Clinton, Vilsack and money

In the past hour I’ve talked with Kiki McLean, a former Vilsack campaign spokeswoman who is still speaking for the now-defunct campaign.  I was quizzing her about the $20,000 check Hillary Clinton’s campaign cut Vilsack for "list expenses."  More about that in a moment.  Let’s go about this in chronological order:

1.  Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack dropped out of the presidential race on February 23, 2007.

2.  Vilsack & his wife, Christie, endorsed Clinton’s bid for the White House on March 26, 2007 at 11 a.m..

3.  Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times posts a story on-line at 8:37 p.m. on March 26, 2007 — quoting Clinton campaign sources — saying Clinton will help Vilsack retire his campaign debt.

4.  A couple of days later, Vilsack tells WHO-TV’s Dave Price he will be taking out a loan and paying off his $430,000 campaign debt himself. 

5.  Today, Ben Smith of The Politico put up a post detailing the $20,000 that shows up in Clinton’s FEC records — the $20,000 Clinton paid Vilsack for "list expenses."

6.  Radio Iowa calls former Vilsack aides and the Clinton campaign press secretary to find out what $20,000 bought Clinton.   Clinton campaign press secretary says Kiki McLean, Vilsack’s chief press person during his presidential bid, is the one to comment on what is in the list.

7.  McLean calls Radio Iowa.  She describes the list as a "strategic document" that is now owned by Clinton and as such, McLean declines to publicly discuss its contents.  She said the "document" was created for Vilsack’s presidential campaign when I asked if the purchase included Vilsack contact lists from his gubernatorial campaigns.  (Here’s the Radio Iowa story.)

8.  By comparison, the list of Iowa Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters compiled by the Iowa Democratic Party was sold by the party to presidential candidates for $100,000.  They call it "the VAN."  So, the VAN is worth four five times as much as Vilsack’s list?

UPDATE:  Dan Moran of the Los Angeles Times combed through the FEC report and compared Vilsack post-drop-out contributors with Clinton donors, concluding Vilsack got about $90,000 from Clinton donors. 

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. I know you’re a journalist and not a mathematician, but 100,000 is five times 20,000, not four.