Shortly after Labor Day, as polls continued to sink, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) realized it needed a cash infusion for the upcoming midterm elections. Its chairman, former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, turned to the Bank of America to secure a $15 million revolving credit line. Then, in the middle of this month, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) got another loan from BofA for an additional $17 million.
What was their collateral? It turns out, not much.
The DNC claims their collateral was an intangible piece of property — its donor mailing list. The DCCC only cites unnamed “assets.” Neither party organization possesses real estate even close to cover the $32 million. The DNC’s headquarters is owned by another entity. Even it was put up as collateral, its market value was last estimated at only $13.7 million.
Were the Bank of America deals legitimate, arms-length transactions, or were they cozy sweetheart deals in which nothing was really put up to secure a $32 million loan?
And if it was the latter, could it be considered an illegal campaign contribution from the largest bank holding company in America?
There also is troubling evidence that two days before closing on the loan transaction, the DNC changed its own privacy provisions to allow the selling or sharing of private donor data.
BofA has been a longtime friend of Democrats. In the 2008 election cycle, BofA gave its largest single campaign contribution to then-Senator Barack Obama. According to Bloomberg News, BofA’s new CEO, Brian Moynihan, is considered Obama’s top political ally on Wall Street.
On the eve of the midterm elections, the appearance of preferential loans from cozy Wall Street bankers could play badly with the electorate. What message does a largely unsecured $32 million credit line for the Democratic Party send to thousands of cash-starved small businesses across the nation who can’t secure any credit even with tangible assets?