Thursday, July 10, 2008

Why Its Important to Donate Today

--In case you missed this in yesterday's NY Times ~

Remember, we came up with $6-10 Million to pay off Hillary's debt... Obama camp has raised little more than $100,000 out of his 1.5 million contacts.

So much for UNITY

By PATRICK HEALY
Published: July 9, 2008

A prominent donor to Senator Barack Obama recently sent an e-mail plea to other supporters, asking them - for the sake of Democratic unity - to write checks to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to help retire her $23 million in campaign debt.

Some of the replies are unprintable, given the coarse language, the donor said. A sampling of others included:

"Why would I help pay off debts that Hillary amassed simply to keep damaging Senator Obama?"

"Gas prices are up, the markets are in turmoil, my kid's fall tuition bill is coming soon. Writing checks to politicians I don't like is not at the top of my list."

"Not a penny for that woman. Or her husband. Or - god forbid - Mark Penn," a reference to Mrs. Clinton's former senior strategist, whose firm is still owed several million dollars for work that included aggressive attacks on Mr. Obama.

As Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton prepare for their first joint fund-raisers to benefit the Obama campaign, in New York City on Wednesday and Thursday, their two camps are straining under the weight of continued resentments, recriminations and feelings that remain raw since the long primary battle.

Mr. Obama has asked his top donors to help raise money for her debt, and so far they have come up with less than $100,000 (though more in pledges), Clinton campaign officials said - a "paltry sum," in the words of one.

Several Obama donors said in interviews that they were balking at Mr. Obama's call for help because they believed Mrs. Clinton accumulated most of her debts after she had lost any mathematical chance of winning the nomination and was hanging on only in hopes of an Obama collapse. The idea of helping her now - and lining the pockets of Mr. Penn, a reviled figure in the Obama camp - is galling to them, they said, especially at a time when they say any available money should go to defeating Senator John McCain and the Republicans in November.

While no other presidential candidate has ever amassed so much personal and campaign debt en route to losing the nomination as has Mrs. Clinton, both Clinton and Obama donors say the larger problem for Democrats is that if the Obama camp is seen as unhelpful, Mrs. Clinton, her husband and their supporters could prove something less than a force for unity.

Among the complaints from Obama campaign officials is that Mrs. Clinton's expectation for help has been a moving target; in other words, it is unclear how much money from Obama supporters will be enough to satisfy the Clintons. Even Clinton officials and donors were at a loss to specify a number, saying only that Mrs. Clinton was helping Mr. Obama with the understanding that he would do more for her.

"There is no lack of emotion among some supporters of both candidates, but what I think the sensible elements of good will are trying to achieve is debt relief for Hillary consistent with getting Barack elected president," said Steven Rattner, a New York investment banker and leading fund-raiser for Mrs. Clinton, who is working with both camps to help Mrs. Clinton retire her debt.

The bitterness in the Clinton camp about the primary battle is well known, but several Clinton donors and campaign officials said a deeper issue remained unsettled: The belief - or, perhaps, the perception - that Mr. Obama and his aides are half-hearted in their efforts to help Mrs. Clinton and include her top donors on his leadership team.

Some of them griped that major Clinton donors were not being invited to crucial fund-raising meetings; were not being made to feel that they would receive credit for helping Mr. Obama win in November; and were not being given titles within the Obama campaign. An Obama aide said it was still early in the integration process of the two campaigns; he also added that the Obama operation was not as title-driven as the Clinton operation, which had various donors serving as "chairs," "co-chairs" and "Hillraisers. "

Clinton donors and campaign officials say they remain surprised - and, among some, offended - that Mr. Obama has refused to ask his entire list of donors, more than 1.5 million people, to send $5, $10 or more to chip away at Mrs. Clinton's debt. (Obama officials said they did not want to distract their donors for the main task at hand, raising money to defeat Mr. McCain.)

"The Obama effort hasn't yielded much, but we hope it will increase," said Alan Patricof, a top Clinton fund-raiser and family friend.

"I think most people - I can't say everyone - thinks that helping Barack is the best way to get help from the Obama camp to help retire her debt, which is a major source of concern for her right now," Mr. Patricof added.

Mrs. Clinton owes an estimated $12 million to consultants and vendors, like Mr. Penn; she also lent her campaign more than $11 million. That $11 million is listed as a debt, though Mrs. Clinton has told her fund-raisers that she does not expect them or the Obama camp to repay her.

http://www.nytimes. com/2008/ 07/09/us/ politics/ 09debt.html? _r=1&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&pagewanted=2&adxnnlx=1215619727- axRdQUZKGXsvoKh9 U+fVWw

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is anybody else pissed that the DNC has got us all scrambling to try to help Clinton pay off her debt by midnight, lest we turn into pumpkins? I feel such a sense of heartbreak on all of these blogs to see us with so little money to spare, desperate to pay off the debt and NOW. Part of me wants to resist doing this because it makes me feel like a little puppet of the DNC. But the other part of me contributes because I don't want her to be locked out of the convention. (I would still like to have this info confirmed that the DNC would, indeed, keep her out. So far, it could just internet rumor. Anyone seen any corroboration in the MSM about this story?)

Anna

BAHBUSHKAH0126 said...

I MADE THAT COMMENT LAST NIGHT ABOUT HILL NOT BEING ABLE TO QUALIFY FOR ROLL CAL IF HER DEBT WASNT PAID~ I DID READ THIS ON THE WEB SOMEWHERE~ I DONT REMEMBER WHERE~ I DO THINK IT WAS A LINK ON A PUMA COMMENT ON PUMA PAC AND THAT IS WHAT I READ. I DIDNT THINK MY COMMENT WOULD CAUSE SUCH A RUCKUS!! BUT AGAIN, I DID READ TTHAT WAS POSSIBLE, AND IT ALSO SAID THAT THE DNC ISNT GETTING MONEY FROM DONATIONS AND MAYBE THEY THINK AFTER THE DEBT IS PAID DONATIONS WILL INCREASE FOR THME!! LMAO!! YEA RIGHT!! NOT FROM ME!! AND I AGREE WITH ANNA~ YEA IT MADE ME REALLY PISSED!! JUST WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE???

ALL WE CAN DO IS HELP AND PRAY THAT WE GET ENOUGH BY TOMORROW MIDNIGHT~

FRANCINE~ PUMA PAC
NEW JERSEY

HILLARY IN DENVER!!

Anonymous said...

If it is true that the DNC has set this deadline, it seems someone should be researching whether that's even legal. And, irrespective of whether it is or isn't legal for them to do that, I would think a press release should be sent out from this or other grassroots organizations announcing this ridiculous thing. That said, one would think that if the DNC did, indeed, set this deadline and create this consequence, it would be in the press, yet I haven't read a thing about it (which makes me a bit suspicious that it's not true and is a bit of internet rumor).

Ugh. So hard to know what's going on...

Anna

annetteb822 said...

i contributed via the email i received from hillaryclinton.com. it goes directly to retire her debt and if you contribute $50 you get a t-shirt. so i did. i will help her any way i can. and i WILL NOT be voting for Obama.

irma said...

Please keep us posted as to what is still owed and let's continue to donate until the debt is paid off. How do we protest so that her name stays on the ballot? Whoever is doing the research, keep us informed.