About that $26 million…

Apr 2, 2007 10:36am

Sen. Hillary Clinton has a lot to crow about today, what with her record-setting $26 million fundraising quarter.

Except….

For some reason…

We don’t know how much of that money is for the primary and how much is for the general. And that’s significant. Because she cannot touch the general election money unless she wins the nomination.

And, until we know what the breakdown is, we won’t know who actually "won" the money primary this quarter. It seems entirely possible, as of this writing, that someone else could have raised more primary funds.

Clinton’s $26 million comes from 50,000 donors, we are told. Former Sen. John Edwards raised $14 miilion from 40,000 donors. Sen. Barack Obama raised an undisclosed sum from 83,000 donors.

In short – Clinton seems to have more major donors than the others, more donors giving the maximum allowed by campaign law — $2300 for the primary. But I’m guessing since she seems to have relied a great deal on these major donors that a lot of them maxed out, giving $4600 total – $2300 for the primary, $2300 for the general election (to be returned if she doesn’t get the nomination.)

The significance is that this can be seen as cooking the books since Team Clinton refused to differentiate as to how much of this money is for the primary and how much is for the general. Unlike, say, Edwards, who provided that breakdown.

None of the experts on this issue whom I have talked to think it’s credible that the Clinton campaign wouldn’t have an idea of the breakdown as of now. None.

Which means they were likely trying to get a big splashy headline about the $26 million ($36 million when you add the cash transferred from her 2006 Senate campaign account) without those niggling details about what she can actually spend.

Mission accomplished.

But at a price, I think.

- jt

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