Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Democratic convention organizers took corporate money despite promise not to

Democratic convention organizers broke their pledge to stage the meeting without corporate donations, using $5 million from a committee financed by companies such as Bank of America, Duke Energy and AT&T to rent the Time Warner Arena for the three-day event.

In an interview during the convention in Charlotte, N.C., Democratic National Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said organizers had "exceeded that bar" and had financed the event without special-interest money. But Federal Election Commission reports show that convention organizers raised only $24.1 million of their $36.7 million goal. That forced them to cover the rental fee for the arena with $5 million from New American City, a civic committee set up by the host committee that was allowed to accept corporate cash.

In addition, the host committee drew nearly $8 million of a $10 million line of credit provided by Duke Energy, whose chief executive, Jim Rogers, was co-chairman of the host committee. It has until Feb. 28 to repay the loan. Duke gave $5.7 million in in-kind contributions and cash donations to New American City and the Committee for Charlotte, the arm of the host committee that produced the convention.

New American City, which paid hospitality and administrative costs, raised $19 million — nearly all from corporations. Bank of America, headquartered in Charlotte, gave $5 million. AT&T donated $1 million, while Time Warner Cable contributed $600,000. Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks Studios donated $2 million to the nonprofit fund on Sept. 4, the first day of the convention.

Although corporations could not contribute cash to the Committee for Charlotte, they could donate goods and services, as Microsoft, Coca-Cola and Adobe did. The committee accepted donations from unions, which gave at least $2.65 million. And wealthy individuals, such as San Francisco hedge fund manager Thomas Steyer, real estate executive Constance Milstein and Slim-Fast founder S. Daniel Abraham together gave millions more.

The host committee still has more fundraising to do: It ended September $8.7 million in debt, with just $1 million in the bank.

Democratic convention organizers took corporate money despite promise not to 10/18/12 [Last modified: Thursday, October 18, 2012 11:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Yep, 2017 hurricane season really is more intense than normal

    Hurricanes

    It was only 25 days ago that Hurricane Harvey made landfall.

    A handout satellite image from Sept. 8, 2017, of, from left, Tropical Storm Katia, Hurricane Irma and Tropical Storm Jose, which would intensify into a hurricane. The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has been unusually active. There have been 13 named storms this year. Only four other seasons since 1995 have had that many by Sept. 18. [NASA/NOAA GOES Project via the New York Times]
  2. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs could run into their nemesis

    Bucs

    Greg Auman finishes wrapping up the Bucs' win against the Chicago Bears and looks ahead to Sunday's game at Minnesota, where Tampa Bay could run into nemesis Case Keenum, in our latest Cannon Fodder …

    Bucs outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) sacks Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) during a 2016 game. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  3. How to vamp out for Buffyfest in St. Petersburg

    Music & Concerts

    Who's your favorite superhero? I always answer Buffy.

    Photo illustration RON BORRESEN, Photo by Warner Brothers, Photo by SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
Members of the Florida Bjorkestra rehearse, Monday, 3/13/17, at the Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg for their upcoming concert. In the foreground is percussionist Joe Coyle.

Sarah Michelle Gellar
  4. The Mill restaurants offering half off when customers donate items for hurricane relief

    Blogs

    The Mill restaurant in St. Petersburg and its newly-opened location in Brandon are collecting donations to help residents of the Florida Keys who've been affected by Hurricane Irma.

    The dining room at The Mill in St. Petersburg photographed in 2015.
  5. Navy removes Jacksonville hospital workers who called babies 'mini satans' (w/video)

    Health

    JACKSONVILLE — A Navy hospital in Florida has removed some employees from patient care after Snapchat photos showed a nurse giving the middle finger to a newborn with a caption that said, "How I currently feel about these mini Satans."

    A Navy hospital in Florida has removed some employees from patient care after Snapchat photos showed a nurse giving the middle finger to a newborn with a caption that said, "How I currently feel about these mini Satans." [Photo from video]