DNC officials say money received from corporate sponsors at the convention is being used to showcase Charlotte and its communities. However, some attendees say the sponsors' presence concerns them. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
The Democratic national convention says no corporate influence allowed.
"The convention that I saw in Tampa and that the rest of the country saw was a typical special-interest funded, corporate-infused, backroom-deal, smoke-filled-room, invitation-only type of affair," DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz said Monday. "We're doing things differently."
But are you sure about that?
AT&T. Duke Energy. Time Warner Cable. United Health Group. Coca-Cola. Bank of America. The list goes on. They are all corporate sponsors.
These companies contributed to a separate convention account. DNC officials say the money is not going to official convention activities. It's going to showcase Charlotte and its communities.
"We see this as a great economic development job creation tool for Charlotte to give us the national spotlight, to showcase the city for people who have never been here before about what a great place it is to do business," said Duke Energy spokesman Dave Scanzoni.
These companies were behind the massive street festival that kicked off the convention.
They have set up shop across Charlotte, touting their brands.
"United Health Group has our mobile unit out here today and what we're doing is providing people with free screenings," said Matt Stearns of United Health Group.
It's nothing out of the ordinary. Sponsors were also behind the GOP convention in Tampa.
Nonetheless, it concerns some convention attendees.
"Corporations are trying to buy access and influence," said one attendee. "It's alright to take the money but if in any way, that influences decision making that is absolutely wrong. And that's why we need campaign finance reform."
Take Duke Energy. They are all over the DNC. That corporate giving, they say, is not about their political agenda.
"We'll disagree with whatever president it is if there is a policy we feel is not in the best interest of our consumers," Scanzoni said.
The host committee was not ready to disclose how much money they have received from corporate sponsors to put on this convention. They said they would eventually file that information with the Federal Election Commission.