"Money (That's What I Want)"

A look at the candidates' finances at the beginning of yet another month of campaigning.

By Alex Koppelman

Published April 1, 2008 11:22PM (EDT)

April 1 is more than just a day for pranks -- it's also, obviously, the start of a new month, and with that, the start of new speculation on the finances of all the presidential campaigns. The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder has this:

The buzz has Obama raising around $40M -- wholly unsubstantiated. The Obama team will not give me a ballpark figure. Obama has four fundraisers in Northern California on Sunday; two of them were sold out weeks in advance.

And rumors of the demise of the Clinton fundraising machine appear to be false: she's going to pull in at least $20M, according to folks with some sense of the numbers. (The Clinton campaign has no official comment either.)

McCain's March total will exceed the $12.5M he raised in February, according to Republicans with knowledge of his finances.

Clearly, those totals are important to all the campaigns, but they may be especially important to the Clinton campaign. On Monday, the Politico reported that the campaign is not paying its bills on time. (This has now become something of a theme in reporting on the Clinton camp.) The Politico's Kenneth P. Vogel wrote:

Hillary Rodham Clinton's cash-strapped presidential campaign has been putting off paying hundreds of bills for months -- freeing up cash for critical media buys but also earning the campaign a reputation as something of a deadbeat in some small-business circles.

A pair of Ohio companies owed more than $25,000 by Clinton for staging events for her campaign are warning others in the tight-knit event production community -- and anyone else who will listen -- to get their cash upfront when doing business with her. Her campaign, say representatives of the two companies, has stopped returning phone calls and e-mails seeking payment of outstanding invoices. One even got no response from a certified letter.

Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson dismissed the report, saying, "Our cash flow is good. Bills are being paid. We are continuing to raise a considerable amount of money. We had the best fundraising month in the campaign's history last month."

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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