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Corporations Can Expect To Pay More For Conventions

Congress has taken steps to remove public funds from partially paying for national party conventions, but corporations, unions, and individuals will soon be on the hook for making up the difference.  

The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill by voice vote to end taxpayer funding for presidential party conventions and use those funds for researching pediatric cancer and other childhood disorders. The funds come from the $3 check-off on taxpayer annual returns.  

In 2012, the Democratic and Republican National Conventions each received $18 million from the taxpayer funding. In addition, each raised private funds for their conventions. The Democrats raised $37 million. The Republicans raised $57 million.  Without taxpayer funding, the parties will be going back to donors to earlier conventions for even larger contributions for 2016. For some donors there is an advertising justification, and for others they may provide in-kind products or services, but all donors receive special thanks from national public policy makers.

Selected donors to the Democrat’s 2012 convention include: Duke Energy $1.6 million; Bank of America $1 million; American Federation of Teachers $500,000; Service Employees Union $500,000; Thomas Steyer $500,000; United Association $500,000; Fred Eychaner $500,000; among many others. View year-end 2012 report.

In addition, Duke Energy announced in March 2013, that the company would not be repaid the $10 million line of credit it guaranteed for the 2012 Charlotte, North Carolina Democratic convention. The company stated it will claim it as a business expense for tax purposes. The Charlotte Observer reported Duke and Progress Energy received $200 million in federal funds for smart grid improvements in 2009. A Duke power plant also won a $125 million ‘advanced coal’ credit from the Department of Energy, and another of their plants in Indiana got $460 million in local, state, and federal incentives.

Selected donors to the Republican’s 2012 convention include: Sheldon Adelson $5 million; Cisco Systems (in-kind) $3 million; American Petroleum Institute $2 million; AT&T Services $1.5 million and $1.6 million (in-kind); Brighthouse Networks $1 million and $1.5 million (in-kind); David Koch $1 million; Florida Power & Light $1 million; Paulson & Company $1 million; Paul Singer $1 million, among many others. View year-end 2012 report

View the Political MoneyLine’s convention donors for 2012, 2008, 2004, 2000.

Note: These contributions do not include expenditures made by individuals, corporations and unions to underwrite private parties, hospitality suites and other entertainment events.

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