Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hillary's Debt Could Burden Her for Years

This should make me feel better but it doesn't really.

New York Times today: For Clinton, Millions in Debt, Few Options. She is thought to owe between 25 and 30 million dollars.
What makes Mrs. Clinton’s situation unusual is the combination of unpaid bills and her own personal loan. Records show that other unsuccessful candidates owed less than half to their vendors than what she owes to businesses. “It’s unprecedented,” said Jan Baran, a campaign finance lawyer with Wiley Rein.
Memories of John Glenn:
And in one of the more memorable cases of debt, former Senator John Glenn of Ohio ended his 1984 Democratic presidential bid with nearly $3 million in debt. He struggled for more than 20 years to pay it off until the Federal Election Commission issued him a reprieve.
Obama can't simply transfer money from his donors to her coffers - a misapprehension so widely pervasive that even Brian Williams asked that question. (I thought he was smarter than that). In early May, May 10th to be exact, bloggers made clear there was no way legally for that to happen, even if Obama was willing.

But what he can do is do some joint fundraisers with her. McCain offered to do that for Guiliani but that hasn't been going so well.

Plus, as the New York Times notes - the DNC needs money; it's way behind the RNC. Elsewhere, it's being reported that the committee for the convention in Denver needs funding; it's behind in its fundraising goals (the Republicans are not). These weeks, since March 4th, have been an ego trip. As far as I'm concerned, it's her problem.

Ironically, she has to return about 23M raised for the general election. With written permission from each individual donor, she can transfer the $2300 each gave to her Senate fundraising election committee, but opinions are mixed if she can use what is retained to pay off her presidential campaign debts.

Talking Points Memo noted:
And Hillary could end up spending a long time raising cash expressly for the purposes of paying off old bills, not financing a current or future campaign.
I hope Bill is forced to take speaking engagements in really ugly, hard to get to places, with inhospitable audiences.

If they don't raise the money to pay themselves back the 9.5M they loaned to the campaign by the convention, all but 250K is forfeit. A provision of McCain-Feingold to discourage self-financing of campaigns.

I made my view on this subject clear a month ago.

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