A final media walk-through of the Pepsi Center for hundreds of members of the national press, set for June 19 to acquaint them with the facility and provide them with convention information was unexpectedly canceled today. It seems money woes may have played a role in the decision.

….But with the host committee far behind in its requirement to raise $40.6 million in private dollars by Monday, the event had to be delayed because the shortfall could affect how the media facilities operate, the source said. Last week the host committee had to cut 24 private parties it is required to hold for the delegations into a single event to save money.

The DNCC Host Committee is behind on contributions for the convention. Yesterday, Mayor Hickenlooper traveled to Kansas to raise more money.

The Denver 2008 Host Committee is supposed to have $40.6 million in the bank for the Democratic National Convention. Mayor John Hickenlooper and the host committee have placed a lid on fundraising information since the mayor disclosed last month they were $15 million short. Hickenlooper has been the tip of the fundraising spear, traveling around the country trying to raise the $40.6 million – plus roughly another $10 million of in-kind services for the Aug. 25-28 event at the Pepsi Center during which Democrats will nominate Barack Obama.

Yesterday it was announced that Barack Obama decided the DNC should move its fundraising operation to Chicago to work more closely with his campaign. Given the huge amounts of money the Obama campaign has raised so far and that he will be the star of the Convention, I hope he will put out a call to his supporters to contribute to the expense of the Convention.

One thing is certain: Denver taxpayers don’t want their tax dollars going to the event. City Auditor Dennis Gallagher wrote to Mayor Hickenlooper this week asking him to reaffirm his commitment to avoid putting tax money into hosting the event.

“I know that you have promised the citizens that tax dollars will not be used for the convention, and I repeat that promise on your behalf to those that question me, but the rumors swirl nonetheless.” Gallagher said he wants Hickenlooper to restate his promise to assuage resident concerns.