Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa defended Democrats who choose to refer to the site of the Democratic National Convention — Bank of America Stadium — as “Panther Stadium.”
“Do you have a problem with a mega-bank sponsor?” CNN asked him. “I don’t have a problem with the sponsor. And whoever is talking about the Panthers — the Panthers do play there.” (Bank of American Stadium is the home field of the NFL team, the Carolina Panthers.
Villaraigosa refused to use the bank’s name during his CNN interview today. “I’m calling it the football stadium,” he said.
The Service Employees International Union, a powerful support for Democrats, has had a big problem with the sponsor: debt. “According to Department of Labor filings, in 2007 the SEIU owed $94,578,779 to … Bank of America,” Mark Hemingway reported in 2010.
The union sent 500 supporters to mob the home of a Bank of America lawyer, whose son was home alone at the time. The attorney forced his way through the crowd on his porch and lawn, saying “I need to get into the house. I have a child who is alone in there and frightened.” CNN, in covering the so-called “protest,” noted that the union owed the bank over $4 million in fees.
Occupy Wall Street, which President Obama embraced as a liberal version of the Tea Party, held a protest at the Bank of America headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., back in May. At the time, the occupiers billed the protest as a practice run for a protest expected to take place during the Democratic National Convention.
“I think Bank of America is the most important thing that Occupy Wall Street has going on right now,” Occupy Wall Street protestor Max Berger told The Huffington Post in May. “I look at Bank of America as the weak spot in the entire financial system. The campaign to break up Bank of America is like Luke blowing up the Death Star. It’s the one thing that keeps the whole thing together. This is the opportunity to hold the people who destroyed the economy accountable for what they did.”
Former Al Gore aide Donna Brazile used the term “Panther Stadium” in a fundraising email earlier this summer. But Dr. Dan Murrey, the executive director of the convention, finally used the proper name of the stadium in a recent fundraising message of his own.