DNC Literally in Hock to SEIU

DNC owes millions to union-owned bank, records show

Debbie Wasserman Schultz / AP
September 21, 2012

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) owes at least $8 million to a bank owned by one of the largest unions in the country, according to the committee’s most recent financial report.

The DNC initiated an $8 million loan with the Amalgamated Bank of New York on Aug. 10, the report shows, accounting for the majority of the committee’s overall debt of $11 million.

Amalgamated Bank, often described as "America’s Labor Bank," is a national entity, the majority of which is owned by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a politically active union with deep ties to the Democratic Party. The SEIU is also involved with the Democracy Alliance, a shadowy group of wealthy left-wing donors founded by billionaire investor George Soros.

The bank announced in an August press release that the DNC had "moved its primary banking relationship" to Amalgamated Bank, which would handle the committee’s "day-to-day banking needs."

The DNC had previously done most of its banking with Bank of America, which helped finance the Democratic convention in Charlotte.

DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz hailed the transition to Amalgamated Bank, and noted the longstanding political and financial ties between the two organizations.

The committee, she said, had a "fiduciary responsibility to those who invest in our party."

"It is critical that we honor their efforts to strengthen our infrastructure and build our organization by partnering with an institution that shares our commitment to standing with America’s working families and small businesses," she said in a press release.

The SEIU is one of the most active political interest groups in the country, and a top financial backer of the Democratic Party. The union has given at least $200 million in direct contributions to candidates and committees since 1990 and has spent at least $14 million on lobbying since 1998, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The SEIU spent more than $80 million in 2008 in support of Obama and other Democratic candidates, an investment that has reaped numerous political dividends.

Former SEIU president Andy Stern was the most frequent visitor to the White House in the first year of Obama's presidency and was later nominated to serve on the Bowles-Simpson deficit commission. Stern was spotted poolside at a lavish Democracy Alliance summit in May held at the historic Biltmore Hotel near Miami.

The group’s international president, Mary Kay Henry, sits on the Democracy Alliance (DA) board of directors. The DA funnels millions of dollars in secret donations to Democratic candidates and causes.

The SEIU and the DNC did not return requests for comment.