Obama Wants His PE Friends to Meet His Party Planner

Photograph by David T. Foster III/Charlotte Observer/MCT /Landov

Jim Rogers, left, CEO of Duke Energy, and Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx make an official announcement regarding the city of Charlotte being named the site of the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

President Obama is making sure that 60 of his richest supporters in Manhattan meet a friend of his from Charlotte — someone who could sure use a little cash.

No, it’s not Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, who inadvertently lended his bank’s name to Obama’s re-election effort when Obama decided to move his acceptance speech to the 75,000 capacity outdoor Bank of America stadium.

It’s Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, the co-chair of the Charlotte host committee, which is putting on the Democrats nominating convention in September.

Tonight, Rogers will be accompanying Obama to the apartment of Blackstone Group LLC’s President Tony James, according to a person familiar with the matter. Rogers could use some $100,000 checks, the most the committee will accept from individuals.

His fundraisers back in Charlotte are chafing under a ban, imposed by headquarters in Chicago, on cold hard corporate cash, which has traditionally been the mother’s milk of party conventions. With a $36 million budget, the Charlotte committee is still short more than $20 million, according to a person familiar with the funding strategy.

Bereft of corporate money, convention planners have looked to the labor unions to help close their funding gap. But they have been told to expect, at most, $4 million from from organized labor this year, less than half of the $8 million the unions contributed four years ago, said the person. The number could eventually be less than $1 million.

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