July 16th, 2009
10:28 AM ET
4 years ago

Hillary Clinton almost out of the red

Hillary Clinton's failed presidential bid against Barack Obama is now almost out of debt, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Hillary Clinton's failed presidential bid against Barack Obama is now almost out of debt, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Hillary Clinton is almost debt-free from her failed bid for the presidency.

Exactly one year after announcing it was a staggering $25.2 million in debt, her campaign reported Wednesday carrying its smallest amount of unpaid campaign bills since the former New York senator and current U.S. Secretary of State first began her presidential bid in early 2007.

As of June 30, Clinton's campaign organization owed $1.5 million in unpaid bills and had $2.5 million in the bank, according to a new disclosure report filed with the Federal Election Commission. Previously, the smallest amount of debt the campaign had reported was $1.6 million in March 2007, roughly two months after Clinton launched her presidential bid. As the race for the Democratic nomination grew more competitive, the campaign's debt grew steadily and reached its peak on June 30, 2008, just three weeks after Clinton suspended her campaign.

At that point, Clinton's campaign owed $12 million to almost 500 individual creditors and an additional $13.2 million to the candidate herself, who used her own money to help keep her operation afloat. Campaign finance laws forced Clinton to forgive the amount she loaned her committee because she was not able to repay the funds by the required deadline.

Wednesday's filing showed that the campaign now owes $1.5 million to one remaining creditor, Penn, Schoen & Berland, the political consulting firm that advised Clinton during the campaign. The firm's president, Mark Penn, had also served as Clinton's senior campaign strategist. At the start of 2009, the firm had been owed $5.4 million.

Clinton's campaign repaid Penn's firm about $808,000 since the end of May, almost all of it on June 29, the day before the end of the most recent reporting period. The bulk of this amount, $725,000, had been for "mail expenses," while $68,000 was for "web site" expenses, and another $15,000 was for various advertisements.

The campaign raised $541,000 in contributions from April through June and generated an additional $403,000 from both bank interest and from the rental of its campaign mailing lists to other organizations. Those organizations include the national Democratic party's Senate campaign arm, which paid $41,000, and the campaigns of Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer of California and Chris Dodd of Connecticut, both of whom are up for re-election in 2010.

Two non-profit groups headed by people close to the former senator also rented the list: the "NoLimits Foundation," a policy and issue education organization headed by long-time Clinton adviser Ann Lewis, and the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, created by the former president. Lewis' organization paid the Clinton campaign $200,000, while the former president's foundation paid $75,000. So far this year, President Clinton's foundation has paid Hillary Clinton's campaign a total of $349,000 in list rental fees.

A federal law known as the "Hatch Act" prohibits Clinton, as the secretary of state, from personally soliciting or accepting political contributions. The law does allow others to raise funds on Clinton's behalf, without her direct involvement.

Since ending her campaign, Clinton has received fundraising help from an all-star line-up of notable Democrats, including President Barack Obama, the man who defeated her for the Democratic nomination, Vice President Joe Biden, and family members such as President Clinton, her daughter, Chelsea, and her mother, Dorothy Rodham.

–CNN's Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Popular Posts
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Candy West Virginia

    She learned a good but hard lesson that she could have avoided.

    July 16, 2009 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    She has $1.5 million in her bank account. This is precisely the reason I didn't want Terry McAuliffe becoming governor of Virginia because of how bad he handled this situation.

    July 16, 2009 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  3. GOP = Party of Tolerance

    Hillary is a great American. I am glad she will not have to worry about paying her campaign bills anymore. We need her leadership to rebuild parterships with our allies around the world.

    July 16, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  4. Jeff in Atlanta

    Good for her.

    I'm a little surprised the government didn't bail her out. Seems to be the new MO of this administration, other than apologizing to everyone and giving away the future.

    July 16, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  5. lf

    It is good she is able to reduce her debt now. With her talent she may prove to be a great 'national debt reducer' for the nation in the future. We could really use help there now with our run-away deficit and national debt whose numbers seem to know no end.

    July 16, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  6. Peejay

    If it were up to me, Mark Penn wouldn't see another dime.

    July 16, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  7. Ron Ellsworth

    Nice that politicians seem OK with the idea that they can "Rent" out the lists of people who once believed in their cause. I guess that would also explain why I am getting a ton of unsolicited e-mail and regular mail.
    Never again will I trust that information is held in confidence. I guess I am just naive to assume that it would only stay with the campaign. But for them to sell it seems like a travesty.

    July 16, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  8. MonRob

    Very happy to hear that, she should have been our President.

    The media shoved Obama down our throats.

    July 16, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  9. GI Joe

    Hmmm – if she has $2.5 million and owes $1.5 million, why not just go ahead and pay? The people she owes probably need the money more than she does.

    July 16, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  10. Don't Spend What You Don't Have

    I love how you place a picture that makes it look like Barry is counseling Hillary. Good job CNN.

    July 16, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  11. Don

    The Clintons are filthy rich individuals. Why do they want other people to pay a debt for their own run at the White House? This is the same type of corruption the Democrats always accuse rich individual citizens of. Where is the outrage by the media or other democrats?

    July 16, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  12. Expat American

    Good to hear, Madame Secretary.

    I hope you choose to run again in 2016.

    July 16, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  13. Royster

    Wouldn't paying off Hillary's debt be a good use of the $700K in Sarah Palin's PAC fund? I thought Palin was going to support people 'on both sides of the aisle'....?

    July 16, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  14. ch

    This is further demonstration of the depth of her support. Who else but a political superstar like Hillary Clinton could continue to collect such large amounts of $ without even being a candidate?

    July 16, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  15. GoodforHer

    Good for her I am glad she is out of debt. Congradulation Mrs. Clinton.

    July 16, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  16. Gwen, MI

    As long as it's not my money. She stayed in the campaign a lot longer than she should have. So if she wanted to play, she had to pay, not me.

    July 16, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. kishen c.rao

    For good people, God shows all good stuff. She follows Pres. Obama, so she is going to be the "BEST". God bless!!!! Hillary, Please see that"Health Care" is fixed....It is a biggest mess in our nation....

    July 16, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  18. Last Honest Man

    If there was such a thing as an investigative reporter anymore, it would be fascinating to see where the money comes from. Horrible economy along with the fact that nobody can really care that much whether she has this debt (not like she's going to lose her house) and the money keeps rolling in.

    July 16, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  19. drew

    where did clinton get all this money in one year to pay back 12 million?

    July 16, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  20. GIFTTY

    Free girl. God bless u Hillary

    July 16, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  21. southerncousin

    Government under Obama is a very lucrative profession, they get to steal from the taxpayers all the time. The woman has never had an honest job in her life, kinda like her boss, that is why they are liberals.

    July 16, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  22. deb0155

    How dare CNN even print a story like this! Do we really care if Hillary Clinton is out of the red? While people all over the country – yes, U.S. citizens, losing their homes, unemployed, living out of cars, cannot feed or send their children to school, do you think that we give a damn about Hillary Clinton! I don't see her dressing down nor do I see her selling her home worth millions of dollars! Give me a break!

    You people have absolutely no compassion or brains when it comes to reporting what really is news!

    July 16, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  23. Honest1inVA

    Gee, can anyone tell me how I can raise ten million dollars in less than a year? How DOES she DO it????
    Where DO our ELECTED officials get all of their millions from? Who would think that a PUBLIC SERVANT could make such exhorbitant salaries?!
    I'd like to see the investigation into THEIR financial backgrounds along with their resume's!

    July 16, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  24. Anarchy X

    And the government is $1.5 TRILLION more in debt thanks to the guy she lost too. That's one million times more.

    By the way, that's $5,000 for each man, woman and child in the US. Imagine the stimulus we would have created had that money been sent directly to consumers. What would YOU have purchased had every member of your household received $5,000? And virtually every dollar spent would have resulted in sales taxes for the state and local governments.

    What a waste.

    July 16, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  25. Thin is in?

    Wow, the Momma pants wearing fraud in chief is doing a great job paying for her silence.

    My hope is when he is done paying off her debt, that she starts acting like Hillary and schooling this fraud on how to act like a real uh, uh, uh president (capital leter not deserved).

    I miss the real Hilary, you know her, the one the media turned on because she had the audacity to challenge this manchurian candidate who was selected, elected and now protected by the media.

    How about his new science CZAR who is for for putting birth control in the WATER and for FORCED abortions on undesirables?

    HIS OWN WORDS.

    You sheep comfortable with that?

    July 16, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
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