POLITICS

Mark Penn's Firm Paid $4.3 Million By Clinton Campaign

Even if his candidate fails to secure the Democratic nomination, Mark Penn, the chief strategist for Sen. Hillary Clinton, has profited quite handsomely.

Through the course of the primary, Penn's consulting firm, Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, has been paid more than $4.3 million by the Clinton campaign, according to a review of campaign finance filings.

That total, compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, includes receipts for tasks ranging from polling and consulting to mail expenses and even photography. It does not include the $1.5 million the Clinton campaign is in debt to the firm.

Sen. Barack Obama's chief adviser, David Axelrod, has not done too poorly either. His firm, AKP media (for which Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe also serves) was paid more than $1 million by the Obama campaign, primarily for media activities.

Neither campaign returned requests for comment.

It is not uncommon for candidates to spend their cash on the firms and companies associated with their advisers. And the elongated primary, combined with the historic fundraising totals, have pushed campaign expenditures increasingly higher. Still, the totals taken in by Penn and, to a lesser extent, Axelrod represent significant hauls for a year-plus work.

Broken down by purpose the Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates's receipts read like this:

• $1.7+ million for consulting, roughly $530,000 of which have come in the last quarter;
• $2.6+ million for mail expenses;
• $15,000 for travel;
• $7,000 for printing;
• $4,500 on photography.

As for AKP, the rough tallies breakdown as such:

• $17,000 for mail services;
• $530,000 for media consulting;
• $140,000 for activities deemed "miscellaneous media;"
• $335,000 for broadcast media.