Thursday, June 5

The most interesting quirk of Clinton's fundraising dilemma

Remember last year when Hillary Clinton was the presumptive nominee and everyone was talking about how she was getting donors to max out for both the primary and the general election at the same time?

What amazes me is that while she has sooooo much debt - she is also awash in cash that is restricted to use only on the general election. According to Greg Gordon at McClatchy Newspapers:

"Clinton's latest report to the Federal Election Commission showed an April 30 cash balance of nearly $29.7 million, but that was deceiving. FEC spokesman George Smaragdis said the figure included $6 million in primary-season cash and $23.7 million in donations designated for the fall general election campaign. None of the general election donations can be used to retire debts accrued during the primary season.

Clinton's biggest problem, of course, is the $21 million in IOUs, which include $11,425,000 she is known to have lent her campaign through the first week of May and possibly millions of dollars more in yet-to-be-disclosed loans during her last-ditch primary campaign efforts."
I guess political nuts will be debating for the next couple weeks what she plans to do with that money. Will she give it to help Obama? Will she keep it and use it for another run in 2012?

For me, the lesson is that donors who give restricted gifts are short sighted and almost never really get what they think they are paying for. I've written before that I think it is selfish for donors who demand their gifts be used for restricted purposes are selfish and their help is counter-productive.

In this case, I guess the donors didn't have a choice if they wanted to give a maximum contribution it needed to be split between primary and general. But it certainly is ironic. I wonder if these donors can ask for a refund?

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