Obama Asks His Top Donors To Help Clinton With Debt

Bill Clinton had not publicly declared support for the apparent Democratic nominee.
Bill Clinton had not publicly declared support for the apparent Democratic nominee. (By Sean Gallup -- Getty Images)
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

THINGS LEFT UNPAID

Obama Asks His Top Donors To Help Clinton With Debt

LOS ANGELES -- Two days ahead of his meeting in Washington with Hillary Clinton's top donors, Barack Obama has urged his own biggest givers to help retire her $10 million vendor debt.

Obama used the occasion of a conference call Tuesday afternoon to ask members of his national finance team to contribute to the Clinton cause "if they had the means to do so," a campaign aide said.

Clinton ended May more than $22.5 million in debt, with the majority of that money owed to herself. According to campaign finance filings, the vendors the campaign used most heavily included a number of firms run by longtime Clinton loyalists: Denver-based Media Strategies & Research, which bought advertising time; the polling firm Penn, Schoen & Berland; the voter-database firm Catalist; and Grunwald Communications, a media consultant.

She dropped out of the Democratic race in early June, and Obama donors have been seeking cues from his campaign ever since.

Clinton will have a chance to return Obama's favor Thursday night, when she introduces Obama to her most generous supporters at the Mayflower Hotel.

-- Shailagh Murray

MCCAIN AND IMMIGRATION

Meeting With Latinos Draws Fire From Tancredo

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), a failed presidential rival of John McCain and an anti-illegal-immigration gadfly, launched into the senator from Arizona for meeting in secret with Latino leaders last week in Chicago. One participant in the meeting emerged to criticize McCain for taking a tougher stand on illegal immigration on the campaign trail than the line he allegedly used behind closed doors.

"Strangely, the closed door meeting was not on your official events calendar, no press was invited and no press release appears to have been issued," Tancredo wrote. "Yet, according to several news reports, you promised the group that you plan to pursue 'comprehensive immigration reform.' Senator, given your past sponsorship of amnesty legislation, such statements raise troubling questions."


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