Pep Boys is giving $5,000 to the Philadelphia convention.
All together, private and government donors have come close to funding the $52 million it will take to host the GOP convention July 31 through Aug. 3.
"The bulk of our pure fund-raising efforts now is to convert requests for donations to pledges, and to convert pledges to cash," said David L. Cohen, cochairman of Philadelphia 2000, the nonprofit local group that is the convention's official host.
The elite groups of donors to Philadelphia 2000 are designated as "benefactors," ranging from 27 "bronze" ($100,000) contributors to 10 "platinum" donors of $1 million or more.
"We are thrilled with the broad and diverse support that the host committee's fund-raising efforts have received from every possible constituency in the Philadelphia region," said Cohen, a lawyer who was chief of staff to former Mayor Edward G. Rendell.
Local electric utility Peco Energy Co. and Illinois-based mobile phone maker Motorola each pitched in $1 million or more. PepsiCo, Safeguard Scientifics and US Airways each gave at least $500,000.
Private donations are expected to account for about half of the $52 million that the committee promised the GOP it would raise for the convention. But taxpayers are picking up a hefty share of that pledge.
The city of Philadelphia and state of Pennsylvania will contribute $7 million each and will pick up additional millions in services for the convention. New Jersey kicked in $3 million in economic development funds it controls through the Delaware River Port Authority.
The quest for private donations appears to be truly bipartisan..
One supporter of the GOP convention was a former Democratic fund-raiser. S. Harrison "Sonny" Dogole, 77, who died Dec. 11 in Florida, raised funds for former Gov. Robert P. Casey and former Mayors Frank L. Rizzo and Rendell.
Dogole gave $1,000 for the GOP convention months before he died.
Rendell's campaign treasurer, Eric Pisauro, and his wife, Patricia, a former deputy mayor, gave $1,000.
"Obviously with the involvement of people like David Cohen, it's a bipartisan effort," said Patricia Pisauro yesterday.
Many corporate donors to the convention, demonstrating their own brand of bipartisanship, are also giving to the Aug. 14-18 Democratic convention in Los Angeles. Some are sending executives to both.
"We are going to be at both conventions," said Bob DeFillippo, spokesman for Newark, N.J.-based Prudential Insurance Co. of America. "We think it important to be there because . . . there are a number of issues that will come up in Washington that will affect our industry and our customers."
Prudential is a $250,000 donor to Philadelphia 2000.
Gov. Ridge was an early donor, giving $5,000 from his campaign fund to the effort to attract the GOP to Philadelphia. Ridge also has raised funds.
"He has traveled all over the country visiting executives and major corporations to try to entice them to contribute to the host committee," said Leslie Gromis, who runs Ridge's political action committee.
Renee Amoore, an African-American woman who heads the GOP's New Majority Council and is close to both Ridge and presumed presidential nominee George W. Bush, said she has been fund-raising for the party and for the host committee as an example to other minority political activists.
"I have to do more than talk the talk," she said.
Amoore's two King of Prussia companies, Amoore Group Health Systems, which handles some contracts for the state of Pennsylvania, and 521 Management Inc., a lobbying and public relations firm, each contributed $10,000 in cash.
Like Prudential, many of the biggest donors to Philadelphia 2000 have legislative and regulatory issues pending in Washington and thus have a stake in which candidates are elected this fall.
AT&T, Bell Atlantic and Comcast are each giving more than $1 million; each has a keen interest in how the next administration and Congress decide to regulate everything from phones and cable television to the Internet and privacy rights.
US Airways gave at least $500,000. The Justice Department is reviewing antitrust implications of the proposed merger between US Airways - the dominant airline at the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh airports - and United Airlines, the world's largest carrier.
United gave $500,000 to the Los Angeles host committee for the Aug. 14-18 Democratic convention.
Antitrust policies are also of great interest to Microsoft Corp. as it appeals a federal judge's decision ordering the software giant split in two. The ruling last week came after a two-year fight with the Justice Department over whether Microsoft is a monopoly.
Microsoft says it is donating cash and software that could eventually total as much as $1 million in donations to each convention.
Josh Goldstein's e-mail address is email@example.com
GOP CONVENTION'S TOP SPONSORS PLATINUM BENEFACTORS - $1 MILLION AND UP
AT&T New York Telecommunications
Ballard Spahr et al Philadelphia Lawyers
Bell Atlantic New York Telecommunications
City of Philadelphia Government
Comcast Corp. Philadelphia Cable Television
Commonwealth of Pa. Government
Del. River Port Authority Government agency
Motorola Inc. Schaumburg, Ill. Electronics Mfgr.
Peco Energy Co. Philadelphia Electric Utility
GOLD BENEFACTORS - $500,000 AND UP
American Intl Group New York Insurance
Andersen Consulting Chicago, Ill. Business consulting
Blank Rome et al Philadelphia Lawyers
PepsiCo Purchase, N.Y. Food and beverages
Safeguard Scientifics Inc. Wayne, Pa. Venture Capital
SAP America Inc. Newtown Sq., Pa. Business software
Tierney & Partners Philadelphia Public Relations
US Airways Group Inc. Arlington, Va. Airline
SILVER BENEFACTORS - $250,000 AND UP
Aramark Corp. Philadelphia Food & beverages
DaimlerChrysler Corp. Stuttgart, Germany Automaker
Enron Corp. Houston Natural gas, electricity
First Union Charlotte, N.C. Bank
Global Crossing Ltd. Bermuda Telecommunications
Hewlett-Packard Co. Palo Alto, Calif. Computer hardware
Microsoft Corp. Redmond, Wash. Computer software
Pa. Conv. Center Authority Convention center
Phila. Convention & Visitors Bureau Government agency
Philip Morris Companies New York Tobacco, food
Prudential Insurance Newark, N.J. Life insurance
SmithKline Beecham Philadelphia Pharmaceuticals
Sunoco Inc. Philadelphia Oil & Gas
Union Pacific Corp. Omaha, Neb. Railroads
Unisys Corp. Blue Bell, Pa. Computer software
USX Corp. Pittsburgh Steel, oil & gas
Source: Philadelphia 2000; sponsors
A longer list of donors to both party conventions is at http://GOP2000.philly.com
* Inquirer news researcher Frank Donahue contributed to this story.