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Clinton Critiques Obama PAC

Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign today accused rival Sen. Barack Obama of campaigning in a manner that "appears to be inconsistent with the prevailing election laws," a statement released in response to this morning's report in The Washington Post that described how Obama's senate leadership PAC doled money out to politicians in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

In January, Obama announced that he would stop raising money for the leadership committee, called Hopefund. But in recent months, Obama has handed out more than $180,000 from the PAC to local Democratic groups and candidates in the key early-voting states, campaign reports show. Some of the recipients of Hopefund's largesse were state and local politicians who have recently endorsed Obama's presidential bid. The fund also spent more than $440,000 on other expenses, including contributions to Democratic candidates in states that do not have early presidential contests.

The Clinton campaign put out this statement earlier today: "It is our understanding that a candidate's campaign is barred from using the candidate's leadership PAC to benefit his or her campaign which is why we shut down HillPAC when Senator Clinton announced her run for the White House. On the campaign trail, Senator Obama is outspoken about his desire to reform the campaign finance system so it was surprising to learn that he has been using his PAC in a manner that appears to be inconsistent with the prevailing election laws."

Obama's campaign struck back, sending out an e-mail with the subject line, "response to another false attack from hillary clinton."

"Whatever happened to the confident front-runner who said she wouldn't attack other Democrats just two weeks ago?" asked Bill Burton, the Obama campaign spokesman.

"The latest personal attack from Hillary Clinton is a completely false attempt to misrepresent Barack Obama's full disclosure of his campaign finances. Senator Obama's commitment to disclosure is one that Hillary Clinton does not share, and until Senator Clinton is willing to make this commitment - by disclosing her White House records, the list of donors to her husband's presidential library, how much her bundlers raise, and releasing her personal tax returns to the public -- she's not really in a position to point fingers at others."

The Obama campaign's campaign finance lawyer, Bob Bauer, also declared that " Senator Clinton's attack is completely meritless. These donations did not in any way violate the law."

The Obama statement did not address a key lingering question about the way the senator's leadership PAC money was used: the fact that during 2005 and 2006 Hopefund raised more than $123,000 from special interest political action committees -- precisely the kind of group whose money Obama has turned away during his bid for president. Some of that money came from PACs run by large Washington lobbying firms. The fund also took money from lobbyists directly. The most recent lobbyist contribution came from Robert Getzoff, who is a registered federal lobbyist for Citigroup,who donated $300 to Hopefund in April.

In a brief e-mail exchange, Burton called the PAC and lobbyist donations to Hopefund irrelevant to Obama's campaign pledge. "Apples and oranges," he said.

Later in the day, Clinton spokesman Phil Singer responded to the Obama campaign's comments on the Hopefund issue. "The Obama campaign's failure to deny that it committed campaign finance violations speaks volumes. Instead of launching irrelevant attacks, Senator Obama should answer a simple question: Did Obama campaign officials direct the Hopefund to make contributions to officials and entities in states holding nominating contests? If the answer is no, they should just be direct and say so."

--Matthew Mosk

By Washington Post editors  |  November 26, 2007; 5:35 PM ET
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Please enjoy an article I have written on this topic called "Experience Matters!"

Michael Oliva

Posted by: thestork72 | January 7, 2008 4:27 AM | Report abuse

with the theme that the increasingly desperate-sounding Clinton campaign is
pushing that Obama has essentially traded money from the Hope Fund for
endorsements in the early primary and caucus states, I find it supremely
ironic that one of the recipients of a contribution from the Hope Fund (in
the amount of $4,200) was none other than the Senate campaign of one Hillary
Clinton. Given the fact that she dumped $10 million in unused money from
her Senate campaign into the Presidential campaign, it's pretty clear that
the Hope Fund has indirectly supported Hillary's campaign.

Since these were supposedly all about getting endorsements, I wonder when
Hillary will be endorsing Barack Obama. (And FWIW, some of the other
recipients have endorsed Hillary.)

By the way, here's a listing of all the House candidates who got money from
the Hope Fund for House races:

Altmire, Jason (D-PA) $7,500
Arcuri, Michael (D-NY) $5,000
Barrow, John (D-GA) $2,500
Bean, Melissa (D-IL) $15,000
Boswell, Leonard L (D-IA) $15,000
Boyda, Nancy E (D-KS) $2,500
Braley, Bruce (D-IA) $10,000
Burner, Darcy (D-WA) $2,500
Busby, Francine P (D-CA) $10,000
Carney, Chris (D-PA) $10,000
Castor, Kathy (D-FL) $1,000
Courtney, Joe (D-CT) $5,000
Cranley, John (D-OH) $5,000
Davis, Jack (D-NY) $5,000
Derby, Jill T (D-NV) $5,000
Donnelly, Joe (D-IN) $5,000
Duckworth, Tammy (D-IL) $10,000
Edwards, Chet (D-TX) $5,000
Ellison, Keith Maurice (D-MN) $2,500
Ellsworth, Brad (D-IN) $7,500
Evans, Lane (D-IL) $10,000
Farrell, Diane Goss (D-CT) $6,500
Filson, Steve N (D-CA) $2,500
Gillibrand, Kirsten E (D-NY) $2,500
Goldmark, Peter James (D-WA) $1,000
Hafen, Tessa (D-NV) $5,000
Hall, John (D-NY) $1,000
Hare, Philip G (D-IL) $5,000
Hill, Baron (D-IN) $10,000
Hodes, Paul W (D-NH) $10,000
Jackson, Jesse Jr (D-IL) $2,100
Jennings, Christine (D-FL) $2,500
Johnson, Hank (D-GA) $5,000
Kagen, Steven Leslie (D-WI) $2,500
Kellam, Phil (D-VA) $3,500
Kilroy, Mary Jo (D-OH) $5,000
Klein, Ron (D-FL) $7,000
Lampson, Nick (D-TX) $2,500
Loebsack, David (D-IA) $5,000
Lucas, Ken (D-KY) $5,000
Madrid, Patricia A (D-NM) $5,000
Maffei, Dan (D-NY) $2,500
Mahoney, Tim (D-FL) $5,000
Marshall, Jim (D-GA) $7,000
Matheson, Jim (D-UT) $2,500
McNerney, Jerry (D-CA) $5,000
Melancon, Charles J (D-LA) $5,000
Miller, Les (D-FL) $2,100
Mitchell, Harry E (D-AZ) $5,000
Murphy, Chris (D-CT) $5,000
Murphy, Lois (D-PA) $6,500
Murphy, Patrick J (D-PA) $16,326
Paccione, Angie (D-CO) $1,000
Perlmutter, Edwin G (D-CO) $5,000
Rodriguez, Ciro D (D-TX) $5,000
Salazar, John (D-CO) $5,000
Schakowsky, Jan (D-IL) $1,000
Seals, Dan (D-IL) $5,000
Sestak, Joe (D-PA) $5,000
Shea-Porter, Carol (D-NH) $7,500
Shuler, Heath (D-NC) $10,000
Space, Zachary T (D-OH) $5,000
Spratt, John M Jr (D-SC) $5,000
Spencer, Selden (D-IA) $2,500
Sulzer, Joe (D-OH) $5,000
Sutton, Betty Sue (D-OH) $5,000
Tinklenberg, Elwyn (D-MN) $2,000
Walz, Timothy J (D-MN) $3,500
Weaver, John Michael (D-KY) $1,000
Welch, Peter (D-VT) $7,500
Wetterling, Patty (D-MN) $3,500
Wilson, Charlie (D-OH) $7,000
Yarmuth, John A (D-KY) $3,500

I don't see any particular pattern of money going to early states (or even
to Obama supporters). The main pattern is that a lot of these people were
in very tight races (or at least races that were supposed to have been very


what a farce hillary is for even daring to bring this up!

Posted by: PaProgressiveDem | November 27, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Hillary is in NO position to point fingers at anyone. She is fundamentally flawed (to put it mildly) when it comes to campaign finance (Norman Hsu, poor chinese immigrants, Alan Quasha, Hassan Nemazee and Terry McAuliffe, among the notables), real estate (Whitewater, Madison Guaranty, Webb Hubbell, James MacDougal, to name a few), the Lincoln Bedroom (turning the White House into the most expensive bed and breakfast in country), legal settlements (Paula Jones), marital fidelity (Gennifer Flowers, Monica Lewinsky and Lord knows who else), and WHO KNOWS what other scandals are lurking just under the surface. That has nothing to do with the vast right wing conspiracy, it's not attack dogs nipping at her heels. If anything, the media has bent over forwards and backwards to avoid challenging her on anything that is her and her husband's HISTORY.

I cannot wait to see Hillary's face when confronted with the facts.

Better, I cannot wait to see her lose and retreat quietly to the Senate until her term expires and the voters of New York come to their sentences and send her flabby behind home.

Posted by: jade7243 | November 27, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

It seems Mr Mosk, the WaPo campaign finance reporter, is eminently qualified to determine the accuracy of Sen Clinton's charge. I wonder why he has not done so. He's usually very comfortable with insinuation and guilt by association.

Posted by: zukermand | November 27, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

A page from the Iowa campaign page in HillDiary.

6:00am: Wake up. Fart. Check whether Bill is back from the farmer's daughter.
7:00am: Poop and pick up the feces.
8:00am: Throw some at the republicans.
9:00am: Smear whatever is left in your hand on Obama.
10:00am: Fight with Bill.
11:00am: Go shop for pearls and diamonds.
12 noon: Lunch with James Carvel.
1:00pm: Call Norman Hsu in jail and promise him a pardon.
2:00pm: Call bank. Ask whether she has any bundles waiting for her.
3:00pm: Practice some southern accent. Go and con some old ladies.
4:00pm: Call the camp. Get questions for next days campaign.
5:00pm: Memorize answers for the next campaign stop.
6:00pm: Go have dinner in a restaurant. Dont pay tips.
7:00pm: Count the $$$ bundles from the dishwashers in a chinese restaurant.
8:00pm: Prepare mud for next days flinging.
9:00pm: Fart and call it a day.

Posted by: ChunkyMonkey1 | November 27, 2007 6:23 AM | Report abuse

Give me a break WaPo..stop shilling and distorting for Hillary. Obama won't answer why they took 300 bucks from a registered lobbyist? Ohmygawd,

Posted by: maelisa | November 26, 2007 11:39 PM | Report abuse

So now the Obama camp is buying supporters? Wonderful knew approach to politics Obama.

Posted by: mcsizzlesizzle | November 26, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Hwere is a good example of Hillary questionable politcal tactics:

When asked about the recent poll showing Barack leading in Iowa, she responded, "I don't pay attention to any polls". Later whne asked why Democrats should believe that she could beat the Republicans, she cited polls that showed her leading GOP candidates. Typical clinton-esk. Pathetic.

Posted by: zb95 | November 26, 2007 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Hillary and her gang are slinging mud with their eyes closed hoping some might stick. Hillary is controlled by special interests and corporate millionaire donors. She is buried in mud and trying desperately to drag Barack in with her.

Posted by: zb95 | November 26, 2007 9:07 PM | Report abuse

The news about Osamas funding officials to buy endorsements in states that they are currently campaigning in is no surprise. I would not trust a person who threw his hat into the ring to run for president only weeks after he was voted into the senate during only his first term.

The freshman senator needed only one term to complete to gain experience. He did not want to do that. With the time he has been out of touch with his constituents running for president, writing books, and slinging mud, how can he have given much thought to them or how to be a good senator first?

With the accusation out now let the law makers decide if this was inappropriate or not.

Posted by: hejpost | November 26, 2007 8:58 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA is a Fraud

gag on all that HOPE fellas, its gonna cost you the white house

OBAMA will never be president

Posted by: drileyadkins | November 26, 2007 8:05 PM | Report abuse

this is worth posting again.

Hillpac, Hillary's PAC, has engaged in the same practices.

here's a prior WaPost article that says

"As you would expect, HILLPAC made donations to candidates and parties in the key early presidential states of Iowa and New Hampshire."


Posted by: julieds | November 26, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey peterdc,

Hillpac, Hillary's PAC, has engaged in the same practices.

here's a prior WaPost article that says

"As you would expect, HILLPAC made donations to candidates and parties in the key early presidential states of Iowa and New Hampshire."

Not only is Hillary "mudslinging"
to try to make this argument!

Posted by: julieds | November 26, 2007 7:54 PM | Report abuse

2008 Presidential Election Weekly Poll

The Only Poll That Matters.
Results Posted Weekly Tuesday Evening.

Posted by: votenic | November 26, 2007 7:40 PM | Report abuse

It is better that Hillary gets the heat now because when her records do come out after the election then she has real problems.

Posted by: coatesmoe | November 26, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

A desperate campaign clutching at straws to stay above water. People will see right through this.

Posted by: eSPO1 | November 26, 2007 7:20 PM | Report abuse

This is yet another example of Obama saying one thing and doing another. It is obvious, given the states who received this money (Iowa, NH, SC) that Obama was trying to buy endorsements. I hope Hillary and the media hit Obama hard with this one.

Posted by: audart | November 26, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

HC is starting to sound desperate.

Posted by: thebobbob | November 26, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse

as usual the Clinton haters are out- but the reality is they would be the first to question Hillary on such tactics as using the PAC. As the Clinton spokesperson said it is easy for Obama to explain if he did nothing wrong.

On the other hand if he is using the PAC money he collected for the HopeFUND for his campaign it shows he isn't quite as clean as he likes people to believe.

As he keeps saying to Hillary- Senator Obama a simple yes or no could suffice.

Posted by: peterdc | November 26, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Hillary in her obsessive quest "to win it", doesn't care about getting other democrates elected or about how she hurts the party or other dems.

Many red state dems have said she will hurt the down ticket. Looks like she even wants them to lose financial support that Obama has given since the '06 midterm elections.

Posted by: ESR1 | November 26, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

It's common practice for campaigns to try and buy out the endorsements of local officials. See what happened with Clyburn in SC? She outbid Obama for his endorsement.

While Obama admits that running is done in muddied water, her change to mudslinging has destroyed the 6-month effort to create a softer Clinton, one that won't do everything out of ambition.

She should have skipped Iowa like Bill did. He's a savvy campaigner she is almost as boring as Al Gore was in 2000.

Posted by: yiannis | November 26, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Hilary and her campaign are in serious trouble and they are using a very feeble argument to see if it can stop the bleeding. Obama is decisively beating Hilary on every issue, from foreign policy to healthcare. Since Hilary said that Obama was naïve and irresponsible after one of the debates, she has accepted the inevitable, which is, she was flat out wrong. Since then Obama has been using his stand on his disposition to meet rogue leaders as a talking point. On healthcare, Hilary says that she would get Congress to make provision for using mandate to provide universal healthcare. A simple question Obama posed to her to answer how to enforce such mandate and those who fail to comply will be criminalized. Hilary has lost the argument on healthcare. Obama is opening another front on her claim that she is the most qualified to be president because of being the First Lady for eight years. It is very pathetic that Hilary is claiming experience based on osmosis.

Posted by: jckckc | November 26, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

And by the way, How about hIllary explaining the fact that she paid off $400,000 of debt for her supporter Vilsack, explain how non-existent dishwashers in new york donated to her, explain the strong arm techniques used by her bundler in texas, and so many more i don't want to go on....

Posted by: julieds | November 26, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I too, would like to hear Obama's full explanation, but for Hillary Camp to say "The Obama campaign's failure to deny...speaks volumes...Senator Obama should answer a simple question"

Is freakin HILLARIOUS considering that Clinton spent the entire year deflecting questions by issuing statements without answers. Their hypocrisy is mind boggling.

Hillary is on the way


Posted by: julieds | November 26, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

The clinton's machine and campaign are getting desperate. Does this mean their internal poll number is tanking?

Hillary's way of dishonesty. Is this what she meant why talking to Bob Novak.

Posted by: gbuze007 | November 26, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

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