While this will almost certainly remain unreported on the broadcast news networks, the Associated Press is reporting that the Democratic National Convention Committee accepted at least $5 million in corporate donations and borrowed another $8 million in order to reach its $36.7 million budgetary goal, according to the financial disclosure reports that were filed with the Federal Election Commission on Oct. 17.
In doing so however, the Democratic Party failed to uphold its pledge to run its convention solely from money raised by individual donors and not corporate cash. "This convention will be different," DNC chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.) promised last year.
"We will make this the first convention in history that does not accept any funds from lobbyists, corporations or political action committees. This will be the first modern political convention funded by the grassroots, funded by the people."
Not so apparently, before the "people's convention" even began last month -- numerous media outlets half-heartedly reported that the DNCC's ardent theme of transparency had fallen by the wayside. Knowing full well that they hadn't followed their own self-imposed protocol, the contributors list was not revealed until it was mandatory by law to hand it over, which was a couple days ago.
The list of 'individual donors' included law firms, charitable organizations (supported by corporations), hedge fund managers, CEOs, and Native American tribes that own and operate large casinos. Several gave more than the $100,000 limit. Thomas Steyer for example, president of the San Francisco-based Farallon Capital Management, donated $500,000. Constance Milstein, the principal and co-founder of Ogden CAP Properties kicked in an additional $300,000 from her real estate firm in New York City.
On the flip side, Republicans reportedly raised almost $56 million but made no secret of how they were going about attaining their own fundraising goals. Both conventions were gifted with $18 million worth of tax return donations and a $50 million grant from the the Department of Homeland Security.