- The Washington Times - Monday, October 26, 2015

The names of individuals who’ve contributed to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign are likely to ring a bell among those who’ve been watching the White House since her husband held office — and those donors might soon ring the doorbell to the White House as well if history stands any chance of repeating.

President Bill Clinton caused a stir in 1996 after an investigation revealed that his biggest campaign donors had been awarded for their contributions with stays in the Lincoln Bedroom. Now an analysis of the 66 surviving donors reveals that roughly half are still writing checks to the Clinton Family as the former first lady sets her sights on the oval office.

The Center for Public Integrity reported on Monday that of the original “Fat Cats” who bought themselves stays at the White House in the 90s, 34 have donated a combined total of $1.15 million to Mrs. Clinton’s presidential efforts since January 2013.

Most of the former guests who are still contributing have only spent $2,700 apiece on Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, or the maximum amount allowed under federal law during the primaries, CPI reported.

Hollywood director Steven Spielberg has donated more than $1 million to her White House run, however, and Alice Walton, the heiress to the vast WalMart fortune, has handed out over $27,000.

Former Florida state Rep. Dick Batchelor stayed at the White House in 1993, and told CPI this week that he’d be happy to return.

“Last time I stayed in the Queen’s Bedroom, so I need to be upgraded to the Lincoln Bedroom,” he told CPI. “I have no idea whether that would take place or not, but anybody who says they don’t want to visit the White House and spend the night is probably not telling the truth. If I had an opportunity to go back, I would absolutely go back.”

“I need to return the towels,” said Batchelor.

In 1997, the Clinton administration revealed that 938 guests had stayed at the White House during the president’s first term—more than triple the number of individuals who stayed the night during George H.W. Bush’s time on Pennsylvania Avenue.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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