Seems to make sense to me, why not allow her to balance her books? There are lots of small vendors probably still waiting to be paid off.
Hillary Clinton has $24 million she collected for a general-election campaign she now won’t run. With debts of about $20 million to outside vendors and to herself, it seems she could easily balance her books.
Campaign-finance-law experts say it isn’t so simple. The seeds of the quandary lie in the way Sen. Clinton chose to raise money when she began her presidential effort in January 2007. Individuals can give a maximum of $2,300 to a single candidate for a single campaign. Sen. Clinton asked big donors to give $4,600 for both the primary and the general election. That allowed her to claim big-money totals as she sought to establish her reputation as the prohibitive front-runner.
Campaign-finance rules say only money collected for the primaries could be used for bills amassed in the primaries. Money collected for the general election can only be used in a November race.
But there may be an out.
Some campaign-finance experts say Sen. Clinton could be allowed to take the $24 million and, with permission from the donors, redeploy it to her Senate campaign account. She is up for re-election in 2012. She could then ultimately pay back the vendors from that kitty, the lawyers say.
Or she could do like Dennis Kucinich, and sell Hillary Gear at 50%
With her concession, Sen. Clinton joins the ranks of other failed 2008 contenders such as New Mexico Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who maintain Web sites asking supporters to help them retire debt.
Mr. Giuliani, a Republican, was $3.6 million in the hole at last reporting. He recently accepted about $60,000 from the McCain campaign to pay for a charter flight to a joint political event and unload some surplus office equipment from his failed effort, according to federal records and the McCain campaign.
Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who is still whittling away at the $450,000 debt he amassed from a presidential run in 2004, added $718,000 to his debt total in 2008, federal records show.
The campaign no longer takes Internet donations but is running a 50%-off sale on Kucinich gear, which includes, among other things, original voting machines from Palm Beach, Fla., the scene of the 2000 voter recount.
For $219 plus shipping, purchasers receive the machine, “actual chads,” a replica of the infamous “butterfly ballot” from that vote, and a signed letter from the Ohio congressman decrying the bungled election.