Democrats are on track to hit their $70 million fundraising goal for the national nominating convention in Milwaukee, an organizer said.

Liz Gilbert, president of the DNC’s local host committee, said organizers surpassed their year-end goal and raised more than $20 million.

“We are incredibly proud that we hit our end-of-the-year goal, and so we are right on track, if not ahead of schedule, toward marching toward that $70 million number,” Gilbert said in an interview aired Sunday on “UPFRONT,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.

The convention is scheduled for July 13-16 at Fiserv Forum. Gilbert said more information will be coming out this month about the security perimeter and additional venues for specific events.

Gilbert said the host committee will stage three large-scale events, including a media welcome reception, a delegate welcome reception, and a volunteer appreciation event the Friday after the convention.

After locations for the large events are announced, the committee will be soliciting vendors to help put on those events, she said.

She said the city will see some 2,000 related events “of all shapes and sizes” from now until the time of the convention.

“UpFront” host Adrienne Pedersen asked Gilbert “what keeps (her) up at night” about convention planning.

Gilbert said it’s not logistics, but “getting the community engagement piece right.”

“It’s making sure that people who are in Milwaukee, and all over Wisconsin quite frankly, know how to touch this convention. We want to make sure that people all over this incredible state know how to plug in, and know how to be involved,” she said.

Also on the program, a conservative watchdog said taxpayers will end up footing the bill for some of the convention costs.

“Taxpayers will be on the hook for some of this. Always have been,” said Mike Nichols, president of the Badger Institute, a conservative-leaning, free-market think tank.

Nichols said federal taxpayers will spend $100 million this year on security costs for political conventions — $50 million for the Democrats in Milwaukee, and $50 million for the Republicans in Charlotte.

Even state and local taxpayers may end up paying some of the costs, Nichols said.

“I don’t think that tax dollars of any sort, federal or state or local, should be used to fund a political convention, any more than they should be used to, in any way, fund political campaigning that goes on, on both sides of the aisle all around the country, all the time,” he said.

See more from the program: http://www.wisn.com/upfront

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