How will the 2012 DNC effect you?
In February 2011, Democratic National Committee Chairman, Timothy Kaine had been in contact with North Carolina Governor Beverly Purdue, elaborating and congratulating her on the choice of Charlotte as the host for the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Along with Kaine came congratulations, and offers of helping hands, from some of Queen City's top C.E.O.s and political figures. Out of all those names, one in particular is sticking out for North Carolina at this time, and that is Duke Energy C.E.O., Jim Rogers.
As a $47,000,000 budget template crossed Purdue's desk, so did the thoughts of Charlotte's financial ability to host. Before initiating fundraising for this economic boosting opportunity, some new financial rules were put into place. The more strict financial guidlines, which republicans are calling "sleight of hand", do things such as no longer allow political organizations, federal lobbyist, or corporations to donate to D.N.C. fundraising, and also limits individual donations to $100,000. With new rules in effect, Charlotte fears a D.N.C. fundraising shortfall, but C.E.O. Jim Rogers thought of a backup plan in March 2011.
Rogers, along with Fifth Third Bank, City of Charlotte, Charlotte Bobcats, Host Committee, and Charlotte Regional Visitor's Authority, drew up contracts that some feel have bent new fundraising financial rules to almost breaking point. Rogers, using those contracts, kicked off D.N.C. fundraising by slipping a $10,000,000 line of credit, presented from Duke Energy, through a legal loop hole. This first time Democratic Convention Organization agreement has left some Americans on edge, even though they have been reassured that stock holders, and not rate payers, will be affected if the line of credit is tapped into. Executive Director of Charlotte's Host Committee, Will Miller stated that "The Host Committee is obligated to pay it back, and the Host Committee will pay it back." In doing so, Miller settled some fears across America and North Carolina, but still things are unsettling for North Carolina taxpayers. You see, if D.N.C. budget is not met, they may be left to pick up the tab for this "once in a lifetime opportunity" to show off Queen City. In addition to the thought of the budget shortfall, North Carolina taxpayers are already facing more financial issues brought on by the D.N.C., such as the demands from Charlotte City, Mecklenburg County, and North Carolina for a completed Uptown project, and additional roadwork to prepare Charlotte for its time to shine.
Can North Carolina, Charlotte City, Mecklenburg County and Host Committee raise enough money? Will they keep financial stability hosting the 2012 Democratic National Convention, or will North Carolina taxpayers have to cash out more of what is rightfully theirs?