Landlord: Clinton staff stiffed me on rent

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February 08, 2008 6:00 AM

PORTSMOUTH — Rochester physician Terry Bennett said he rented a city building to people who worked for Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign — and skipped town without paying the bill.

Making matters worse, Bennett said, the 3,000-square-foot building at 236 Union St. was left trashed. Campaign signs were left lying all over the place, he said.

"It's a very nice little building, with an 1,800-foot warehouse and the rest can be offices," Bennett said. "There's a full kitchen and bath. They used it as a campaign center and dormitory. I expected them to hand the Realtor a check as they left. They did not."

Bennett said he wanted to be fair. The tenants contacted him and said they wanted the building for five days before the New Hampshire primary, which was held Jan. 8.

Realtor Michael Whitney said arrangements for the rental were made by Emily Walsh, who, Whitney said, corresponded with him from a Clinton campaign e-mail address. A New Hampshire woman named Emily Walsh has a blog written on Clinton's campaign Web site. She is listed on the Web site as a resident of Manchester. An Emily Walsh from Manchester has also been named a 1st Congressional District delegate for the Democratic National Convention to be held in Denver, Colo.

Calls and e-mails from the Herald to Kathleen Strand, Clinton's New Hampshire spokeswoman, were not immediately returned. E-mails and attempts to reach Walsh by phone, as well as calls to a woman who picked up the keys from Whitney, were not returned.

The Herald also made a call to Clinton's national campaign headquarters in Arlington, Va. A woman reached in the press office said she would try to get someone who could respond, but there was no response.

Neither Bennett nor Whitney knew how many people actually stayed in the building. The rent charged was $100 a day, for a total of $500.

Whitney, with the firm of Kelleher-Williams, confirmed the building was not left in good condition.

"We had to pick up after them," he said.

Whitney said he has been trying to collect rent for four weeks.

"I sent about 20 e-mails," said Whitney. "I hear the Clinton campaign is out of money. Maybe the woman got laid off. I called, but they will not return any of my calls."

This week, national news reports said Hillary Clinton loaned her campaign $5 million of her personal fortune. Bennett said he finds it hard to believe she can't afford $500.

When the group did not give him a check for the amount up front, as per the agreement, Whitney said, he gave them the benefit of the doubt.

"But they packed up and left," he said.

"They left enough trash for a small army," said Bennett. "We filled two of those big black trash bags with what they left. There might still be a 4x8 Hillary sign there we pulled off the fence."

Bennett said he bought the building about five or six years ago.

It's the former location of Pro Portsmouth.
 
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This reminds me of the time when Hillary didn't tip a waitress on the campaign trail and then went on to use a story about the waitress not having health insurance to further her campaign.
 

THEFAN

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WOW!!!! Libralism is a mental disorder and trash will always be trash. STOP the women who wishes she had real balls!!!
 
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Clinton camp reimburses; landlord to donate check to Obama campaign
By Karen Dandurant

February 13, 2008 12:19 PM
PORTSMOUTH — Rochester doctor Terry Bennett has finally been paid by the Clinton campaign for rental of a Portsmouth building he owns. Now, he says he will donate the $500 check to Barack Obama’s campaign.

He said he’s doing it because he likes Obama, but also as a statement on the way he feels he was treated by the staff of the Clinton campaign.

‘It was the last straw for Hillary Clinton for me,” said Bennett.

Bennett said he believes the only reason the Clinton campaign paid for renting his 236 Union St. storefront is because he became the “squeaky wheel,” contacting the Herald last week in frustration because he had not been paid for more than a month.

“Thirty days went by, with no replies to phone calls, e-mails, no replies at all. Suddenly a newspaper article comes out. It was the worst publicity they could get. Three days go by and I get a check,” said Bennett.

In fact, Michael Whitney of Keller Williams Coastal Realty, who handles Bennett’s rental, said the check came through UPS Express mail, and was overnighted.

Bennett went public last week, saying he rented a warehouse/office space to Clinton campaign workers for five days prior to the Jan. 8 presidential primary. He rented the space for $100 a day to be used as a campaign headquarters and dormitory.

Not only was he not paid, but Bennett said the campaign volunteers left the premises trashed. He said there were fast food containers all over the place and lots of campaign signs left behind.

Bennett said he’s giving the money to Obama because, besides Clinton, he is the only other Democratic candidate. But he said he also likes the man.

“I like Obama’s story enormously,” said Bennett. “He came from nowhere and made his way through Harvard Law School. I can appreciate the struggle. He and I never forgot where we came from. I, like him, struggled to get through medical school. This is a guy I think is very thoughtful, who hasn’t forgotten his beginnings. He is speaking across what used to be a chasm and has transcended a lot of insurmountable barriers.”

When Bennett’s story came out, other people contacted the Herald about unpaid bills from the Clinton campaign. Iowa resident Richard Reese is the owner of Top Job Services Inc., a cleaning service in Des Moines. His company was hired in November of last year, prior to the Iowa caucuses, to clean the Clinton campaign headquarters on a regular basis.

Reese provided the Herald with invoices and said he had not seen one penny of the $7,561.70 he is owed. As of Wednesday, he still hadn’t.

“I got a call on Sunday from the Clinton campaign who said they were putting the money in a two-day envelope,” said Reese. “Today is Wednesday, and I already got the mail, but there’s no check.”

Last week, Kathleen Strand, New Hampshire spokesperson for the Clinton campaign, said everyone who provided a service to the campaign will be paid. She called cases like Bennett’s and Reese’s “isolated delays.”

Strand said campaign volunteers make an agreement with a landlord and then the flat payment is agreed upon. She said it takes time to process the invoices and then send out a check.

Strand also said she regrets that the building was not left in the condition it was rented in.
 
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