July 16th, 2009
10:28 AM ET
5 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. Maria - Proud Democrat

    Glad to see she is almost done with her debt.

    However, this story reminds me of the terrible practice of selling campaign mailing lists, which is a practice used by both Democrats and Republicans.

    While I might be willing to get email from Hillary, I certainly do NOT want to get any email from Chris Dodd!!

    July 16, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  2. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Hillary where do I send my dollar? I would hate to see you have to come back here to NY again. Good luck do not call NY we will call you.

    P.S. We are still waiting for those 5 million jobs you promised to us here in CNY to get elected Senator . Your pal, Gov. Spitzer referred to CNY as the northern Appalachia. And please say hi to Chuck for us tell him to help set up the bread lines here in Syracuse. If he can ever stop by and see the people here at home.

    July 16, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  3. doug

    Hillary ran an ugly and hateful presidential campaign, but I am happy for her in her new position and for her debt reduction.

    July 16, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  4. rachel

    Cnn you guys are full of it. Why didnt you bother to post a ticker about Hillary's USAID town hall or Hillary policy speech yesterday(except to repeat some nonsense that it was an attempt to get back in the spotlight) Then you have the nerve to post this. Do some real reporting CNN. How about a ticker on her objectives in India on her foreign trip or the fact that she will be at the hotel that got bombed of course not that would be REAL reporting. POST CNN

    July 16, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  5. dominican mama 4 Obama

    I am happy to hear that Hillary is getting out from under her campaign debts.

    Didn't I read someplace that Pres. Obama had given her funds from his war chest to help diminish her debt? If remember thinking that that was a very nice thing for him to do.

    While the adage of "keeping your enemies close" may have some validity in regards to his decision to appoint Hillary to Secretary of State, I do believe that Barack has been astute in recognizing the wealth of experience and good judgment that she'd bring to the table.
    Their relationship appears to be one of mutual respect, and a win-win situation for both.

    July 16, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  6. Judy Czirjak

    I would be interested to know how Hillary Clinton "earned" over $10 million in one year to pay off most of her debt.

    July 16, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  7. She's still been backbenched......

    Hillary has the least power of any Sec. of State that we have ever seen....

    She's been shunted aside by Obama and Joe Biden has taken over the role that should be hers.....

    If Hillary has any self-respect left, she ought to tell Obama to "shove it" and resign.....

    July 16, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. yuri

    We wonder how it will be paid off. Of course it is probably, none of our business, but since she is a public official, it will be interesting to know the facts. Hurray for Hillary and we wish you all the very best.

    July 16, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  9. Bubba

    Maybe all this money being transferred around will stimulate the economy? Oh well, at least she isn't paying her debts down by working as a Fox commentator like poor old Huck.

    July 16, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. fet up

    CNN, you don't report news that's newsworthy....you've become nothing but gossiping lil high school students at best! who cares about's someone's financial status...i sure like to see what's in all of YOUR closets!

    July 16, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  11. davie guns

    wow... who really cares how rich our politicians are? Good lord, what business is this of mine anyways? Do you want me to give her a pat on the back and say "well done"? I wouldn't doubt if this is some sort of narcississict ploy to feel better about not being president. Good job Hillary

    July 16, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  12. Anonymous

    Who cares if Hillary Clinton is out of debt what about the rest of the American people that can't get out of debt. Looks like to me she could give some of that 2.5 million to the American people and help them out of debt.

    July 16, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  13. johnnie

    Hilary Clinton, (Secretary of State) is getting the promise that the President would help her resolve her debts. And it is (good) to see her back ,for the battle with the problems we face around the world.She is such a great asset to the President , and am very proud she passed the torch to President Obama,with such (CLASS) was (Respected) by the President to get the offer to become (Secretary of State. This team is on the same (PAGE) no matter what the (Nay-Sayers ) say. Hilary Clinton will get the job done, and am glad her campain debt is being handle, so the (Republicans) have nothing to stir up any negative. Hilary Clinton it is a (PLUS) we as americans have you on our (SIDE), and a the (CLINTON) era continues...

    July 16, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  14. Mr. Cats

    We love you Hillary. Please run for President in 2012!

    July 16, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  15. European-American

    Wouldn't it be great if these same politicians could get America out of the red.
    Perhaps we can spend our way out of debt.

    July 16, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  16. DX in TX

    Hmmm, me thinks our president slide a few dollars under the table to Hillary Clinton....and you know what, I'm fine with that....you go Hil!

    July 16, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  17. Zero.

    The Obama curse strikes..

    July 16, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  18. jotan

    Who CARES! I LOVE this man. ......... ummmm they DO look alittle Mommyish though......................

    July 16, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. MaryJo Bruce Surprise, Ariz

    Goodie for her. But, the rest of us will continue to stay in the red with that whole liberal administration.

    July 16, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  20. Sue, Michigan

    Hillary can raise more dollars than Palin, and Hillary isn't even asking for money.

    July 16, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  21. cramit

    Red seams to be a common theam among Dems

    July 16, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  22. Pat F

    How folksey – sitting at a picnic table, just like the peasants! What a great photo-op.

    The most contrived president EVER!

    July 16, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. citizenjane

    Just crossed Hillary's campaign war chest funds off my "To Worry About" list. Easy sleeping tonight.

    July 16, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. Failin' Palin supports the Republiklan creed “money talked and Ms. Bu!!$h!t walked” away from her duty to serve the citizens of Alaska!

    Where are the PUMAs?

    They were supposed to be her most ardent supporters. I started out supporting her and she should have quit in about April or May and she would not have had this 12 million in debt.

    But that said, even I made a contribution to help her retire her unnecessary debt>

    So, surely all those cheerleading PUMAs that insisted she stay in the race even after the math showed it was impossible to wind, could surely pony up a contribution, since you urged out on the limb and have left her hanging there since.

    July 16, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  25. Roger

    Bless her heart! Able to pay back millions to those who now own her. Gee & I'm having a hard time paying off my hospital surgery debt.

    July 16, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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