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Clinton mixes help for Democrats with paid gigs

Often, when Hillary Clinton campaigns for Democrats, she's giving a paid speech somewhere else in town that day.
Hillary Clinton listens during a panel discussion at the Clinton Global Initiative, Sept. 22, 2014, in New York.
Hillary Clinton listens during a panel discussion at the Clinton Global Initiative, Sept. 22, 2014, in New York.

Hillary Clinton is stepping up her work on behalf of Democratic candidates locked in tough midterm battles, but she’s often making it worth her while as well, killing two birds with one stone by giving paid speeches in the same cities where she holds events to help Democrats.

On Thursday, the potential 2016 presidential candidate travels to Miami, Florida for a fundraiser for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist — the same day she’s being paid to keynote the CREW Network’s 2014 Convention & Marketplace in Miami Beach. She also tacking on another signing of her book “Hard Choices” at a nearby store, which is expected to draw 1,000 visitors.

Next week, she heads to Chicago to campaign for Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat facing a tough reelection battle. That same day in the Windy City, she give a paid keynote to a conference of medical device makers.

The following Monday, she’ll be in Las Vegas for a fundraiser for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. That night, she’ll speak to the University of Las Vegas Foundation’s Annual Dinner. Her $225,0000 speaking fee for that event caused controversy this summer, prompting some students to demands she return the funds. Clinton will donate the fees the Clinton Foundation.

The next day, she’s be in San Francisco to speak at a conference sponsored by the tech company SalesForce. Four days later in the same city, Clinton joins House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for a high-dollar fundraising luncheon to benefit the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, according to an invitation obtained by msbnc.

Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff has given the maximum $25,000 contribution to the pro-Clinton super PAC Ready for Hillary, according to campaign finance reports, and the company’s foundation partnered with the Clinton Foundation on a job program for young people earlier this year.

On Wednesday, Clinton holds a fundraiser for New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New York City. While she’s not giving a paid speech in the city today, she is appearing at event hosted by the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors to collect an award

Clinton has faced criticism this year for collecting large speaking fees, and some Democrats have privately complained that Clinton has not done enough to campaign for other members of her party in a tough year.

A spokesperson for Clinton declined to comment for this story, but has noted in the past that her speaking fees are often donated to the Clinton Foundation. She’s also stepped up her campaigning lately, quietly some Democrats who worried she’d stay on the sidelines.

All of these paid speaking engagements were booked and announced long before the political events, which could open her up to criticism that she planned her help for Democrats around her speaking gigs.