Watchdog groups say the loan shows that Obama put political expediency
above his pledge to run “the most transparent government in history,”
“It’s clear the administration is hypocritical.”
Despite Obama’s crackdown on emissions from coal-fired plants, Duke is
one of at least a dozen firms exempted by the administration so it can
pursue energy projects paid for by stimulus dollars, according to a
report by the Center for Public Integrity.
The Democratic National Committee has no intention of repaying the
country’s largest electrical power company for the unprecedented $10
million line of credit it guaranteed to help a local host committee fund
last September’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
According to an article on the Washington Times
web site, an official for Duke Energy said the company would claim the
money as a business expense for tax purposes, meaning shareholders will
foot $6 million of the cost.
The amount of the loan and the secrecy surrounding it has raised red flags for government watchdog groups.
They claim the arrangement smacks of serious conflict-of-interest issues
for President Obama and disputes his claim to be committed to
disclosure and transparency.
Since Duke Energy guaranteed the loan, the company had previously
refused to issue any information regarding payment terms or when it
would come due.
At the end of January, a Duke Energy spokesman referred all questions
about the loan to Dan Murrey, a surgeon in Charlotte who acted as
chairman of the convention host committee, which is an independent group
affiliated with the DNC.
Murrey told The Washington Times only that the line of credit was with
two banks — Bank of America and the Charlotte-based Mechanics &
“We are still finishing up some collections and disbursements related to
the convention, and the account is still open,” Murrey said.
In 2011, The White House originally banned corporate donations to the
convention, but with Democratic supporters intent on donating to what
would become the most expensive presidential campaign in history, the
host committee organizing the convention found itself strapped for cash
and reversed the decision.