Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Clinton's Debt Machine

While Hillary Clinton's campaign admits to owing $20 Million, her aides insist that she is not looking for a number 2 slot or intends to quit the race.

The question really facing Clinton, is how does she intend to pay the debts she owes to others besides herself. The debt owed by her campaign to her can be "written off" and essentially converted to a candidate contribution, for which there is no limit. But Clinton owes millions of dollars to hundreds of other creditors, that is vendors from whom she purchased goods and services and now owes.

Now the easy answer would be to ask the FEC to grant her the ability to use her substantial general election funds to service her debt. However, there does not appear to be any legal justification for such a move, although there does appear to be a moral justification for it--i.e. the vendors operated in the normal course of their business and thus have a legitimate expectation of payment. Without payment, the Hillary Clinton Campaign could find themselves spending huge sums of money litigation lawsuits seeking payment for debts.

Alternatively, Clinton could lend her campaign more personal money, pay her debts and then write off the candidate debt. This may not be a course of action that Clinton herself wants to take, but if she has any future for running for office, she needs to make sure she can get goods and services and without paying, her campaign's "credit rating" is going to be worse than a bankrupt entity.

The FEC could possibly be persuaded to allow Clinton to use general election funds. Oh, wait, that can't happen because there is no quorum of the FEC to permit it to hear and grant an advisory opinion. Ooops, that may not work after all.

To say that Hillary Clinton screwed herself with her financial operations would be an understatment. Her reliance on her "inevitability" and big dollar donors has killed her financial operation. To keep going, she is going to need more money for the next couple of weeks and it probably won't be enough. Obama need only stay relatively close to keep picking up delegates and stay ahead of Clinton in the delegate race.

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