Today is a good day for the Democratic National Committee. Duke Energy, which helped bankroll the Democratic convention in Charlotte last year with a $10 million loan, announced it would forgive the Democratic party of its massive debt.
"Duke Energy won’t be repaid the $10 million line of credit it guaranteed for Charlotte to host last year’s Democratic National Convention, the company confirmed Thursday," reports the Charlotte Observer.
As the credit line came due, Duke made official what it had signaled to shareholders in an earnings report last November. Because Duke can claim the money as a business expense for tax purposes, shareholders will foot $6 million of the cost.
The DNC host committee struggled to raise money under fundraising rules set by the White House that banned corporate cash contributions. By last October, a month after the convention, it had raised $24.1 million of the original $36.6 million goal.
Duke’s financial support of Charlotte’s biggest event became a political football soon after the credit guarantee was announced in early 2011. Sidewalk protesters from FreedomWorks, a conservative group, waved “Fire Jim Rogers” signs as Duke’s CEO presided over the company’s annual meeting that spring.
As the article details, the $10 million gift from Duke violates the Democrats' self-imposed ban of taking corporate donations. But what difference, at this point, does it make? The election is long over, anyway.