$14M Penn Tab Underscores Consultants' Fleecing Spree

Ex-strategist made up 9% of Clinton spending
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2008 12:26 PM CDT
INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- Mark Penn, left, chats with Democratic Leadership Conference founder and CEO Al From.   (KRT Photos)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Mark Penn leaves Hillary Clinton’s campaign with a hefty $14 million lining his own pockets, a new high in the skyrocketing world of campaign consultancy, and some 9% of all money Clinton has laid out to date. But ordinary Americans are newly in the position of having their donations misspent, reports Mike Madden in Salon—previously only a risk for lobbyists and wealthy donors.

While small-time donors might assume their checks buy the ads that inundate them throughout the campaign, the reality is that an ever-greater share bankroll beach houses for overpriced pollsters and consultants. Which leads Madden to argue, "Don’t candidates who are suddenly raising most of their money from people who can barely afford to send it in have some responsibility not to waste it?"