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Clinton Owes $146,000 To Universities

This story was written by Emily Schultheis, Daily Pennsylvanian

It's been almost two months since former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign, but that doesn't mean her bills will disappear.While Clinton paid off outstanding debts to 15 colleges and universities last month, she still owes almost $150,000 for events her campaign held at schools across the nation as of June 30.According to the Federal Election Commission, Clinton owed a total of $146,347.29 to 10 colleges and universities as of June 30. This includes $24,238.99 - a sum that has increased slightly since last month - still owed to Penn.Ron Ozio, director for media relations at Penn, said the fees charged by the University generally include costs for sound equipment, other equipment rentals and staff set-up time, though he was unsure of the specific costs included in Clinton's bill.Other universities owed money for rallies and other campaign events include Temple University, California State University Los Angeles and Arizona State University.Both political analyst and St. Joseph's University history professor Randall Miller and Penn political science professor Henry Teune stressed that outstanding debt is common among candidates who have lost an election.Vendors, like Penn and other universities, "are expected to wait," Miller said, or perhaps not receive payment at all."I don't think she's going to be able to get enough money in her accounts to pay her outstanding debts in the short run," Miller said.But Clinton is slowly chipping away at her debts. The campaign paid off debts to 15 colleges and universities in the month of June, including eight Pennsylvania schools.And while she still owed money to several universities as of June 30, she has paid off part of the balance at some of these schools, including Penn, Cal State LA and University of Texas at Brownsville.

Ozio said the University is still optimistic about receiving payment from her campaign."We feel like she'll pay," he said.Altogether, the Clinton campaign is over $20 million in debt, including $11.4 million Clinton lent the campaign herself.Clinton is not the only candidate who incurred debt during this year's presidential primaries. However, since Clinton remained in the race through the last primaries in the beginning of June, she had more expenses than many other candidates in the primaries - and less time since then to pay them off.And while the party's nominee traditionally takes on the losing candidates' debt, presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama's efforts to raise funds for Clinton have been, Miller noted, less than stellar."It is, from the Obama people's point of view, a low priority," Miller said. "[Clinton] is smart, she's not waiting for the faucet to open."Clinton is still making an effort to retire her debt on her own. Her campaign announced that several supporters who donate to the campaign will be chosen to sit down to dinner with Clinton, and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson announced yesterday that he will hold two fundraisers for Clinton next month.*This article was edited at 1:20 p.m. on Thursday, June 31, 2008 to clarify that all reported debt of the campaign, as determined by the FEC reports, is current as of June 30.