June 14, 2008 Giuliani Plans to Aid Hopefuls, for His Share By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ WASHINGTON â With the Republican Party in need of money for the November elections, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani has offered to appear at fund-raisers around the country for G.O.P. candidates. But there is a catch: He wants some cash out of the deal. Mr. Giulianiâs aides have told the National Republican Congressional Committee and Congressional candidates that if he makes an appearance, he wants the candidates to help him get rid of his presidential campaign debt. The unusual request underscores the financial predicament Mr. Giuliani finds himself in, after he ended his presidential bid this year with roughly $3.6 million in campaign debt. Traditionally, prominent party figures help lower-tier candidates by headlining fund-raising events in return for good will and future political alliances, but do not receive funds themselves. Mr. Giulianiâs debt includes a $500,000 personal loan that he made to the campaign, according to his latest campaign finance report. Mr. Giulianiâs move has irritated some of his Republican colleagues, who say that the arrangement would put an additional strain on candidates who in many cases are struggling to raise money. Some say rather than making a generous gesture, the former mayor is seeking to tap local candidatesâ donors. The arrangement Mr. Giuliani is seeking was described by several Republican operatives, members of Congress and their aides, who spoke on the condition of anonymity either because discussions to set up events are continuing or they did not want to be seen criticizing Mr. Giuliani, who still retains some of his national celebrity status. âIn a year when our candidates are struggling to raise money, this is just another burden,â said a leading Republican Party strategist, who was briefed about the mayorâs request. âThis is not about helping the party. This is about helping Rudy Giuliani.â Republicans trail their Democratic counterparts significantly this year. The National Republican Congressional Committee has raised $69.2 million and has a cash balance of $6.7 million, according to the most recent figures; the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, in contrast, has raised $92.9 million and has $45.2 million in hand. Maria Comella, a spokeswoman for Mr. Giuliani, declined to discuss any specific fund-raising arrangements that the former mayor may have with Republican candidates. âWe are going to reach out to different people as we work to successfully retire the debt,â she said. Julie Shutley, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, also declined to discuss arrangements. âHolding an event with someone who has the prominence and stature of Mayor Giuliani would be extremely beneficial to our candidates,â she said. âWe look forward to working with him as we head into November.â The former mayorâs overtures have become a topic of intense discussion among Republicans in Washington. One Republican congressman said recently that his colleagues in the House were swapping stories in the cloakroom about the Giuliani aidesâ efforts, and marveling at Mr. Giulianiâs difficulties in generating funds for himself. âOther congressmen were saying in passing that they wanted Rudy to do fund-raisers for them, and that his people said that he would do them, but that part of the proceeds would have to go to pay his campaign debt,â the congressman recalled. It is unclear how many lawmakers have accepted Mr. Giulianiâs offer. One official at the National Republican Congressional Committee said he was not aware of any events that Mr. Giuliani had done for its candidates, though the official noted that there were efforts to schedule events for later this year. The request from the Giuliani aides has taken different forms. The aides have told Republican officials in Washington that the mayor would like to hold what would essentially become joint fund-raisers with the local candidates, where donors would give to the congressional hopeful and then write a separate check to the former mayor. Representative Jon Porter, a Republican from Nevada, contacted Mr. Giulianiâs political organization, asking that the former mayor headline a fund-raising event for the congressman. Mr. Giulianiâs aides then asked that Mr. Porter, who had endorsed Mr. Giuliani for president, put together a joint Porter-Giuliani event in Nevada to raise money to pay off his presidential campaign debt, according to a Republican official who was told of the discussions. Mr. Porter did not respond to a request for comment. The fact that Mr. Giuliani â who had an estimated net worth of at least $30 million in 2006, according to financial disclosure forms filed last year â has loaned his campaign money gives the fund-raising a particular urgency. Candidates generally have unlimited time to pay off campaign debt. But if any portion of a personal loan to a campaign is unpaid by the end of an election cycle, the maximum amount that can be repaid with money raised after that is $250,000, according to Bob Biersack, a spokesman for the Federal Election Commission. That means that Mr. Giuliani could have to forgive all or part of his $500,000 loan if he does not raise the funds to pay it back before September, when Senator John McCain is formally chosen as the Republican presidential nominee, officially ending the primary elections. On another front, Mr. Giuliani is also moving to install one of his top lieutenants to the chairmanship of the New York Republican Party, a move that several New York Republicans say is part of an effort to place allies in positions that can help his political organization raise money. Anthony V. Carbonetti, whom Mr. Giuliani wants to put in the job, is a founding partner and managing director of Giuliani Partners, the former mayorâs consulting firm, and served as chief of staff to the mayor from 1999 to 2001. Political analysts say that Mr. Giulianiâs once prolific fund-raising abilities have been hampered by several factors. Perhaps most significant is the fact that Mr. Giuliani neither holds a position in government nor is a candidate for public office. Both qualities are attractive to donors who are looking for access to government. Beyond that, the reputation of Mr. Giuliani was hurt by the sudden collapse of his presidential campaign, as well as by the allegations of corruption that hung over Bernard B. Kerik, a former police commissioner in the Giuliani administration.