Despite a promise to shun corporate money, the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte was funded in part by millions of dollars in such donations, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
Democrats used at least $5 million from corporations and took a roughly $8 million loan from Duke Energy, the country’s largest electricity provider. The Associated Press was the first to report the corporate fund-raising.
It is legal for convention organizers to accept corporate cash, and Republicans did the same for their convention in Tampa. But Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz promised “the first convention in history that does not accept any funds from lobbyists, corporations or political action committees.”
“This will be the first modern political convention funded by the grassroots, funded by the people,” Wasserman Schultz added last year, during a convention kickoff event.
Much of the other $24 million raised by Democrats came not from grassroots donors but from corporate foundations, special interest groups and wealthy individuals, some of whom exceeded the convention’s self-imposed, $100,000 cap on individual gifts.
At a campaign event in North Carolina on Thursday, Wasserman Schultz said she knows nothing about the convention’s fund-raising sources, according to the AP.
“I haven’t seen the report, and I’m not familiar with the details of it,” Wasserman Schultz said. “You have to speak to the host committee.”Callum Borchers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.