DNC host committee misses goal by $12.5M

Oct. 18, 2012 at 3:20 PM
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CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The host committee for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., fell $12.5 million short of its initial fundraising goal, campaign documents show.

Citing reports filed Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission, The Charlotte Observer said organizers raised $24.1 million in cash and in-kind contributions to cover the cost of the convention. The committee had agreed contractually to raise as much as $36.6 million but faced obstacles, including newly imposed restrictions by the Democratic Party on accepting contributions from corporations and lobbyists.

Host Committee Chief Executive Officer Dan Murrey said cost-cutting steps reduced the budget for the convention to $31.3 million, the newspaper reported.

The committee made up for the shortfall by using $7.9 million of a $10 million line of credit provided by Duke Energy, which is based in Charlotte. The company had guaranteed the line of credit in 2011 to help draw the convention to Charlotte.

The host committee has until Feb. 28 to repay the loan -- $7.4 million to Bank of America, and $500,000 to Mechanics & Farmers Bank.

Murrey said funds to repay the loan will not come from President Barack Obama's re-election campaign or the Democratic National Committee, so the committee will keep raising funds on its own.

The FEC documents show the committee raised funds through two organizations -- Committee for Charlotte 2012, which limited individual donor contributions to $100,000 and did not accept corporate cash contributions, and New American City, which generally promoted Charlotte and was permitted to accept corporate cash and larger contributions.

New American City accepted $5 million from Bank of America, $4.1 million from Duke Energy and $2 million from Dreamworks II Financial. Time Warner Cable, Experient, Wells Fargo and Coca-Cola also donated to New American City.

Committee for Charlotte 2012 received $1.56 million from Duke Energy and $271,864 from Bank of America in in-kind contributions, and $100,000 cash contributions from Belk Inc. Community Fund, Crandall and Erskine Bowles, entertainer Chelsea Handler and Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt.

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