Empire State Building Lights Up For DNC Despite Policy, Refuses Kids with Cancer

August 12, 2014 - 10:56 AM

It’s no secret that New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio really, really wants the 2016 Democratic national Convention to be in his city.  The mayor has been handing out iPads and personalized basketball jerseys to members of the DNC Site Selection Committee, in an effort to sway them into choosing the Big Apple as the host city for its 2016 nominating convention. 

The Empire State Building, which is not run by the city government has decided to help the mayor in his goal and has announced that they will light the top of the famous skyscraper blue on Tuesday night, in order to convince the DNC to come to town.  This despite the building's own policy of not lighting the tower in support of “political figures and campaigns”:

"The Empire State Building also does not light for political figures and campaigns, for personal events such as birthdays, anniversaries or weddings, or for commercial events such as product launches."

While the owners of the Empire State Building seem to be willing to bend the rules a bit for the Democratic Party, they decided to deny a formal request from the father of a child who recently died from brain cancer.  Tony Stoddard had asked the building’s managers to light the tower gold for one night in order to raise awareness for pediatric cancer.

In a written statement the building’s managers claimed that they are “..
unable to light for all who apply.

This is understandable.  But the track record suggests that they building has been illuminated for purposes that may not rise to the level of helping terminally ill children.

The top of the building burned bright pink to honor the 2008 release of an album by Mariah Carey.  The pinnacle was made to glow green in 2009 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (despite its policy against celebrating anniversaries).

But, so far, multiple requests from the parents and advocates for children with pediatric cancer have been denied.

Meanwhile the DNC gets two days of lights in order to convince Democrats to bring their presidential nominee (and money) to the city.

Other than August 11 and 12th, the only other day in August that the tower will be illuminated at all is the 15th.  So, obviously, it’s not a matter of the buildings lighting schedule being booked solid.

So for those of you who are keeping score, right now the Empire State building lighting tally stands at DNC: 2, Cancer Stricken Kids: 0.

h/t: Political Insider