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Entries in Democratic National Convention (2)

Tuesday
Sep042012

Unemployment Rates Showcased in Convention States

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- As the Democratic National Convention kicks off today in Charlotte, N.C.,  President Obama must make his case for a second term against a backdrop of 8.3 percent national unemployment, and the rate in the state that is hosting the DNC, where an even higher percentage are looking for work.

North Carolina’s unemployment rate was as high as 11.4 percent in January and February 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state’s unemployment rate is still well above average at 9.6 percent and remains above pre-recession levels.

Here’s an economic snapshot of states where recent political conventions took place, including the conventions for the last presidential election using the most recent monthly unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and foreclosure data from RealtyTrac.

The Democratic National Convention was held in Denver in August 2008 and the Republican National Convention took place in St. Paul, Minn., the following month.

North Carolina
Unemployment rate
July 2012: 9.6 percent
July 2008: 6.6 percent
Foreclosures
July 2008: 4,303
July 2012: 2,957 (1 in every 1,463 homes)
Case-Shiller Home Price Index, Charlotte
June 2008: 131.92
June 2012: 112.95

Florida
Unemployment rate
July 2012: 8.8 percent
July 2008: 6.2 percent
Foreclosures
July 2008: 45,884
July 2012: 25,534 (1 in every 352 homes)
Case-Shiller Home Price Index, Tampa
June 2008: 175.13
June 2012: 132.25

Colorado
Unemployment rate
July 2008: 5.2 percent
July 2012: 8.3 percent
Foreclosures
July 2008: 5,376
July 2012:  2,875 (1 in every 770 homes)
Case-Shiller Home Price Index, Denver
June 2008: 130.16
June 2012: 129.03

Minnesota
Unemployment rate
July 2008: 5.8 percent
July 2012: 5.8 percent
Foreclosures
July 2008: 1, 671
July 2012: 2,278 (1 in every 1,030 homes)
Case-Shiller Home Price Index, Minneapolis
June 2008: 141.96
June 2012: 118.34

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep042012

Obama Stadium Speech Puts Bank Battle in Spotlight

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- When President Obama takes the stage in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday inside the 75,000-seat Bank of America Stadium, he and the venue's namesake will become forever intertwined in the annals of political history.

Obama will become the first sitting American president to give an acceptance speech in an outdoor pro-sports arena with tickets available to the general public.

It's also the first time an incumbent will make a primetime convention appeal in the shadow of a major bank he battled during his first term.

While the Charlotte-based Bank of America does not own the stadium or have a sponsorship role in the Democratic National Convention, its name is everywhere, from glowing letters on the stadium's facade to logos plastered near the end zone Jumbotron.

Each reference is a reminder of the bank's high-profile role in the financial crisis that triggered the Great Recession, a $45 billion government bailout and what has been its, at times, contentious relationship with Obama over the past three and a half years.

At the height of the financial crisis in 2009, the president publicly shamed Bank of America and its peers for the financial practices that contributed to the recession.  And he lobbied them to boost lending and back regulatory reform.

"I think that the 'bully pulpit' can be a powerful thing," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said in 2009 after Bank of America executives met with Obama.

Amid heated populist debate last year over Bank of America's planned $5 monthly debit card fee, Obama made the bank a poster child of profit-seeking at the expense of the average consumer.

He called the fee "not a good practice" and blasted the bank's unwillingness to "take a little bit less of a profit" during an interview with ABC News.

Earlier this year, the Obama Justice Department squeezed millions from the bank as part of a $25 billion federal settlement over abusive mortgage practices and assurances it would cease the practice of so-called "robo-signing," which helped push thousands of homeowners into vulnerable financial positions and into foreclosure.

"America's biggest banks, banks that were rescued by taxpayer dollars, will be required to right these wrongs," Obama said at the time.  "They will deliver some measure of justice for families that have already been victims of abusive practices."

The juxtaposition of Bank of America and Obama's nomination -- more coincidence than choice -- may be awkward for Democrats, who have seemed eager to distance themselves from the ties during their big convention week.

Several early, official, DNC-related communications referred to the final night's venue as "Panther's Stadium," suggesting an attempt to drop the Bank of America reference -- a motive Democratic officials have denied.

Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee in August quietly announced it was transferring all of its accounts and financial business from Bank of America to the union-owned Amalgamated Bank.  One credit line has already moved and other accounts are underway, sources said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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