Coal Giant's $10 Million Loan to Democrats Is Now a $10 Million Donation
Democracy Now explored the connection Between Obama and Duke Energystruggling to raise enough money for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, party planners turned to Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, for help. Duke, the nation's largest utility company, stepped up with a $10 million line of credit for the convention. Organizers insisted Duke would be repaid after the convention.| Fri Mar. 1, 2013 7:49 AM PST
A Duke Energy official told the Charlotte Observer on Thursday that Democratic officials would not repay the $10 million they owe the company. Instead, Duke Energy will write off the loan as a business expense. Shareholders are expected to absorb $6 million of the cost of the loan.
The decision by Democratic organizers not to repay the loan smacks of hypocrisy. In the run-up to the convention, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the chair of the Democratic National Committee, vowed that convention organizers would not accept corporate money. "We will make this the first convention in history that does not accept any funds from lobbyists, corporations, or political action committees," she said. Yet even before the Duke loan became a straight-up donation, various convention committees revealed that they had accepted corporate money. One committee took in at least $5 million in corporate money to rent Charlotte's Time Warner Cable Arena and a million more in in-kind contributions from AT&T, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and Costco.
Asked about this hypocrisy, Democratic officials have responded by noting that their anti-corporate-cash pledge was self-imposed. Legally, they could use corporate money to fund their convention. Which, in the end, is precisely what they did.
There is a lot more to the story in this right to work state:Published on Sep 4, 2012DemocracyNow.org - Duke Energy, the nation's largest utility, has played a major role in bringing the Democratic National Convention to Charlotte, North Carolina. Duke has a lot riding on future policies governing coal, nuclear energy and climate change, regardless of who wins November's election. The company has partly been successful in fighting off federal regulations thanks to its ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, reportedly sponsoring ALEC's meetings and bankrolled its attacks on clean energy legislation. We discuss Duke Energy's growing political influence with Monica Embrey, the North Carolina organizer for Greenpeace USA; and Beth Henry, a local activist in Charlotte raising awareness about Duke Energy and its ties to the Democratic National Convention.
Nuclear ALEC Member DUKE ENERGY Funds DNC 2012