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Friday, May 09, 2008

Clinton’s Fund-Raising Online: $1 Million...But Debt Is Far Higher

By Michael Luo, NYT Caucus

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton raised more than $1 million over the Internet in the 24-hours after the Indiana and North Carolina primaries, according to Hassan Nemazee, a national finance chairman for her campaign.

Despite frequent mentions of the campaign’s Web site by Mrs. Clinton and her surrogates on television, the amount appears to be nowhere near what the campaign collected on some of its best days online after previous contests.
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Stephanopoulos: Clintion Debt 'Far Higher' Than Thought

STEPHANOPOULOS: Two points on Howard's interview. Number one, on Michigan and Florida the problem for the Clinton campaign is that the Democratic National Committee right now simply does not agree with the Clinton position. There's going to be a meeting on May 31st of the Rules and Bylaws Committee. The members of that have signaled pretty clearly that they are not going to simply allow the Michigan and Florida delegations to be seated in full force the way Senator Clinton wants them seated. That makes the path even more difficult than the numbers Chris laid out there. Without Florida and Michigan, there's no path to the nomination. The second big problem for the Clinton campaign right now is money. We know that Senator Clinton loaned herself a little more than $11 million. Going into April, the campaign finance reports show the campaign was carrying a debt of $10 million to $15 million. My sources are noW telling that that number is far higher. The campaign debt is far higher than ten million dollars. It could be double that, maybe even more. And the lack of money and load of that debt could be driving the decisions inside the Clinton camp in coming days.

Resource: Can A Campaign Go Bankrupt?

Sen. Hillary Clinton has lent her campaign another $6.4 million since April 1, a staffer confirmed on Wednesday. The Clinton campaign began last month with $10.3 million in unpaid bills to everyone from political consultants to caterers. If a candidate borrows money during the course of a campaign, what happens to all that debt when she drops out or the election's over?

It needs to be paid back—unless the candidate is the one owed the money. Lenders want their money back, and they are expected to follow the same practices they would if they were lending to a business or an individual. (If Clinton had borrowed from a bank, for example, she would be required to pay interest on the loans.) Moreover, under campaign finance law, an uncollected loan from a corporation—whether it's a bank or a sign maker—could be construed as an illegal contribution. As a result, even though vendors don't always require campaigns to pay upfront, they must make a good-faith effort to collect on any money they might be owed.

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