Here’s a cool way to get out of debt most Americans probably wish they had as an option: Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign made $2.5 million this year renting out its list of supporters to Hillary Clinton’s campaign for Senate, the Wall Street Journal reports today, following up on last week’s Politico item. That’s enough to pay back the $2.3 million the campaign still owes to her campaign strategist Mark Penn.
Clinton’s now-dormant political action committee, Hill PAC, also paid $822,000 to rent the list, and the William J. Clinton Foundation paid “more than $274,000” to rent the list. Why the sweetheart deal for her husband? Maybe it wasn’t as valuable to an entity that already has a 2,922-page list of its own. The campaign tells the Journal the prices were set by outside appraisers. It made another $1 million renting out the list to 18 other customers, which paid an average of $50,000 apiece.
The significance of this, apart from “campaign finance is complicated,” according to the Journal, is that Hillary is “holding onto” the list in “part of a plan that looks to retain an element of [her] political operation while she serves as secretary of state.”
The last big development in the epic saga of the Clintons’ long and complicated relationship with money came last month, when the Journal reported that Bill Clinton had backed out of partnerships in funds worth potentially $20 million with his friend Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos. One of the funds had put Clinton in the tricky position of directly partnering with Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. (Even trickier, in a 2007 deal in which Clinton didn’t participate, that fund invested in Xinhua Finance Media, a direct descendant of the official state-owned (and heavily-censored) Party mouthpiece. Burkle had previously gotten Clinton involved with Rafaello Follieri, the former boyfriend of actress Anne Hathaway who is now serving a 54-month prison term for a real estate scam that involved, among other things, the 30-year-old Follieri’s false claim to be the chief financial officer of the Vatican.