DNC Owes Union Bank $15M

Debbie Wasserman Schultz / AP
October 19, 2012

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) now owes $15 million to the union-owned Amalgamated Bank of New York, campaign finance records show.

The DNC received a $7 million loan from the bank in September, in addition to the $8 million loan it took out the previous month, neither of which has been paid back. The loans account for the majority of the committee’s $20 million in total debt.

The DNC paid Amalgamated Bank more than $18,000 in loan interest for the month of September, the records show.

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 large, 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.

In August, the DNC "moved its primary banking relationship" to Amalgamated Bank from Bank of America.

DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz hailed the transition, 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."

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 President Barack Obama and other Democratic candidates, an investment that has reaped numerous political dividends.

The DNC went $15 million over its budget for the 2012 Democratic Convention in Charlotte, despite breaking its pledge to not accept money from corporations.