Democrats Collecting Back Door Corporate Cash
Shortly after last year's high-profile announcement that the 2012 Democratic National Convention would be the first in history not to rely on special-interest money, organizers in Charlotte quietly set up a nonprofit entity to rake in corporate cash.
Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Duke Energy have all sent checks to New American City Inc., a non-profit entity being run by top officials on the convention host committee. Corporate money is bankrolling operations in direct support of the convention, including paying the salaries of the 41 full-time host committee employees, their health insurance and for the offices where they work.
Corporate money is also paying for parties for Democratic delegates and donors, the media welcome bash and the Labor Day street festival kicking-off the week's events. Corporate supporters will also provide transportation for convention delegates, including buses and a fleet of courtesy cars.
Convention organizers said last week they are keeping true to the self-imposed ban because none of the corporate money will be spent on events inside the sports arena and stadium where President Barack Obama will accept his party's nomination for a second term.
"I guess it comes down to how you define `the convention,"' said Dan Murrey, the executive director of the host committee, Charlotte in 2012. "The distinction we've drawn is that there are official convention activities that are in the program, that are gavel-to-gavel, have minutes, the whole bit. And then there is all the stuff that happens outside of that."