Volume 11 ••• Fall 2012
Democratic National Committee To Pull Funds From Bank Of America
August 13, 2012
The Democratic National Committee will announce sometime in the next few days that it’s pulling some of its business from Bank of America, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing a “Democratic Party official.” Instead, the organization will keep its money at union-owned Amalgamated Bank. The process of moving all of the DNC’s money to Amalgamated will be completed after the election, according to the paper.
The move could make things a little awkward between the DNC and President Obama’s reelection campaign, which uses BofA for its banking needs. And as the Wall Street Journal notes, Obama will accept the Democratic presidential nomination at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., where the bank is headquartered.
The DNC is just the latest in a slew of organizations and cities to pull its money from BofA, and the move could put pressure on the Obama campaign to do the same. The city of Brockton, Mass., divested its $170 million account from BofA earlier this month, and a Bay Area priest pulled his church’s money from BofA last year, in order to protest the bank's foreclosure policies, according to the Bay Citizen.
Even though others are doing it, it’s unlikely Obama’s campaign will take a public stand against a major Wall Street bank while the president is looking to haul in election cash. BofA is one of many big companies where employees are ditching Obama, and pulling his campaign money from their employer likely wouldn't increase BofA employee donations. In 2008, 44 percent of BofA workers' campaign contributions went to Republicans. In 2012, that share shot up to 72 percent, according to Bloomberg.
Overall, Obama's presidential rival is beating him at raising Wall Street cash. As of June, Mitt Romney's campaign had pulled in $37.1 million in fundraising dollars from the financial sector, compared to the Obama campaign’s $4.8 million, according to Slate.
Although he referred to bankers as “fat cats” in 2009, Obama is still taking pains to woo them. But as The New York Times detailed earlier this year, Obama’s campaign has had trouble convincing Wall Street that the president hasn't turned against it, amid financial reforms and populist rhetoric.
Even Warren Buffett wasn’t enough to bring out Wall Street’s finest for an Obama fundraiser hosted by the Oracle of Omaha last October. The turnout was “disappointing,” according to the New York Post.