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WNYC and HuffPost's OffTheBus
FEC Investigation

Listen to WNYC's broadcast launch of our story collaboration here.

Contact: Ethan Hova, OffTheBus contributor, deserves credit for coming up with this assignment. He's also the story organizer. If you have questions, you can email him at ethanotb@gmail.com

How Much Is Bill Clinton Worth to Hillary Clinton's Campaign? Join HuffPost's OffTheBus and WNYC's "Brian Lehrer's Show" In Finding Out.

*** Get the latest on what's been done on Ethan's latest blogpost. ***

Not only is Hillary Clinton the only Presidential candidate who happens to be female, but she is also the only one with a former President as her spouse. Given his stature, Bill Clinton has naturally been a target for the media, but while stories about the potential First Gentleman's star appeal and growing role in her campaign abound, little has been reported on his financial impact. After all, the former President regularly attends and hosts fundraisers on Hillary Clinton's behalf, and his name is used frequently in her fundraising emails. So what value does Bill Clinton contribute to Hillary Clinton's campaign? Let's see if we can find out in the next week. We report back to WNYC's Brian Lehrer program November 15, 2007 on our progress.

Ethan will publish daily updates on his blog at OffTheBus: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ethan-hova


WNYC Radio is the most-listened-to public radio station in the country, and the producer of such national programs as On the Media, Radio Lab, and a new upcoming morning news show with John Hockenberry & Adaora Udoji, launching in spring 2008.


JOIN THE TEAM:
If you are interested in seeing the research through to publication, please send an email to Ethan Hova, the story organizer, at ethanotb@gmail.com. Ethan will keep you apprised of research developments. Our plan is to finish our research by Monday, and then analyze the results early next week. [Note: Signing up to work on this story does not sign you up for OffTheBus]

GET STARTED: Below are various approaches to beginning our research. Most of the discussion about this assignment will take place through email, so the easiest way to get started is to pick a task from the list below, put it in our report form, and email it to ethanotb@gmail.com.


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HOW TO INVESTIGATE BILL CLINTON'S FINANCIAL IMPACT

We're going to do everything from adding up the money drawn from fundraisers Bill Clinton attended to quantifying the contributions sent in to the Clinton campaign following Bill's fundraising appeals to identifying the contributions made by those who work at Bill Clinton's organizations to Hillary Clinton's campaign. If you have ideas for other ways to approach this, please add them to the ideas thread below or just take them on yourself.

We will rely on the FEC reports - these are financial statements filed by the campaigns every quarter and include all expenditures and donations - and we must be very careful that we sort the excel sheets correctly. Here you'll find instructions on sorting excel data.

DO YOU LIKE NUMBER CRUNCHING? OR RESEARCH?

1st Quarter Donations

2nd Quarter Donations

3rd Quarter Donations

List of fundraisers Bill Clinton attended.

Clinton's Global Initiative Fund

Before you get started, please check out Ethan's latest update here and send him an email. We've accomplished many of the tasks below, and are now re-grouping to figure out what's next.


* Select a fundraiser Bill Clinton attended from the list here. We've identified these fundraisers to start with. Download the spreadsheet of 3rd Quarter Donations and sort it by state, then by date, then by quarterly amount. Find the in-state donations made in the two weeks following the fundraiser. If you can find out the ticket price for the event, try and isolate those donations as well. Download the report form and submit your findings to ethanotb@gmail.com.

* Identify other fundraisers Bill Clinton hosted in New York and elsewhere in the country that we don't have on this list. Note: This list is an excel spreadsheet and you'll need to download it from the Huffington Post server. Use Yahoo! and Google to look at news articles mentioning "Bill Clinton" and "fundraiser." Or, call the Clinton campaign and request a schedule of Clinton's appearances. When you do that, make sure you identify as a citizen reporter working with OffTheBus and WNYC. Pull together your research, and send it to Ethan at ethanotb@gmail.com using our report form. He'll update the schedule and e-mail your findings to the group.

* Research contextual information for the story. How much money does Bill Clinton usually make when he gives a speech? What is his overall worth? What constituencies were strong supporters of Bill Clinton when he ran for office in 1992 and 1996? Who are they and where are they located? What organizations did he have strong ties to? Compile it in our report form and send to Ethan.

* Volunteer to go through our OffTheBus campaign email inbox and note all the emails sent to Hillary Clinton's campaign in Bill Clinton's name. Contact Ethan for access to the inbox.