Debt Be Not Proud

By Lindsey Ellerson

Mar 31, 2008 6:04pm

The $8.7 million in debts owed by Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign as of her last Federal Election Commission filing deadline are staggering for their breadth and range.

The debts date back to last Fall, to states long ago decided — an October 10 event in New Hampshire,for instance, for which the Boston Symphony Orchestra is listed as being owed $29,617.70.

Iowa Hy-Vee supermarkets are owed $14,956.24.

Seemingly every facet of human existence is represented in Clinton’s unpaid bills. Atlanta’s Catering with a Flair, Inc. — owed $10,250.00. The Texas portapotties of A Clean Portoco — owed $1,851.08.

Aetna Healthcare – owed $228,841.30. CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield – owed $62,744.52.

Schools and universities seem particularly hard-hit, as they were frequent locations for events, and often offer catering.

Southern New Hampshire Univ. Athletic Department – $9,542.80. San Diego State University – $10,000.00. Cuyahoga Community College $3,540.00. Dartmouth College – $2,489.00.

Clinton owes $3,161 to Maine South High School in Park Ridge, Illinois.

That’s her own alma mater!

Neighborhood House in St. Paul, Minn., is owed $580. “Neighborhood House is a multicultural, multilingual community center with programming for all ages and open doors for all people and is often a first stop for new immigrants and refugees."

The Politico reports that "word is getting around that Clinton’s campaign does not promptly pay those who labor to make her events look good, said an employee of the event production company Forty Two of Youngstown, Ohio. ‘I feel insulted by the way that the campaign treated this company and treated us personally,’ said the employee, who did not want to be named talking about a client. …the employee said the campaign has stopped returning phone calls, e-mails and didn’t respond to a certified letter. ‘We worked very hard to put together these events on a moment’s notice and do absolutely everything to a ‘t’ to make it look perfect on television for her and for her campaign,’ said the employee. ‘Sen. Clinton talks about helping working families, people in unions and small businesses. But when it comes down to actually doing something that shows that she can back up her words with action, she fails.’"

Ouch.

The Clinton campaign’s Jay Carson emails that "The campaign pays its bills regularly and in the normal course of business, and pays all of its bills. Sometimes invoices are not paid immediately because we need additional information for our records, or to verify expenses."

Carson adds that "While the FEC refers to what you are asking about as ‘debt’ these are not true debts accruing by the campaign, but simply invoices that were unpaid at the end of the filing period. The committee had more cash on hand than ‘debt’ (or unpaid invoices) at the end of Feb. The FEC requires a campaign to disclose as ‘debt’ any unpaid bill it had in hand by the closing day of the reporting period, even if the bill was received on the last day of a reporting period.  For instance, if a $250,000 invoice was received on Feb 29, then paid on March 2, it would still be reported as a $250,000 ‘debt’ on the year-end FEC report even though the bill was paid promptly and in the normal course of business, and even if by the year end filing date of Feb 29 (when the report is actually due), the invoice had been paid in full."

Carson adds that the Boston Symphony Orchestra bill was paid earlier this month.

No matter how you slice it, though, $8.7 million is an immense amount of debt.

- jpt

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