Duke Energy Buys $10 Million Worth Of Influence At Democratic National Convention

Duke CEO Jim Rogers

Local boosters are always involved in efforts to land big events in their home cities.  So on one level, Duke Energy’s guarantee of a $10 million line of credit for the organising committee of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, is unsurprising. Such arrangements are, at least in part, what leads to a city like Charlotte winning the auction to host the Convention. 

And as it happens, Duke Energy’s CEO, Jim Rogers, is heading up Charlotte’s fund-raising efforts for the Convention.  In this role, Mr. Rogers is on the hook to raise $36.5 million to meet the city’s contractual obligations to the Democratic National Convention.  He says his fund-raising team will get the job done.

On the other hand, the fact that Duke Energy’s shareholders and rate-payers might be on the hook for $10 million (in the event of a host committee default) seems sketchy.  The fact that the Democratic National Committee would put itself in this position also seems sketchy (and stupid).  All concerned are hoping that this is a one-day story, that gets lost in the coverage of Japan.

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