS4, ranging from “Dangerous Equipment” to “Late Installation.”
Wright contends the “deficiencies” are just an excuse not to pay. He provided CBS4 documentation showing that he did not charge the Democrats for thousands of dollars of extras and credited them money back for issues and concerns they raised.
Wright believes the Alabama Democrats simply didn’t raise as much money from their events in Charlotte as they had hoped, and are now trying to pass those losses along to vendors.
“It doesn’t seem like they had the money going in, or had the money as promised,” Wright said. “It’s pure business and they need to pay their bill.”
– Written by Brian Maass for CBSDenver.com