It’s been exactly two months since the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. The delegates are long gone, but there’s still about $10 million in debt and unpaid obligations incurred by the Charlotte in 2012 host committee.
The biggest bill to pay: A loan of $7.9 million against a line of credit guaranteed by Duke Energy.
So will Charlotte’s host committee pay off the loan? Or will Duke shareholders be on the hook for it?
The Observer posed those questions last week to Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, who co-chaired the host committee.
“As I’ve said before, the fundamental promise of the convention was (to have) a great event, put the city on a great international stage and at no expense to the city property taxpayers,” he began. “Obviously there’s still some shifting of numbers that’s still happening, there’s still some expected income there and we’re going to have to settle on what the target is and figure it out from there. But I feel that the most important thing is that our property taxpayers are protected.”
Does that mean the host committee, if it still exists, will continue to be out there, trying to raise money to pay off the loan?
“Again, you have to figure out where the settling point is in terms of the revenues that are kind of coming in and going out,” the mayor said. “That has not happened.”
So, is Foxx himself out raising money to pay it off?
“I am working hard for the city of Charlotte – that’s what I’m doing right now,” he said.
The other host committee co-chair was Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy. Tim Funk
Clinton still popular in N.C.
When former President Bill Clinton returns to North Carolina on Sunday to campaign for the Democratic ticket in Raleigh, he will return as one of the Tar Heel State’s favorite presidents.
A survey by High Point University asked voters which president of the last 50 years they would bring back to serve as president again.
Clinton was chosen by 33 percent of North Carolinians, second only to Ronald Reagan who was picked by 35 percent.
John F. Kennedy was a distant third with 15 percent. No other president got more than 2 percent.
That was not much different from the national poll that High Point took, which had Reagan at 34 percent, Clinton at 29 percent, and Kennedy at 16 percent. The News & Observer
N.C. drug-maker for Mitt
A political action committee bankrolled by a pharmaceutical entrepreneur in Wilmington just bought $1.5 million in Internet advertising to help Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
That was the report Saturday from the Washington-based Sunlight Foundation, a non-partisan nonprofit that pushes for greater transparency and openness in government and politics.
The foundation identified Fred Eshelman as the only donor on record for Right Change, the PAC responsible for the ad featuring a young girl accusing President Barack Obama of leaving her generation in the lurch.
In 2010, the foundation reported, Eshelman gave Right Change nearly $3 million. The founder of Pharmaceutical Products Development, Eshelman now heads Furiex, Inc., and has been a backer of several Republican causes and candidates – including some in North Carolina. Tim Funk
Hagan stocking up for 2014
Election Day 2012 isn’t even here yet, but some U.S. senators are already out planning fundraisers to pay for their 2014 re-election campaigns.
Including North Carolina’s Kay Hagan.
The Washington Post reported last week that Democrat Hagan is having a “Holiday Reception in support of her re-election” on Dec. 11 at Fiola on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. Political action committees can attend by ponying up $5,000, according to the Post.
Hagan, who beat Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole in 2008, isn’t alone in raising money for 2014. The Post reported that Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., was hosting a “Roundtable Lunch” for discussion of “the looming fiscal cliff.” To “co-host” the event: $5,000. But those who want to be Warner’s “friend” can show up with just $1,000.
Republicans are getting into the spirit as well, the Post said. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., will take big campaign donations for those who’d like to attend his “Second Annual Seafood Birthday Celebration,” with the fish flown in from Miami Beach. Tim Funk
Wolfpack red, Tar Heels blue?
It turns out Wolfpack fans overwhelmingly like red on the court and in the voting booth, and that Tar Heels similarly stick with blue on Election Day. Blue Devils land somewhere in the middle.
As part of the latest Elon University Poll, people around North Carolina were asked whether they support Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.
They were also asked if they’re hoping the Wolfpack’s historic preseason ranking holds out (they’re No. 6 and ahead of rivals on either side of the Tobacco Road) or if they want a repeat of one version or another of recent history when March Madness rolls around.
• North Carolina State fans support Romney over Obama, 59 percent to 30 percent.
• University of North Carolina fans support Obama over Romney, 53 percent to 41 percent.
• Duke University fans slightly favor Obama over Romney, 47 percent to 45 percent – a margin within the poll’s margin of error. The News & Observer
Church services on election day
As a polarized America goes to the polls Tuesday, some churches around the country will hold services Tuesday night designed to bring people together.
In Charlotte, a Holy Communion service at Myers Park United Methodist, 1501 Queens Road, will begin at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary.
The church’s pastor, the Rev. James Howell, said it’s part of the national effort to “defuse the animosity out there.”
The idea for churches to welcome supporters of both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to join together was hatched by a group of Mennonite pastors in Virginia and Indiana
The goal, organizers say on their Web site (www.electiondaycommunion.org) is to “build unity for Christ in the midst of theological, political and denominational differences.”
Details about the Charlotte service: www.mpumc.org; 704-376-8584. Tim Funk