Duke Energy won’t be repaid $10 million for the Democratic National Convention

The Charlotte ObserverMarch 1, 2013 

— Duke Energy will not be repaid a $10 million line of credit it guaranteed the city of Charlotte to host the Democratic National Convention last year.

The nation’s largest utility confirmed Thursday that it will not be repaid.

Duke had indicated in November it did not expect to be repaid. The utility said it can claim the money as a business expense for tax purposes. Duke shareholders will pay $6 million of the cost.

Duke spokesman David Scanzoni said the $10 million took one penny off Duke’s earnings for last year, when it earned $1.7 billion.

“That’s a (large) sum of money, but it did not have a large impact to shareholders,” Scanzoni said.

Duke CEO Jim Rogers said the company’s support was good for the city. He said Duke would have made the same offer if the Republicans had met in Charlotte.

“At the end of the day, we’ll do our best to get our money back,” Rogers had said in January. “But if we don’t, it’s just a contribution we’re making, I think, for the greater good of our community.”

The DNC host committee struggled to raise money for the convention under rules imposed by the White House that banned corporate cash contributions. A month after last year’s convention, the committee had raised about $24 million of its original goal of about $37 million.

Duke also donated $1.5 million in in-kind contributions for office space, furniture and other expenses. The utility also gave about $4 million to a separate fund that could accept corporate money to put on parties boosting the city.

Duke has said it expected no favoritism from the Obama administration, noting that it has agreed with Democrats on some issues and with Republicans on others.

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