Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Got Money to Throw Away? Hillary Can Help

While there were many very close races around the country this year, the race for the U.S. Senate seat in NY was not one of them. Hillary Clinton won in a landslide, receiving 67 percent of cast votes. So why did it cost so much to win such an easy race?

NewsMax is reporting that Hillary shelled-out $36 million, more than any other Senate candidate in the country. Now, some her supporters are questioning her spending practices.

The Democratic Daily, a liberal Web site, said Clinton was guilty of "blowing a shameful $36 million" on a campaign she was never in doubt of winning.

So where did all of it go? Here are some examples: (NY Times)
  • $13,000 spent on flowers, mostly for events and donor thank you gifts

  • $27,000 on valet parking

  • $17 million advertising and fund-raising mailings

  • $51,000 for professional photography

  • $160,000 for private jet travel in 2006

  • $746,450 for catering and entertaining

And don't forget about spreading the wealth:

  • Mark Penn, Clinton's pollster, received at least $1.1 million

  • Mandy Grunwald, communications advisor, $930,000
So where does this leave Hillary as she considers a run for the White House? As of the October reporting period, she had just under $14 million on-hand. She is now at the level of her potential primary opponents.

This extravagant spending could end up costing Hillary as some donors are expressing concern.

“We’re not in this business to make consultants rich,” said one fund-raiser for Mrs. Clinton who was granted anonymity in order to speak freely about the direction of the campaign.

“The wasting of money — it drives everybody crazy,” the fund-raiser said. “She’d better get a handle on this if she is going to run for president.”

Beyond the level of spending, there is also some concern within the Clinton camp about the adequacy of the controls on what is being spent.

Just think of the fun Hillary could have with the federal budget at her disposel. We'll just wait and see what the fallout will be.

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