This post ran overlong, so I’ve split it. Part 1, about paying off the Hillary campaign debt, is below. Part 2, about the determined efforts of her supporters — some of them — to force a showdown vote at the convention, will go up tomorrow.
For many years, I supported my family as a free-lance writer. Some years were good, some not so good, but we got by. I bring this up only by way of introducing a more timely topic: the campaign debt of Hillary Clinton, 23 million dollars, about half of which — the exact breakdown seems hazy — money which she loaned to the campaign.
- [Aside: I’ll be first to endorse any feasible plan to minimize the costs of political campaigns, with their attendant ills. However, we are stuck for now in a money-dependent political system, and those ills are too numerous — and for the most part, obvious — to detail here.]
Most of my free-lance writing was for ad agencies, institutions, and corporations. I’d get an assignment, hand it in, submit a bill, and get paid. There were two exceptions. (I note — without prejudice — that both deadbeats were lawyers.)
- I wrote promotional material for a housing development being underwritten by a law firm. The project folded, and my bills were ignored. The partner who had hired me refused to speak with me. I went to his office, caught up with him in a waiting room, and, in front of several clients, accused him of being a coward and a dead-beat. He threw me out. Two days later his father — the senior partner, who had witnessed the confrontation — sent me a check for the full amount.
A designer friend and I — at the urging of a mutual friend — assembled campaign material for a lawyer running for a City Council post. The designer and I were both skeptical: the lawyer was a political unknown running against a popular incumbent, and we saw how badly his campaign was being run. Not to worry, said the mutual friend, who offered to make good on our bill if the campaign did not.
We took the job. The lawyer lost. His campaign committee evaporated. No one paid us. Our mutual friend, pretending he’d forgotten about offering to cover the bill, told us to go see the lawyer in person. We did. He stood solemnly behind his mahogany desk, in a nine-hundred dollar suit, checking the time on his Rolex, as he explained that the campaign had dissolved and there was no way he personally could pay off the debts of the committee.
We got nothing.
All of which brings me to this. I have considerable sympathy for the hundreds of merchants and contractors who extended credit to the Hillary campaign.
- [Aside: Let’s make an exception for the leeches and slugs in her posse. Mark Penn, for instance, probably did more than Bill to defeat her, and doesn’t need the millions he’s charging the campaign. He can write it off on his taxes.]
So: In order to preserve something like dignity in this basically corrupt system, it’s only right for people who trusted the Clinton campaign to be paid. Some of them — see Penn, above — could be expected to have known better, or more carefully to have covered their asses, but let it ride. And since she’s already ten million or so in the hole on the escapade, maybe — because the system (corrupt, and she should know it as well as anyone) actually encouraged her to those loans — it’s not reasonable to expect her to pay them herself.
My own preference would be to have it paid off by her supporters. Many of them are already lining up at the Obama table, where they’re getting, if not the back of his hand, then something like second- or third-class attention. Some of the others are mounting a campaign to force a showdown vote at the Denver convention. I’ll address that tomorrow.