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Updated at 10:40 a.m.
In addition to super PACs and massive politically-affiliated groups, the Democratic National Convention was bankrolled largely by unions, Silicon Valley, large Philadelphia-based corporations and the federal government.
Scores of donors who contributed to the Democratic National Convention were disclosed Monday night just before the first presidential debate got underway. The DNC Host Committee, chaired by former Mayor and Gov. Ed Rendell, filed its mandatory post-convention report Monday with the Federal Elections Commission after spending months under scrutiny for not reporting who was contributing financially to the convention.
Of the more than $70 million in contributions that came into the Host Committee, there were the usual suspects, like the Democratic Governors Association that donated $2 million to put on the convention and Priorities USA, a super PAC that supports Hillary Clinton, which put in $1.5 million. Major banks and corporations from across the country were listed as donating thousands and, in some cases, millions of dollars.
There was also significant local support for hosting the convention, coming from major corporations, nonprofits and big donors in the area.
1. The City of Philadelphia contributed $8.6 million (from the feds)
In addition to a promised $10 million from the state, three separate contributions from the City of Philadelphia were logged, all of which were made in July 2016 just before the Convention. Those contributions totaled about $8.6 million.
A spokeswoman for Mayor Jim Kenney said the contributions from the city were not local taxpayer dollars, but instead were federal funds from the Department of Justice granted to the city for security costs. The city then diverted to the Host Committee to cover their security costs.
After the city was officially named to host the 2016 DNC, then-Mayor Michael Nutter said the city was preparing a $15 million “line of credit” to support the committee putting on the event. The expectation was the Host Committee would pay that back. A separate entry in the Host Committee’s post-convention report lists a $5 million loan from PIDC, which manages the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development, the entity that originally approved the loan.
2. The big Philadelphia corporations contributed millions
Philadelphia corporations, nonprofits and, yes, sports teams supported the host committee both with huge donations and in-kind contributions. Here are some of the most notable:
- Campbell Soup Company – $25,000
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – $50,000
- Comcast – $500,000 (plus another $3 million in in-kind donations)
- Cozen O’Connor – $25,000 (plus more than $200,000 in in-kind donations)
- Drexel University – $85,000
- GlaxoSmithKline – $100,000
- Independence Blue Cross – $1.5 million
- PECO – $540,000 (plus $1.2 million in in-kind donations)
- Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau – $3.7 million
- Philadelphia Eagles – $12,500
- Starr Catering Company – $134,740 in-kind
- The Phillies – $12,500
- The Rachel and Drew Katz Foundation – $50,000
- Thomas Jefferson University – $100,000
- Wawa – $250,000
3. The committee got a huge boost from Silicon Valley
Some of the country’s largest tech firms donated to support political conventions in both Cleveland and Philadelphia. These are the biggest major tech companies that donated to the host committee:
- AirBnB – $100,000
- Facebook – $1.45 million
- Google – $500,000
- Microsoft – $650,000
- Samsung – $100,000
- Twitter – $250,000
- Uber – $190,000
Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Twitter all donated similar amounts to the Cleveland host committee. Not so for AirBnb and Uber, which both only donated to put on the DNC.
4. There were also some… seemingly random donors
Many of the major donors on the list were expected. Others? Not so much. Here are some of the, erm, weirdest we came across:
- Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse – $300 worth of in-kind donations
- Committee to Elect Kathleen Kane Attorney General – $5,000 (This was donated in September 2014, nearly two full years before Kane became a felon and resigned from her post at Pennsylvania attorney general.)
- Ride the Ducks Philadelphia – $248 worth of in-kind donations
- Wolf Inaugural Committee – $30,000. (Well, if it’s Gov. Tom Wolf’s inaugural committee, maybe they didn’t need it anymore?)
5. As expected, unions played a huge role
Unions have poured millions into supporting candidates from both sides of the aisle, but the majority of the country’s largest unions have backed Clinton. Here are some of the largest donations to the host committee from unions:
- AFSCME – $485,000
- AFT – $525,000
- International Brotherhood of Electrical – $1.7 million ( Philadelphia’s Local 98 contributed its own $25,000.)
- SEIU 1199 – $275,000
- Service Employees International Union – $250,000
- United Association of Plumbers – $800,000
- United Food & Commercial Workers – $260,000
6. Ed Rendell dumped in some of his own cash
Well before it was officially announced that Philadelphia would play host to the 2016 convention and it was still battling with Brooklyn and Columbus, former Philadelphia Mayor/ Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell put in some of his own cash. The DNC’s records show that in August 2014, Rendell, who was tasked with rounding up major donors leading up to the city’s bid to host the convention, donated $15,000 out of his own pocket to the cause.
7. And so did Philadelphia mega-donor Gerry Lenfest
Also months before it was officially announced that Philadelphia would host the convention, H.F. Gerry Lenfest — who was at the time the owner of the Philadelphia Media Network — donated a pretty penny to the host committee. The DNC’s records show Lenfest kicked in $1 million in December 2014.
In January of this year, Lenfest donated The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Daily News and Philly.com to a new nonprofit: The Institute for Journalism in New Media. Lenfest, 86, has reportedly given away more than a billion dollars in charitable donations over the years.