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The “People’s Convention”?

- March 14, 2011

The DNC Reneges On Its Convention Funding Promises Barely A Month After Announcing Them

BARELY A MONTH AFTER SWEARING OFF CORPORATE MONEY,

THE DNC HAS TURNED ITS BACK ON ITS PROMISES

The Duke Energy Company Is Guaranteeing The DNC’s $10 Million Line Of Credit For The 2012 Convention. “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.” (Jim Morril, “Duke Guaranteeing $10 Million Line Of Credit For DNC,” The Charlotte Observer, 3/12/11)

  • “The Credit Line Was Required By The Democratic National Committee.” (Jim Morril, “Duke Guaranteeing $10 Million Line Of Credit For DNC,” The Charlotte Observer, 3/12/11)
  • “The Credit Line From Fifth Third Bank Is Apparently The First Time Such An Arrangement Has Been Used By Any Democratic Convention Organizers.” (Jim Morril, “Duke Guaranteeing $10 Million Line Of Credit For DNC,” The Charlotte Observer, 3/12/11)

And Stockholders Will “Be On The Line” If The DNC’s Host Committee Defaults. “A Duke spokesman said stockholders, not rate-payers, would be on the line if the convention's host committee defaults.” (Jim Morril, “Duke Guaranteeing $10 Million Line Of Credit For DNC,” The Charlotte Observer, 3/12/11)

Duke Energy Has Spent Over $12 Million On Federal Lobbying Efforts Since Obama Has Been In Office. (Center For Responsive Politics, opensecrets.org, Accessed 3/14/11)

The Line Of Credit From Fifth Third Was Agreed To On The Same Day The Bank Offered To Repay Its Bailout Money. “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.” (Jim Morril, “Duke Guaranteeing $10 Million Line Of Credit For DNC,” The Charlotte Observer, 3/12/11)

EVEN THOUGH THE DNC PROMISED A “DIFFERENT CONVENTION”

“For The First Time, The Democratic National Convention Will Not Accept Donations From Corporations, PACs Or Federal Lobbyists In 2012.” (Molly Ball, “Democratic National Committee: No Corporate Cash At Charlotte Convention,” Politico2/4/11)

  • The DNC’s Brad Woodhouse: “This unprecedented step is another sign that things are continuing to change under President Obama’s leadership and that this will, in fact, be the ‘People’s Convention.’” (Molly Ball, “Democratic National Committee: No Corporate Cash At Charlotte Convention,” Politico2/4/11)

 On Behalf Of The DNC, Michelle Obama Promised “A Different Convention, For A Different Time.” The donor policy explains a mysterious line in the announcement e-mail from first lady Michelle Obama that the party had until now refused to explain. ‘We will finance this convention differently than it’s been done in the past, and we will make sure everyone feels closely tied in to what is happening in Charlotte,’ Obama wrote in announcing the site of the convention Tuesday. ‘This will be a different convention, for a different time.’” (Molly Ball, “Democratic National Committee: No Corporate Cash At Charlotte Convention,” Politico2/4/11)

The DNC’s Contract States That Contributions From For-Profit Companies Or Federal Lobbyists Will Be Prohibited. “The contract states that ‘monetary contributions from any incorporated for-profit entity’ to the host committee for the convention will be prohibited, along with monetary or in-kind contributions from ‘political organizations’ and ‘individuals registered as federal lobbyists.’ Lobbyists may not serve on the convention host committee, either.” (Molly Ball, “Democratic National Committee: No Corporate Cash At Charlotte Convention,” Politico2/4/11)

As Are Contributions From Companies Who Received “TARP Or Other Bailout Funds.” “Also banned are in-kind contributions of goods and services from entities that received ‘TARP or other bailout funds, unless those funds have been repaid in full to the U.S. government.’” (Molly Ball, “Democratic National Committee: No Corporate Cash At Charlotte Convention,” Politico, 2/4/11)

IS THE DNC JUST FOLLOWING THE WHITE HOUSE’S EXAMPLE?

In His 2011 State Of The Union Address Obama Called On Congress “To Do What The White House Has Already Done” And Put Meetings With Lobbyists Online.  “Indeed, during the State of the Union address Obama derided the ‘parade of lobbyists [that] has rigged the tax code to benefit particular companies and industries.’ And, because the public deserves to know when its elected officials are talking to lobbyists, he called on ‘Congress to do what the White House has already done — put that information online.’” (Chris Frates, “Lobbyists: W.H. Hides Meetings Off-Site,” Politico2/24/11)

  • But White House Officials Have Met "Hundreds Of Times" With Lobbyists At Coffee Shop Across Street From White House. "Here at the Caribou on Pennsylvania Avenue, and a few other nearby coffee shops, White House officials have met hundreds of times over the last 18 months with prominent K Street lobbyists -- members of the same industry that President Obama has derided for what he calls its "outsized influence" in the capital." (Eric Lichtblau, "Across From White House, Coffee With Lobbyists," The New York Times, 6/24/10)
  • And The Obama Administration Meets With Lobbyists Off The White House Grounds. “Caught between their boss’s anti-lobbyist rhetoric and the reality of governing, President Barack Obama’s aides often steer meetings with lobbyists to a complex just off the White House grounds – and several of the lobbyists involved say they believe the choice of venue is no accident.” (Chris Frates, “Lobbyists: W.H. Hides Meetings Off-Site,” Politico2/24/11)
  • These Lobbyists Do Not Make It Into The Visitors Log Which Is Released To The Public. “It allows the Obama administration to keep these lobbyist meetings shielded from public view — and out of Secret Service logs collected on visitors to the White House and later released to the public.” (Chris Frates, “Lobbyists: W.H. Hides Meetings Off-Site,” Politico2/24/11)

Obama Promised That Lobbyists Would Not “Find A Job In [His] White House.” “President Obama promised during his campaign that lobbyists ‘won't find a job in my White House.’ … Formalized in a recent presidential executive order, it forbids executive branch employees from working in an agency, or on a program, for which they have lobbied in the last two years.” (Kenneth P. Vogel & Mike Allen, “Obama Finds Room For Lobbyists,” Politico, 1/30/09) 

  • But He Granted Numerous Exceptions To His Lobbyist Ban. “Yet in the past few days, a number of exceptions have been granted, with the administration conceding at least two waivers and that a handful of other appointees will recuse themselves from dealing with matters on which they lobbied within the two-year window.” (Kenneth P. Vogel & Mike Allen, “Obama Finds Room For Lobbyists,” Politico, 1/30/09) 

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