Clinton again fails to foot bills

Solutions for US economy?
Hillary can’t even pay rent!

MICHAEL Whitney of Keller Williams Coastal Reality in Portsmouth, New Hampshire holds a $500 check from the Hillary Clinton campaign payable to Dr. Terry Bennett, who later said he would instead donate the check to the Barack Obama campaign.
RICH BEAUCHESNE
 
2 Ohio event firms complain after New Hampshire
landlord, Iowa office cleaner, New York caterer
THE BUILDING at 236 Union St., former Pro Portsmouth headquarters and property of Dr. Terry Bennett, had been rented by a group of Sen. HIllary Clinton campaign workers, who earlier didn’t pay the rent, Bennett and his Realtor disclosed.
RICH BEAUCHESNE
 
Cash-strapped Clinton camp fails
to pay her campaign bills … again
Hillary Rodham Clinton

HILLARY Clinton’s camp has put off paying bills for months earning campaign a reputation as something of a deadbeat in some small business circles. (AP)
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 $38 million in the bank, according to a report filed last week with the Federal Election Commission, but only $16 million of that can be spent on her battle with Obama.
 
The rest can only be spent 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, the cash she would have had available at the end of last month to spend on television ads and other up-front expenses would have been less than $2 million.
 
By contrast, if you subtract Obama’s $625,000 in debts and his general election-only money from his total cash on hand at the end of last month, he’d still be left with $31 million.
 
The presidential campaign of presumptive Republican nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, reported $4.3 million in debt at the end of February, but only $1.3 million of that was in the form of unpaid bills to a dozen vendors. The rest was a bank loan, which the campaign says it paid off last week.
 
It’s not just the size of Clinton’s debts that’s noteworthy. It’s also that her unpaid bills extend beyond the realm of high-priced consultants who typically let bills slide as part of the cost of doing business with powerful clientele whose success is linked to their own.
 
Some of Clinton’s biggest debts are to pollster and chief strategist Mark Penn, who’s owed $2.5 million; direct mail company MSHC Partners, which is owed $807,000; phone-banking firm Spoken Hub, which is waiting for $771,000; and ad maker Mandy Grunwald, who’s owed $467,000.
 
Clinton also reported debts more than one month old to a slew of apolitical businesses and organizations, large and small, in the states through which this historically expensive Democratic primary campaign has raged.
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