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.Just more of the old do as I say, not as I do bit the Democrats have turned into a fine art.
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.
Republicans have called the new restrictions "sleight of hand." They say Duke's loan guarantee is more of the same.Follow the money, of course. There's something in it for Duke.
"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."
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.It's costing more and more to be useful idiots these days.
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."
H/T Byron York.