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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 04/25/2008

Tracking the Fund-Raisers

By Michael Dobbs


Elton John fundraiser, April 9, 2008.

"Peter Daou, Hillary Clinton's internet director, confirms that, by midnight last night, the campaign had received more than $10 million in web-based contributions [since the Pennsylvania primary]. Not pledges. Not promises. But $10 million transferred directly from the credit and debit cards of about 100,000 donors.
--Mark Ambinder blog, April 23, 2008.

A spat has broken out in the blogosphere over whether the Clinton campaign's claims to have raised $10 million since Tuesday are inflated. Without direct access to the Clinton fund-raising spreadsheets, it is impossible to adjudicate this dispute. But what about past claims, such as the $4 million allegedly raised by the campaign the day after Super Tuesday?

The Facts

The Federal Election Commission filings for Clinton and Obama for April will not be publicly available until May 20. But we do have the FEC filings for the period after Super Tuesday on Feb. 5.

On Feb. 7, the Clinton campaign put out a press release, claiming to have raised $4 million the day after Super Tuesday, i.e. Feb. 6. By 4 p.m. Feb. 7, Clinton National Chairman Terry McAuliffe was claiming a figure of $6.4 million "in the last 30 hours."

According to subsequent FEC filings, the Clinton campaign raised $325,541 in itemized contributions from 865 donors on Feb. 6. The following day, Feb. 7, the campaign raised $2.36 million in itemized contributions from 10,207 donors. (I have taken these figures from The Post's internal database of FEC reports. A slightly different set of daily figures is available here at Opensecrets.org.)

The problem for the Fact Checker is that these totals leave out the amount raised in unitemized contributions. Under FEC rules, campaigns do not have to itemize donations until an individual donor has reached a $200 threshhold. Instead, they report such contributions as an unitemized total at the end of the month. The Clinton campaign reported a total of $12.2 million in unitemized contributions for February, according to the FEC.

For the Clinton campaign to have raised $4 million on Feb. 6, nearly $3.7 million would have had to have come in the form of unitemized contributions from small (under $200), primarily new donors. This would account for roughly 30 percent of its unitemized contributions for February.

The Obama campaign, meanwhile, claimed to have raised
nearly $7.6 million
in the February 6-7 period. Obama's FEC filings report $6.9 million in itemized contributions from 35,000 donors for this period. The campaign reported around $23.5 million in unitemized contributions in February.

The Pinocchio Test

The bottom line is that the FEC reporting system makes it virtually impossible to tell if a campaign is telling the truth in its daily fund-raising claims. There are no audited daily figures available to the public, either contemporaneously or later after the campaigns have filed their FEC statements. If anybody has a suggestion for how to track the daily figures independently, please let me know.

(About our rating scale.)

By Michael Dobbs  | April 25, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama, Candidate Watch  
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Comments

Another day, another attack on Hillary based on the flimsiest of information.

Welcome to the Washington Post 'fact check'.

Posted by: littlestormcloud | April 25, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Another day, another attack on Hillary based on the flimsiest of information.

Welcome to the Washington Post 'fact check'.

Posted by: littlestormcloud | April 25, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Stop stalking Clinton with the daily search of material for this column. Fact check yourself on the number of columns used to "check" her or admit the truth (no pinocchios!), that you hold Hillary Clinton and her campaign to a skewed standard never applied similarly to Obama and McCain.

Posted by: rdkling | April 25, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

HRC's campaign doesn't like math, that's pretty obvious by now.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 25, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Not suprising. Old Fact Checker is a Clinton hater from way back. WaPo is supposed to be credible? Yeah right, with this biased person?

Posted by: Chief | April 25, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Since Rev. Wright is back in the news how about a fact check on all the Obama lies and contradictions in interviews before his cover my butt speech. His speech, and interviews after his throw my grandmother under the bus speech.

Posted by: Chief | April 25, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Hey folks,

Does it ever occur to you that clinton just lies most of the time? She's an easy target. whenever she opens her mouth.....

Posted by: Anonymous | April 25, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

littlestormcloud:

you call reporting campaign finances flimsy?
the point abt clinton's campaign financing and her running of her campaign goes to the heart of why she would be a terrible president. Her campaign finances - as her campaign in general - are in a mess. She owes more than $5 million. She has had to part with several people on her campaign - notably Penn - because of stuff they said or did. She has a chief campaign guy who is in the pay of a country on a trade deal she is campaigning against - didn't she know this? There is terrible in-fighting and chaos in her campaign. Can you not see what her White House would look like?

I'd vote for her some other time. Now is too crucial to let it go into the hands of someone who just isn't, to be brutal, thoughtful and honest.

Posted by: Susan | April 25, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Clinton and Obama supporters:

How about some calls for McCain fact checks, rather than the Democratic opponents. McCain continues to glide by unscathed as the media focus all their time and vitriol on the Democrats, and in the end, that's going to do infinitely more damage to our country than whether or not Obama or Clinton get enough scrutiny.

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | April 25, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

No, Susan, I don't call fact-checking campaign finances flimsy. I called the information used to infer that Clinton was lying in this particular fact check flimsy. None of the 'facts' here related to the 10 million at all. There was also little in terms of hard information on earlier donations, as the article admitted. My point was that there was little to separate this article from the (anti-Clinton) 'blogosphere' speculation that it was responding to.

I agree entirely that the management of Clinton's campaign has been horrendous, financially but also (perhaps more importantly) politically. On the other hand, George Bush ran a very tight campaign, both in 2000 and 2004, the result of which was the 'Bush Bubble' ...

Posted by: littlestormcloud | April 25, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

If as you said "The bottom line is that the FEC reporting system makes it virtually impossible to tell if a campaign is telling the truth in its daily fund-raising claims."
why write an article about it?
Are you getting paid by the words you write?

Posted by: andrea | April 25, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I think you make the best case possible, by reviewing the past to judge the likelihood of statements of the present. Sen. Obama ended up with about 90% of his post-Super Tuesday donation claims itemized. Sen. Clinton had about 42% of her claims itemized. I think that says enough about what the Clinton campaign might claim about current fundraising.

Personally, I'll be looking to see if there was possibly another loan to the campaign this month. In any case, this all will be filed on May 20th, so we (and the Superdelegates) will ultimately know if their statements are true, or not.

At least we shouldn't have to hear the Clintonistas whining about getting outspent again. Candidate Tip for 2016: The "It's so unfair, I'm getting outspent" argument is a really bad one for the (once) "Inevitable" candidate. Embarrassing, even.

Posted by: J S | April 25, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

ManUnitdFan: I'm all for a fact check on McCain. How about a check on the percentage of African-Americans that were there to listen to McCain's speech in Selma, Alabama?

Or based on his "This Week" appearance, a fact check over whether he accepts Rev. Hagee's endorsement now? It's hard to tell since he said yes and no during the same interview. It's like his positions on the Bush Tax Cuts - you're never sure which side of an issue McCain's on today.

Posted by: J S | April 25, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Altogether Obama raised 55 million odd in February, of which (according to this article) 23.5 million was unitemized. That makes only 58% of his February contributions itemized (and 42% from donors contributing 200 dollars or less).

Given that Clinton voters (read also supporters) are poorer, should we be surprised that there's a 16% disparity between the proportion of her (58%) and Obama's supporters (42%) not making it above 200 dollars? Perhaps some of HC's supporters suddenly came out of the woodwork on the night of Super Tuesday when she wasn't knocked out of the race (as some commentators were suggesting was possible). There is, after all, no point in giving hard-earned cash to a candidate that might be using it to advertise her withdrawal from the race.

The donation patterns to victors and challengers are always quite different. As proved by today's defection of a Hillary donor to Obama, rich people like backing the inevitable delegate-count winner.

And (before people start on that issue), yes, Obama is going to have more delegates than Hillary and God knows how she expects staying in the race to pan out in her favor.

What is in question here is the way in which the Washington Post Fact Checker choses his 'facts'.

One more thing -- why the picture of her and Elton John? How is that relevant to the article?

Posted by: littlestormcloud's factchecker | April 25, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Just do the math....$10,000,000 in 24 hrs/1440 minutes /or 86400 seconds equals $115 per second for 100,000 contributors...
If they say it"s so...it IS... and just you believe it...you dumbed down voter

Posted by: Carolyn Sells | April 25, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

... 115 dollars a second, exactly the rate that powerball lottery tickets were selling in Pennsylvania in June 2003!*
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2003_June_26/ai_104379418

100,000 contributors in a day is one pledge every .864 seconds.

Obama's campaign received 1317 dollars every minute of every day during the entire month of February. Now that's true racehorse pedigree -- stamina as well as speed!


* The odds of winning are probably also not that different!

Posted by: dumbed down voter | April 25, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

1317 dollars every minute of every day during the entire month of February...

Unbelieveable but TRUE


Posted by: Obama's Racehorse | April 25, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

The FIX is IN: CHECK these FACTS:

Headline: Obama says YES to Cheney

Foreword: I wrote the following comments about an hour before I heard Olberman report that Rush Limbaugh was promoting on his website: RIOTS at the Democratic Convention in Denver

We all know the ECONOMY is the #1 ISSUE in this campaign season.

Since ENERGY is an important basis of economics our nation's Energy Policy is
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT ... as we have all seen with the increasing cost of FUEL and FOOD engendered by the rise in Oil Prices.

The Mainstream Media has failed to address or air the 3 Presidential candidates' ENERGY POLICIES. (Have YOU heard anything about The Cheney Energy Bill?)

It was passed in 2005 ... while the Republicans still had control of Congress. Obama Voted FOR the Cheney Energy Bill. McCain Voted FOR it.
Clinton Voted AGAINST it.

Most of us, upon hearing of the EXISTENCE of a CHENEY Energy Bill would...assume it to be...NOT in the best interests of our nation or any of us Not Wealthy humans...i.e. some kind of RIPOFF of the American taxpaying public.

It would also seems strikingly ODD tthat Obama,
appearing to be a very LIBERAL DEMOCRAT, Voted FOR The Cheney Energy Bill.

Clinton has brought up Obama's YES to Cheney VOTE several times during the televised debates. YET...the News People asking the debate questions
never followup by asking Obama: WHY DID YOU VOTE FOR THE CHENEY ENERGY BILL?. They Never followup by asking: What IS the Cheney Energy Bill about?

It is by far One of the most IMPORTANT ISSUES
of our time, but the "mainstream media" just doesn't cover it. WHAT is the reason for the mainstream media's SILENCE on an ISSUE so critically important to our future?

I asked myself that question and went looking for the answer. This iswhat I found:

GE owns NBC & MSNBC. Westinghouse owns CBS. GE is the 2nd largest corporation on the planet: BOTH corporations have, for many generations, pumped vast quantities of PRODUCT ... $ADVERTISING Dollars...into all forms of media.

GE and Westinghouse are the Major Players in the nuclear industry. An industry that was set to suffer a Slow DEATH...UNTIL...the Cheney Energy
Bill gave it "a new lease on life". NO new nukes have been built in the U.S for the past 30 years because the banks would not loan money to build them - too risky.

The Cheney Energy Bill Solved That Problem For The Nuke Industry by GUARANTEEING TAXPAYER Payback of any of the nuke loans that default.

(Given that the Congressional Budget Office rated the risk of default at 50%, or greater ...
do you think it was GOOD JUDGMENT for Obama to vote FOR it?)

(Given the already substantial economic damage done by the SubPrime mortgage meltdown -what amount of economic damage are we LIKELY to suffer from SubPrime: Not Credit Worthy - lending - to the nuke industry/compounded by the fact that US TAXPAYERS would PAY the full cost of a SUBPRIME Nuke Lending meltdown?)

The nuke industry's plans to build 29 new nuclear power plants are already far advanced. Licensing hearings for the first few nuke plants have already been scheduled.

Second Level Major Players in the Nuke Industry:
Excelon Corp. of Illinois - one of Obama's largest campaign contributors since his earliest days in politics - biggest nuke operator on the planet;
they own the nukes in Illinois; they own Con-Ed of New York.

Entergy - Owns many utilities in several Southern states.

3 Consortiums of other nuke industry players.

MSNBC & NBC have become more FAUX than FOX, the original Faux "news". All day everyday since last October when the campaign coverage
began ... have seen on MSNBC & NBC...ALL their "reporters" and "news analysts" -(from Joe Scarborough and Mika Berzinski on "Morning Joe"- to Chris Matthews on "Hardball" in the afternoon- to Keith Olbermann in the evening BLATANTLY promoting Pro-Obama PROPAGANDA/ Slamming & smeaaring the Clintons...everyday all day long.

I'm not the only one who noticed. Millions of people noticed and posted their complaints
about it on the internet. Last night Bill O'reilly on Fox news said - "MSNBC has become
the Obama Network".
(I call MSNBC/NBC -- BOP-N --Barack Obama Propaganda Networks.)

In response to...(unspecified...& unreported complaints about "media bias" against the Clintons, Howard Fineman, TIME magazine & MSNBC "News analyst"---whined to Chris Matthews on "Hardball" last week: Gov. Rendell said to me - "you're from the Obama Network"
-they shouldn't be complaining about US being biased against the Clintons WE're Journalists!
WE just report the facts. (Pathetic ... Fineman
...trying... to convince himself he's not
-exactly what he is- a highly paid Propaganda Pusher.)

Obama's 20 year history in politics arose from Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.

The Rezko trial involves charges of extortion, fraud, money laundering, kickbacks, bribes; CRIMES
& Political CORRUPTION (at every level of government City, County, State, National) involving: allegedly,
Rezko, Mayor Daley, Governor Blagojevich, et al for crimes committed in the U.S.; and involving internationally 3 Arabic men: Rezko, Auichi, Alsammarae - for crimes allegedly committed in massive international frauds.

(Auichi was convicted a few years ago in the French Courts of massive fraud/robbery/looting involving the French ELF petroleum company and the U.N. Oil for Food Program. Alsammarae was convicted in the Iraqi Courts of looting the Iraq electricity grid while he was the Iraqi Minister of Electricity ...under Bush-Cheney's Coalition Provisional Authority... Rezko is accused of being Alsammarae's partner in that looting.

The mainstream media is airing...very little coverage...of the Rezko -City, County, State, National, and International Fraud/Looting trial.

For example, the Federal Prosecution's main witness testifed last week that Obama and his wife DID Attend a party thrown by Rezko at Rezko's Chicago mansion for his guest of honor AUICHI. Obama has previously stated that he: doesn't remember meeting Auichi. WHY is the mainstream media (TV, in particular) not covering the Rezko trial; has NOT Asked Obama if he DID or DID Not attend that party? Has NOT asked Michelle Obama if she did attend that party?

The conclusion I have reached -from those and many other FACTS I have gathered from my impartial search is:

GE, et. al; the Corrupt Corporate "establishment"
-is running Obama and McCain for President
because they plan to reap $BILLIONS in RISK-FREE Profits from building 29 new nuclear power plants AND $BILLIONS more in RISK-FREE profits---For The NEXT 30-40 Years---from the HIGHER ELECTRICITY RATES produced by building nuke plants. i.e. The NEXT Big Dick Cheney MONOPOLY POWER
---ENERGY RIPOFF----
just...waiting in the wings...for Obama or McCain to get elected.

Currently, the mainstream media is PUSHING Obama for President and holding a lid on the BAD NEWS about him. If and when it reaches a point where Obama does not get the nomination the corporate-controlled media will drop him and start pumping out PRO-McCain Propaganda.

GE, Cheney, et al prefer it to be a NO-RISK,
Win-Win situation (for Them) Presidential election WITH Obama vs. McCain. The Media is NOW pumping out: the contest is Over, Obama's the Winner; the Nomination BETTER NOT get "stolen" from Obama or there'll be HELL to Pay and the Democrat candidate will lose in November.

The Obama campaign was caught red-handed playing the race card to win the South Carolina primary
...in a 4 page internal Obama campaign Memo published online by the Huffington Post...but the Media went right on PUSHING the BIG LIE -they blamed the Clintons. Obama has repeatedly played the race card every time he is in danger of losing.

There are indications online that Obama: used MOBS of poor black people cramming into small govt. offices in Chicago during his "organizing" days to get some of the "changes" he wanted; that Code Pink and a group named ReCreate '68 are threatening to mass mobs of 50,000 in Denver to protest/incite riots at the Democratic Convention IF Obama does not get the nomination. Obama may have connections to the groups threatenting HELL to pay at the convention if he doesn't get the nomination... that could be covered by ... plausible deniability.

Having already...recklessly, despicably, dangerously, played the race card repeatedly & supposing...Obama does have connections with/control of...extremist left wing groups and mobs...wouldn't electing him President be likely get us -WORSE THAN BUSH- Step 2 in CorporateNazi CONTROL of US... incitement of interracial strife for purposes of Political Control .... incitement of left-wing extremists/riots for purposes of Political CONTROL?

.... with the MEDIA aiding, abetting, lying and distorting ...Reality.... just like they are doing now.

Things that don't add up:

If Clinton is "the establishment" candidate - Why is her campaign constantly running out of money
while Obama has been rolling in CASH thruout the campaign?

The media tries to cover that by saying:
well...her wealthy contributors have already given the maximum amount the law allows -they can't contribute anymore funds. That's ridiculous. The "establishment" has enough cash to hire all the bundlers they need to go out and rustle up more cash from individuals employed at ALL Their Corporations, and from any other source. The media continues to PUSH the BIG LIE that Obama does not accept money from Lobbyists/Corporations (via individuals employed by them) /Wall Street/Oil/Drug Companies/Insurance Industry)

If Clinton is the "establishment" candidate .... WHY isn't the corporate-controlled MEDIA PUSHING her for President?

Obama's got the money. He's got the MEDIA Propaganda. He's the establishment candidate.

What's wrong with building 29 nuclear power plants?

Hillary Clinton: nuclear can be considered in the future IF they can make it CHEAPER and find a way to safely and permanently dispose of the nuclear waste.

Nuke waste/nuke waste dumps have been a steadily deepening nightmare for the past 50 years. (Google: Hanford WA nuclear waste dump; Rocky Flats CO plutonium, Barnwell South Carolina groundwater nuclear waste dump.

ALL the nuke waste dumps are CLOSED. Nuke waste has been stored ON-SITE at the nuke plants for the past several DECADES; providing several hundred terrorist targets vulnerable to devastating consequences from just ONE RPG.

The nuclear industry is already running a modicum of Pro-Nuke Propaganda Ads. They have bought up a few "environmentalists" & manufactured a lot more - for the LAUNCH of their upcoming NUKE PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN (The Nukes are GREEN & CLEAN Ad Campaign)-that will start- right after the November Prersidential election.

What can YOU do about it? Copy & Paste this message -email it to everyone on your email list. Google: "North Carolina blogs politics" and post it everywhere you can -post it on Newspaper, TV, and radio blogs. Do the SAME for all the upcoming PRIMARY STATES...as far in advance of the Primary Date as you can.

"Getting off coal to go nuclear is like giving up cigarettes to take up smoking crack" (I wish I knew where I read that quote so I could give credit to the author of it.)

Posted by: elme | April 25, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe some of the Clinton figures. I think they are sometimes used to assure shaky backers. I believe the Obama campaign, because sometimes during Super Tuesday and the other victories i had trouble getting on the web site to give.The meter on the donaton counter was sometimes over 3000 donations per hour and then it would start slowing down until about three days later it was down to 200 per hour.

Posted by: majorteddy | April 25, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

If Clinton lied about the $10 million we won't even have an inkling of it until May 20. She hopes to have the campaign scenario spinning her way by then and probably figures one more suspected but not proven lie won't hurt her that much. And she's probably right. Everyone knows she's a liar, even a lot of her supporters. That's why smart donors probably aren't swayed by her announcement. There probably was a bump of some kind from her base. She's going to need all of it because it seems that she was broke when she left Pennsylvania. Obama isn't putting her away in these rust belt states, but he is bleeding her dry and basically maintaining his big delegate lead. She's actually toast, at this point, without a genuine scandal against Obama - something that would turn his own supporters against him. The superdelegates who have not declared will have to got 2 to 1 for her to overturn the elected delegates. They can't do that. Disenfranchised Obama supporters would be outraged and it would split the party, making Hillary unelectable.

Posted by: Chuck | April 26, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

NOTE TO ELME 10:00PM

The facts about the 2005 energy bill: the bill resulted in a net TAX INCREASE of $300 over 11 years. Also, the $14.3 billion in tax breaks in the bill included large incentives for alternative fuels research and subsidies for energy-efficient cars, homes and buildings.

Posted by: Boomerang | April 26, 2008 3:58 AM | Report abuse

Whoops--correction!

NET Tax increase of $300 million over 11 years.

Posted by: Boomerang | April 26, 2008 4:01 AM | Report abuse

I don't know--her track record with the whole truth and nothing but the truth isn't so good....

Clinton, in her filing with the Federal Election Commission, reported that her campaign had $8.7 million in cash on hand as of March 30, and $10.3 million in debts.

"The Clinton campaign itemizes its debts to vendors, totaling $10.3 million by the end of last month, but since January, when Clinton infused her campaign with $5 million, the campaign hasn't been adding in that loan when reporting its overall debt to the Federal Election Commission," the Center for Responsive Politics said.

"An FEC representative tells us Clinton's debt to herself, even if she won't be paying it back, should be lumped in with the campaign's debts to others on the first page of the monthly filings, not just listed deeper within her disclosure forms."

Including the loan would put her debt as of March 30 at $15.3 million, the nonpartisan group said.

Posted by: JustThink | April 26, 2008 4:19 AM | Report abuse

Yes, that 5 million she openly announced to the media that she lent to her campaign? So secretive, so underhand... not.

Her finances are in bad shape (mostly because of the incredible amounts of money Obama is raising, which has probably driven ad. prices through the roof) but this doesn't necessarily make her a liar in any shape or form.

Looking down through these posts...
"I don't believe some of the Clinton figures..."
"Everyone knows she's a liar..."

There are no *facts* in this story, just a bunch of people -- Michael Dobbs included -- who *want* to not believe anything Hillary Clinton says.

Noone (by now) disputes the Bosnia fabrication. But this 'fact checker', with his desire to turn any fact check into the suggestion that she is lying (note this is the tenor of the article we all picked up), really needs to be hauled over the coals by the WashingtonPost editors.

Posted by: littlestormcloud | April 26, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

The fact that Clinton is calling for MORE debates -- a strategy usually employed by free media candidates -- I think it's reasonable to conclude that the HRC campaign DID NOT raise $10 million dedicated to the primary. The campaign may have raised $10 million with a large share of max. donors pledging money to the general election, but until the campaign shows the money, there's grounds for skepticism. This is not a campaign renowned for truth-telling.

Posted by: JP2 | April 26, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

In March, in the run-up to the Pennsylvania primary, Obama spent $31 million. Clinton spent $22 million. A large part of both spends went into television advertisements. In April, the month in which the primary actually took place, Obama's spending dwarfed Clinton's by something like 5 to 1.

Is it any wonder, Clinton - even with $10 million in response to her most recent victory -- is looking to even the playing field by bring Obama into a one-on-one debate?

Obama has c. $40 million in reserve!

Posted by: 10millionischickenfeed | April 26, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't know you the Shillaryites are all upset, he didn't suggest the Clinton campaign lied about finances (although it clearly has lied about other things). His conclusion is the claims by both campaigns are unverifiable. It seems Shillary's people are always looking for new reasons to wallow in self-pity.

Posted by: RealChoices | April 26, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

This has been order to go to hearing in Novemeber 2008 since Hillary was running for President she has been remove from this case by a California Judge.


__________________________________________

Bill and Hillary To Face Fraud Trial
February 20, 2008
While Hillary Clinton battles Barack Obama on the campaign trail, a judge in Los Angeles is quietly preparing to set a trial date in a $17 million fraud suit that aims to expose an alleged culture of widespread corruption by the Clintons and the Democratic Party.

At the conclusion of a hearing Thursday morning before California Superior Court Judge Aurelio N. Munoz, lawyers for Hollywood mogul Peter F. Paul will begin seeking sworn testimony from all three Clintons - Bill, Hillary and Chelsea - along with top Democratic Party leaders and A-list celebrities, including Barbra Streisand, John Travolta, Brad Pitt and Cher.


Paul's team hopes for a trial in October. The Clinton's longtime lawyer David Kendall, who will attend the hearing, has declined comment on the suit.

The Clintons have tried to dismiss the case, but the California Supreme Court, in 2004, upheld a lower-court decision to deny the motion.

Bill Clinton, according to the complaint, promised to promote Paul's Internet entertainment company, Stan Lee Media, in exchange for stock, cash options and massive contributions to his wife's 2000 Senate campaign. Paul contends he was directed by the Clintons and Democratic Party leaders to produce, pay for and then join them in lying about footing the bill for a Hollywood gala and fundraiser.

The Clintons' legal counsel has denied the former president made any deal with Paul. But Paul attorney Colette Wilson told WND there are witnesses who say it was common knowledge at Stan Lee Media that Bill Clinton was preparing to be a rainmaker for the company after he left office.

Paul claims former Vice President Al Gore, former Democratic Party chairman Ed Rendell and Clinton presidential campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe also are among the people who can confirm Paul engaged in the deal.

Paul claims Rendell directed various illegal contributions to the DNC and Hillary Clinton's campaign and failed to report to the Federal Election Commission more than $100,000 given for a Hollywood event for Gore's campaign and the Democratic National Committee in 2000. McAuliffe, Paul says, counseled him in two separate meetings to become a major donor to Hillary Clinton to pave the way to hire her husband. Paul asserts top Clinton adviser Harold Ickes also directed him to give money to the Senate campaign but hid that fact in "perjured testimony" during the trial of campaign finance director David Rosen.

Rosen was acquitted in 2005 for filing false campaign reports that later were charged by the FEC to treasurer Andrew Grossman, who accepted responsibility in a conciliation agreement that fined the campaign 35,000. Paul points out the Rosen trial established his contention that he personally gave more than $1.2 million to Clinton's campaign and that his contributions intentionally were hidden from the public and the Federal Election Commission.

Rosen, accused of concealing Paul's in-kind contribution of more than $1 million, was acquitted, but Paul contends the Clinton staffer was a scapegoat. Paul points out chief Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson told the Washington Post he was aware of the donation, yet he never was called as a witness in the Rosen trial.

Paul contends his case will expose "the institutional culture of corruption embraced by the Clinton leadership of the Democratic Party," which seeks to attain "unaccountable power for the Clintons at the expense of the rule of law and respect for the constitutional processes of government."

The complaint asserts Clinton has filed four false reports to the FEC of Paul's donations in an attempt to distance herself from him after a Washington Post story days after the August 2000 fundraiser reported his past felony convictions. Clinton then returned a check for $2,000, insisting it was the only money she had taken from Paul. But one month later, she demanded another $100,000, to be hidden in a state committee using untraceable securities.

"Why wouldn't that cause someone to inquire?" Paul asked. "Especially since it was days after she said she wouldn't take any more money from me."

Paul has the support of a new grass-roots political action group that is helping garner the assistance of one of the nation's top lawyers

Republican activist Rod Martin says his group plans to highlight Paul's case as it launches an organization based on the business model of the left-wing MoveOn.org but rooted in the principles and political philosophy of former President Reagan.

Martin's group also is assisting in Paul's complaint to the FEC asserting that unless the agency sets aside the conciliation agreement and rescinds immunity granted the senator, it will "have aided and abetted in the commission" of a felony.

Paul's case is the subject of a video documentary largely comprised of intimate "home movies" of Hillary Clinton and her Hollywood supporters captured by Paul during

Posted by: MsRita | April 26, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

You are right, RealChoices. He didn't come out and directly accuse Hillary Clinton's campaign of lying. What he did was more invidious. He concentrated on her (so-called) "claims" almost exclusively in the article. Casting her figures as "unverifiable", he sought to feed the 'Hilliary is a liar' story he has built up in earlier fact checks.

For instance, the last paragraph on Obama was obviously designed to throw further doubt on her figures. Dobbs did not explain that, of course, the meaning of Hillary's victories on Super Tuesday was very different to the meaning of Barack Obama's, something that would be obvious to any seasoned political reporter.

Indeed, Dobbs, in noting that Obama could account for the majority (90%) of his post-Super Tuesday 7.6 million in 'itemized' donations, purposefully did not comment on the fact that he *cannot* account for 42%(23.5 million) of his entire month's contributions (note how Dobbs leaves out the 'fact' it is out of 55 million. This suggests that Obama must have had very *similar* nights to Hillary's during February, with large numbers of new small donors coming in all at once, as he went on his extended winning sweep.

What separates Dobb's article from blogosphere speculation? Is it only the fact that he doesn't capitalize people's middle names, or rant on for three pages about nuclear power?

Posted by: littlestormcloud | April 26, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

littlestormcloud, I don't think your grievance holds much water. Obama has indeed has many small donations, far more than Hillary actually, they just didn't come in huge bundle after Super Tuesday.

The problem with Hillary (and Bill) is they have been so careless with the truth in the past, if they make claims that sound too good to be true they get scrutiny. That is situation they created on their own. Hillary's "Bosnia moment" is only one example, people don't like to be taken for fools.

Posted by: RealChoices | April 26, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

The fact is though that they must have come at a bundle at some stage, if on the night of Super Tuesday 90% of his donations were from old donors! His came in a bundle on other nights, when his 'push' for victory enthused new contributors (after winning in Virginia, Wisconsin, etc.)

I completely agree that Hillary and Bill have a credibility problem -- and that it stems from stories like Bosnia (I am not actually a big Hillary supporter). All I am saying here is that this is pretty much a non-story, like the 2% or 3% student loan story before it. Dobbs is really going out of his way to continually paint Clinton as a liar (ignoring other important issues with McCain, for instance), and I don't like being taken as a fool by him any more than by H&B.

If his column was just called 'Michael Dobbs' and not 'Fact Checker', I wouldn't be so annoyed.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

I assume the last post was from "littlestormcloud." If so, we aren't that far apart. I suspect the $10 million in donations after the Pa primary might have been hyped by the Clinton campaign (their official statement was they were "...on track to raise $10 million..." or words to that effect), so I don't know if they did but there certainly isn't evidence this was a fabrication either.

I guess I don't see FactChecker's examination as damning towards Hillary as you do.

Posted by: RealChoices | April 27, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Hillary voted for the war! Young mens and womens are dead for this dont make any sense war. PLEASE VOTE OBAMA 08

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2008 1:55 AM | Report abuse

Realchoices -- Good to know we're on the same side!

Clearly you read closely, and are not fooled by prose tricks, but think about the way he writes --

Just look at how he uses the verb "to claim" -- this verb is a central one for the factchecker: "We rely on our readers to send us suggestions on topics to fact check and tips on erroneous claims by political candidates, interest groups and the media."

For most readers, therefore, claims = erroneous claims. As you note, this is particularly a problem for Clinton whose credibility is not exactly sterling. We all know the extent which candidates go to avoid other verbs, like "lie" and "cheat"...

You might argue, in this piece, he does refer to Obama "claims". He does so only to quickly corrorobate them in the next sentence, therefore using Obama's 'true' claim to suggest to his readers even more strongly that Hillary Clinton's are not true (aka erroneous claims).

(as I have said above he is not comparing like with like when he compares Obama's figures and Clinton's figures post Super Tuesday)

On the other hand, in the Rezko article a while back (written after the last uproar over how biased Dobbs was), he managed to not to use the verb "to claim" even once. Instead he ended the article with, "Levine's rather sketchy testimony about the alleged April 2004 meeting with Auchi is far from conclusive." That may be true, but does it really need three separate negatives in one sentence -- sketchy, alleged, far from conclusive?

More importantly, though, "to claim" appears even less often in his articles on John McCain. The last time McCain claimed anything was March 20, over a month ago.

I honestly don't know if he's doing this on purpose. He is a professional writer, however, and must be aware on some level...

Posted by: littlestormcloud | April 27, 2008 2:33 AM | Report abuse

i dont doubt that hillary raised $10m in one day, Obama has shown countless times that it can easily be done. What baffles me is that no one has mentioned how much she's raised since then. all the flurry of announcements since to have evaporated soon after. i mean did it all end on day one after the 10 point win in Penn??? surely i would have expected the fundraising momentum to gain more strength as the days go by - for at least another week. It therefore seems very strange to me that the clinton camp are no longer reporting increased number of online $5 and under $200 donations. in fact, they seem to have gone very mute about this. how bizzare!!

Posted by: Debs | April 27, 2008 7:34 AM | Report abuse

She did NOT raise 10 mil in a day. That's a lot of freaking money even for Obama and most of her base is used to the old way where you pay nothing and let the candidate walk into Washington with gajillions of special interest favors to pay back.

Posted by: Erik R | April 27, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I was just looking at the FEC numbers for February, and I noticed Obama's figures for 29 February -- 25.5 million in individual contributions in 24 hours!
http://query.nictusa.com/pres/2008/M3/C00431445/A_DATE_C00431445.html

Perhaps he leaves the majority of his small donations to be accounted for at the end of the month, but, if so, how did he receive 16.5 million in 24 hours on 1 March?
http://query.nictusa.com/pres/2008/M4/C00431445/A_DATE_C00431445.html

It makes 10 million for Clinton in one night not seem that unbelievable doesn't it? People do vote for her after all, so she does have supporters.

Posted by: FEC nerd | April 27, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

On Obama donor list there was a Will Smith actor Calwho gave $2300 to his campaign ,Same day there was a Will Smith actor Cal.who gave $4600 to the campaign is something wrong here do you think?

Posted by: maggie | April 27, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

To give Obama's campaign credit, I think Will Smith was sent back his extra 2300, leaving a full 2300 primary donation and a full 2300 general election donation.

http://www.newsmeat.com/celebrity_political_donations/Will_Smith.php

Posted by: littlestormcloud | April 27, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I haved wondered how Obama has been raising so much money. Soros and moveon may be funneling in cash and getting awy because of a loop hole in finance reform. The FEC only requires campaigns to list the donors and dates of contributions that surpass $200 for the entire election cycle. So, small donations from new donors are not put on reports, instead contributions of $200 or less are listed in lump sums as "unitemized contributions." Obama has reported over $79 million in these donations. So, it is possible that some of Obama rich contributers are contributing millions and some Enron type bookkeeping could make it look like thousands of new donors giving less than $200.

So, Obama's tracker may show millions of individual donors, but there is no way to independently verify the numbers since they do not have to give names for donors under $200.

Posted by: skinsfan1978 | April 27, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

By the way, Hillary has reported $34 million in unitemized contributions, and McCain $11 million.

Posted by: skinsfan1978 | April 27, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm....May 20th....a day of publications.

The newest FEC reports will be released.

The book about Hillary Clinton's religious affiliations will be published.

One fork! Oops another fork! You're DONE.

Posted by: Susan | April 28, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

JP2- Hillary is asking for debates not because she has less money but because she has proven that everytime they debate she gets votes. When Obama is forced off a script he messes up

Posted by: peter | April 28, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

TO: Posted by: elme | April 25, 2008 10:00 PM
____________________________________
I just have to ask this 1 simple question.

Wow!!!! Fool, What planet are you from? Talk about conspiracy theory.

Posted by: KATHY | April 28, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

When Obama announced his campaign, most people said " O...who?" and gave him less than a month to bleed red and bail out considering the Clinton's resources. Now that he is raising more money than Mrs Clinton...... it is now a bad thing, I can't bear the whinning from the high and mighty! When he was the underdog... it was a bad thing and he needed to bail out, now that he is not the underdog... oh the world is so unfair... how can someone overspent another!!!

Posted by: TWAD | April 28, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Say what you want, Obama cannot win against McCain. It's marginally intelligent for the conservative press to attack Hilary knowing this, and God forbid if by some chance he were elected because of a huge skeleton popping out of a McCain closet, Obama would be eaten alive, you should set someone up for success, this isn't even bad comedy. - Mark my words.-

Posted by: strayd | April 28, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

"Daily" fund raising records are meaningless. What is significant is the monthly totals. Most invoices are due and payable on a monthly cycle. What a campaign has available at the beginning of the month (after the bills are paid from the previous month) is what matters.

Clinton clearly is at a disadvantage--she starts nearly every month in debt.

Posted by: California girl | April 28, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Hillary's candidacy is effectively over.

It's time to turn our attention to the
http://truth-about-mccain.blogspot.com
so that we Democrats can win the presidency in the fall.

Posted by: Francis L. Holland, Esq. | April 28, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

WaPo and its Fact Checker didn't take on this issue because it's anti-Clinton; they chose it because it's been discussed by many bloggers and other media outlets. They did the research and said, like many others:
1)it's possible
2)it's a lot of money on a per-contributor basis
3)but there's no way to tell for sure

Get over your paranoia...

Posted by: Elektrik | April 29, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I believe Obama's figures, but not Clinton's.

Posted by: oldman&theC | April 29, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Once again Mr. Dobbs illustrates his lack of interest or investment of time to pursue more topics of substance.

This latest effort however is actually hitting against the wrong campaign side. Hillary admitted FRONT AND CENTER that she donated $4 m to her presidential bid funds. No secret here.

Obama, however, has several interesting contributions from a lot of individuals in big energy, big money (attorneys, doctors, etc.) and of course, the old Illinois cronies -- Rezko et al.

What I think Mr. Dobbs should be pursuing, is why did Obama wait 5 years to return funds received from Ato, who recently cut a deal in the Rezko trials in Chicago? Why did Obama wait 6 years to return the Rezko funds, which Obama claims "were donated to charity"... well, what charity? Don't see any charitable expenses in his disbursements; however, he does pay several current and former internet bloggers sizable salaries on a monthy basis. Hmm -- does that maybe mean some of the comments submitted here are by his salaried staff? Could be.

Again, major disappointment with this effort at "reporting facts."

By the way, Mr. Dobbs -- there is a database in the process of being created which merges contributions with changes in legislation -- it is a volunteer effort which is approximately 45 percent complete. You, of all people, should know about this, given that you do work for the Washington Post.

3 Stinkaroos for this one, Michael... why not pick on the "FACTS" surrounding Obama's Rezko funding??

Posted by: Illinoisvoter | April 30, 2008 1:09 AM | Report abuse

If you want a topic to pursue -- why not fact-check why Obama disbursements include:

payments to DTWO, an IPO offering.
payments to a London Interior Design firm
payments to several former Clinton aides
payments to independent bloggers
payments to journalists

But then, that would take you off the HILLARY ATTACK MODE wouldn't it?

Are you that fearful of Hillary as President?

GIVE US ALL A BREAK, AND START REPORTING ON FACTS THAT MATTER TO OUR COUNTRY -- LIKE THE ECONOMY.

Posted by: IllinoisVoter | April 30, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Here's a topic suggestion, which you rarely take but I'll try again --

Why not look into the relationship with McCain and the "absent governor" of Florida? The same governor who was promised a McCain cabinet position. The same governor who had McCain riding in a chartered plane.

Let's give the Dems a break, and start exposing McCain for a change.

Posted by: IllinoisVoter | April 30, 2008 1:15 AM | Report abuse

I sent in $60 to the Hillary campaign at the end of January (though technically it was in the form of buying a shirt, hat, water bottle, some buttons and some stickers.) The night she won the Texas primary (where I live) I sent in another $100. The night of the Pennsylvania primary upon hearing she won the state, I logged on and sent another $100. There are almost 15 million Democrats out there that believe Sen. Clinton will do a fine job as President, and I am cool with being one of them.

Posted by: Unitemized donor | May 1, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Enough about contributions, I notice NO Hillary supporter talks about Peter Paul's fraud case .. AND .. all the Clinton's are named ..
At the conclusion of a hearing Thursday morning before California Superior Court Judge Aurelio N. Munoz, lawyers for Peter F. Paul .. seeking sworn testimony from all three Clintons - Bill, Hillary and Chelsea - along with top Democratic Party leaders and A-list celebrities ..

Paul's team hopes for a trial in October. Clinton's longtime lawyer David Kendall, has declined comment on the suit.

The Clintons tried to have the case dismissed to NO avail.

Bill Clinton ... promised to promote Paul's entertainment company, Stan Lee Media, in exchange for stock, cash options and massive contributions to his WIFE's 2000 Senate campaign.
Paul contends he was directed by the Clintons ... to join THEM in LYING about footing the bill for a Hollywood gala and fundraiser.

C'mon do we want to give the GOP an easy slide into the WH b'cause they will certainly use this and this is BIGGER than Wright for sure.

This for the GOP will be ...

"manna from Heaven!"


Posted by: Maria | May 3, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

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