Skip to comments.Duke guaranteeing $10 million line of credit for DNC
Posted on 03/14/2011 4:02:20 PM PDT by lwd
Duke Energy Corp., whose CEO is leading the fundraising for the Democratic National Convention, is guaranteeing a $10 million line of credit for the event.
The credit line from Fifth Third Bank is apparently the first time such an arrangement has been used by any Democratic convention organizers.
A Duke spokesman said stockholders, not rate-payers, would be on the line if the convention's host committee defaults. But the head of the committee said it may never have to draw on the money.
"It is just security in the event of a cash shortfall," Will Miller, acting executive director of the Charlotte organizing committee, said Friday. "The host committee is obligated to pay it back, and the host committee will pay it back."
Some suggest the arrangement is tantamount to a large corporate contribution at a time when the party is touting new rules that bar corporate cash and individual contributions over $100,000. Democrats have pledged "a people's convention" and say the line of credit doesn't violate the new rules.
The credit line was required by the Democratic National Committee. The bank's proposal for extending it was part of a detailed set of contracts involving the party, the host committee, the city, the Charlotte Bobcats and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. The agreements were made final on Friday.
The contract calls for the host committee to raise $36.6 million. That would cover millions in upfits to Time Warner Cable Arena, other production costs and transportation for an expected 30,000 delegates and media members.
Miller, who compared the organizing effort to "a start-up business," said fundraising is still in the planning stages.
A financing anomaly
The changes are a departure from the way other party conventions have been financed. Some companies gave $1 million or more in 2008 to help Democrats and Republicans stage conventions in Denver and St. Paul.
Corporations, however, will still be able to give in-kind contributions such as equipment, office space and technology.
Republicans have called the new restrictions "sleight of hand." They say Duke's loan guarantee is more of the same.
"We said it then and we'll say it again, this rule isn't worth the paper it's written on," said party spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski. "It proves the 'policy' was nothing more than a PR move from the very beginning."
Democratic spokesman Brad Woodhouse dismisses that notion. "No one is giving us anything," he said. "This is a line of credit."
Duke CEO Jim Rogers is leading fundraising efforts for the convention. As for the loan guarantee, spokesman Tom Williams said, "The DNC asked, and we were able to provide it."
"We stepped in to do it as a way to land this convention and support this community. When our region is successful, Duke is more successful."
The agreement, he added, "would have no impact on rate-payers or our electric customers at all."
Duke 'currying favor'
Duke faces increasingly heavy costs from federal environmental rules, and will shutter some of its old coal-fired power plants rather than upgrade them. The utility also plans to build an $11 billion nuclear plant in South Carolina that has to be approved by state and federal regulators.
UNC Charlotte public policy expert David Swindell has said Rogers' involvement can only help Duke in seeking energy subsidies from the Obama administration. Others say the company could at least expect goodwill from the party that controls the White House.
"Duke may not be angling for a particular payback, but certainly they are currying favor with the Democratic Party," said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of Washington's Center for Responsive Politics. "If it buys goodwill without having to spend a dime, Duke will feel it's been a good deal for them. Their shareholders may not like the risks."
Organizers of the 2012 Republican National Convention haven't sought a credit line.
"We received all individual money to this point. We do not anticipate having a line of credit," said Ken Jones, president and CEO of the 2012 Tampa Bay Host Committee.
Fifth Third, a bank that entered the Charlotte market in 2008, agreed to the letter of credit on Jan. 19, according to a letter included in the final contract. That was the same day the bank announced a public stock offering to repay its federal bailout, or TARP money.
The convention contract prohibits the host committee from accepting in-kind corporate contributions from TARP recipients "unless those funds have been repaid in full."
Woodhouse, the Democratic spokesman, said a credit line from Fifth Third "would be consistent with the spirit of all our rules."
Staff writers Bruce Henderson and Fred Clasen-Kelly contributed.
I searched and didn't see this posted. Also didn't see the Charlotte Observer on the Copyright list so I posted article in full. Enjoy!
Boycott Duke Energy !
“The credit line from Fifth Third Bank”
What about the Sixth Fourth Bank?
Oh brother! I had no idea this was in the works, and if I were still paying Duke Power every month I’d be raising holy hell anyway...
Wanna guess who’s gonna be moved up the drilling list?
I feel a draft from the graft.
“stockholders, not rate-payers, would be on the line “.. and in an Obama government they know they have to pay to play. it’s just a cost of doing business.
Those Republicans and their corporate masters, they’re all capitalist pig, they’re...ah...wait, DN...did you say DNC?
Yep. Maybe get an Obamacare waiver while they’re at it.
Here’s a toast to the DNC defaulting and leaving the corporation with $50 million in debt to pay and explain that to the shareholders.
It takes a bit to find an email address for Duke. But if you are willing to play shareholder, you can let them know what you think at:
Nuke this Duke!
It’s either pay duke for power, have no power or generate your own power. They are the only players in the game in my area.
A Duke spokesman said stockholders, not rate-payers, would be on the line if the convention’s host committee defaults.
It’s time to get a special Stock holders meeting to appoint new board members and fire a few top executives.
As a company that is so intensely regulated by the Government they should be not be involved in ANY political operations. There is just too much opportunity for quid-pro-quo.
The Obama boys still haven’t paid up from their last run, Maybe Duke should think about that.
Now that "Fifth Third" has to be about the stupidest name for a bank anybody ever thought of. What's it mean? Fifth column, Third world? That'd be my guess.
They’ve got about 8 or so coal fired sites (off the top of my head: Allen, Buck, Cliffside, Marshall, Lee, Riverbend, dan river. Some of the oldest and dirtiest plants in the US), about 4 or 5 nuke sites (Oconee, Catawba, McGuire, Belews Creek)in the Carolina’s. They have a bunch of hydro and nat gas sites as well. They also don’t employ Union workers.
How can we boycott Duke Energy? They bought out Progressive Energy not long ago. So, we are stuck with Duke Energy for our electical needs.
They have better NOT go up on our rates. I am on budget and I will protest if they do!
Correction to my post above: Belews creek is coal fired. Had to look that one up.
Yeah, right! If the 10 million is needed the individual Stockholder will be sent a bill for their portion. You just can’t make up the bald face lies these people tell.
I thought the Dems were against corporate money.
You should protest, and/or vote with your feet. Rodents have these nice rackets going to ensure a steady $$ supply from the sheeple. A gun pointed at your head from gubmint unions and another from this energy company with no competitors. Something needs to be done and now.
Only the corporate money that goes to the GOP.
LOL I thought this was about Duke University. Thought I’d have to scratch them from my NCAA bracket.
Duke is planning on bringing back the Cherokee site.
The Abyss was filmed at this location, and the local media reported that James Cameron and his film crew left a mess. The EPA ordered it to be cleaned up by the owner, Earl Owensby.
Okay, so this corporation should be on the Republican list of corporations to stick it to when they are in power.
That is, tailor legislation to benefit Duke’s competitors more than Duke. And then let their shareholders know why they are getting the short straw.
Here we go.....some pig stinkin’ bumbler is going to ram his pickup truck into one of Dukes Power transmission towers and start screwing stuff up.......
Looks like Duke is trying to build a few new nuke sites while also closing a number of coal sites in the next few years due to excessive costs from EPA regulations. Makes you wonder what they are thinking by backing the dems in such a public way. It’s akin to Smith & Wesson backing democrats or Trojan Condoms sending money to the Church. I can’t imagine what they expect to gain from it.
Tie them in knots in court. All-out Alinsky style lawfare. No mercy.
This is most likely extortion.
Democratic spokesman Brad Woodhouse dismisses that notion. “No one is giving us anything,” he said. “[They are giving us a] line of credit.”
I’m assuming the only reason Duke is doing this is because the convention is in Charlotte. This is a big deal for Charlotte