While the Democratic National Convention has publicly pledged to refuse the money of corporate donors for the week’s events, the official host committee has been quietly and aggressively courting corporate donors.
Even stranger, the DNC has been doing this through a sister nonprofit, promising corporate firms special “sponsorship opportunities” if they donate up $1 million or more to help cover the costs of the event. According to a marketing brochure obtained by MSNBC, companies that paid out seven figures got “naming rights” at “villages” at the street festival that opened the convention, and reassurance that “your logo will be featured prominently.”
Though the DNC has struggled to cover its $37 million price tag, courting corporate sponsors has certainly helped foot the bill to the tune of almost half. The DNC has made $15 million in corporate donations from various companies including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Duke Power and Time Warner Cable, according to public statements by foundation and host committee officials.
“It’s amazing how creative Democrats can be finding loopholes around their own rules,” said Bill Allison of the Sunlight Foundation, a group that has studied the roles of corporations and lobbyists at both party’s conventions. “It’s the Super Bowl for special interests at the convention. We’re seeing it in Charlotte the same way that we saw it in Tampa.”
Also, though the DNC initially pledged to hold “the most transparent convention” in history, and to release the names of all donors as they come in, convention organizers are now saying that they won’t be releasing a complete list of donors until they are required to do so under federal election law, meaning we won’t see it until next month, long after the convention is over.