$10 million corporate loan for Democratic convention won’t be repaid

As it turns out, Democrats were not able to live up to their pledge not to accept corporate contributions to fund the Democratic National Convention.

Duke Energy has told the Charlotte Observer that the company will not be paid back for its $10 million line of credit to help the city pay for the convention.

The party tried to stage the event without corporate money, per the White House's orders. But the convention struggled to raise money under those constraints, which required it to depend upon the line of credit. Organizers said the money was to be repaid.

But that didn't turn out to be the case. The loan was to be paid off by the end of February. Instead, the company has written it off. Of the total, $4 million is being declared a business expense for a tax benefit, while $6 million will be footed by shareholders.

Obama's inability to fund the convention without corporate money is the latest example of his failure to live up to his ideals when it comes to campaign finance. The president has opted out of public financing after praising the system and has promoted super PACs after decrying their influence; more recently, a nonprofit group spun off from his campaign committee has promised top fundraisers access to meetings with the president.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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Aaron Blake | March 1, 2013