Monday, March 31, 2008

So She Claim the Need for National Health Care?

Well, I don't know the reason, but the's Kenneth P. Vogel notes that Hillary Clinton's campaign is nearly $300,000 in arrears for health care coverage for her campaign staff. Of course, that is not even the biggest debt the campaign owes, that is reserved for Mark Penn's firm, to which Hillary owes $2.5 million or so.

I can live with a campaign not paying their (overpriced) pollster, I can't live with not paying the hundreds of small businesses and other non-political groups as the debts come due.

According to the records, Hillary has over 600 unpaid bills ranging from a few hundred dollars to several hundred thousand dollars before you even get to Penn's firm. From Vogel:
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s cash-strapped presidential campaign has been putting off paying hundreds of bills for months — freeing up cash for critical media buys but also earning the campaign a reputation as something of a deadbeat in some small-business circles.

A pair of Ohio companies owed more than $25,000 by Clinton for staging events for her campaign are warning others in the tight-knit event production community — and anyone else who will listen — to get their cash upfront when doing business with her. Her campaign, say representatives of the two companies, has stopped returning phone calls and e-mails seeking payment of outstanding invoices. One even got no response from a certified letter.

Their cautionary tales, combined with published reports about similar difficulties faced by a New Hampshire landlord, an Iowa office cleaner and a New York caterer, highlight a less-obvious impact of Clinton’s inability to keep up with the staggering fundraising pace set by her opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

Clinton's campaign did not respond to recent, specific questions about its transactions with vendors. But Clinton spokesman Jay Carson pointed on Saturday to an earlier statement the campaign issued to Politico, asserting: "The campaign pays its bills regularly and in the normal course of business, and pays all of its bills."

Just like with other businesses, it’s common for campaigns to carry unpaid bills from month to month, but in Clinton’s case, it also could serve a strategic purpose.

The New York senator’s presidential campaign ended February with $33 million in the bank, according to a report filed last week with the Federal Election Commission, but only $11 million of that can be spent on her battle with Obama.

The rest can be spent only in the general election, if she makes it that far, and must be returned if she doesn’t. If she had paid off the $8.7 million in unpaid bills she reported as debt and had not loaned her campaign $5 million, she would have been nearly $3 million in the red at the end of February.
So in reality, the Clinton Camp is nearly $14 million in the hole and hoping to make it past the convention. Not exactly a sound financial plan.

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