Sunday, March 30, 2008

Deadbeat Clinton Campaign Says "Yes We Can't"

Kenneth P. Vogel writing for Politico reports that the Clinton campaign struggles to meet its financial obligations. It may not be the party leadership that pushes her out of the race after all. Many small businesses are beginning to feel the bite of the Clinton recession and wonder if they will ever be paid.

A pair of Ohio companies owed more than $25,000 by Clinton for staging events for her campaign are warning others in the tight-knit event production community — and anyone else who will listen — to get their cash upfront when doing business with her. Her campaign, say representatives of the two companies, has stopped returning phone calls and e-mails seeking payment of outstanding invoices. One even got no response from a certified letter.
With debts mounting and the Clinton campaign choosing to ignore paying bills in a timely manner we may see the symptoms of a fundraising problem. Previous reports of campaign cash problems were explained away as poor managment. It has become increasingly apparent that mismanagement may have explained some of the problems, but are these new slow pay problems a sign of a cash strapped campaign?

Clinton also reported debts more than one month old to a slew of apolitical businesses and organizations, large and small, in the states through which this historically expensive Democratic primary campaign has raged.

Anyone who has run a small business will tell you that cash flow is critical to the survival of a business. Being paid on time is how a healthy business is maintained. Will the Clinton campaign finally dissolve into the mist of history because it runs out of money? Difficult to say, but this graf is telling.

And Tony Galarza, director of the Missoula, Mont. branch of a national event production company, remained committed to staging an April 6 Clinton fundraising brunch at a local hotel even after a colleague in his company e-mailed a list of Clinton’s campaign debts.

Galarza said he’s confident Clinton will pay his company, but admitted he was surprised to see so many event production companies among the campaign’s creditors.

By spreading the debt around to many vendors the campaign avoid being completely shut off from credit. As the word gets out it may become difficult for the campaign to convince vendors to extend credit. No one wants to end up with a "bad" debt as it were. If vendors start requesting payment when service is rendered the Clinton campaign could find itself in a serious cash crunch.

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