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The line forms here for Rudy Giuliani campaign refund checks

March 20, 2008 |  3:50 pm

This could be Rudy Giuliani's own brand of national economic stimulus.

Unwinding his once-promising campaign, the one-time Republican front-runner has been handing out refFormer New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is sending out refund checks to donors to his Republican presidential campaign that ended after the Florida primary before he got to the general election. Giuliani has since endorsed Sen John McCain of Arizonaund checks amounting to $3.16 million in February alone to more than 1,400 of his high-end presidential campaign donors.

In a campaign finance filing today, monitored  by The Times' Dan Morain, Giuliani discloses that he raised a total of $64.94 million for his campaign and spent $56.95 million on the ill-fated candidacy that collapsed after his Florida loss without a single election victory at the end of January.

In fact, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas beat the New Yorker in a couple of places, winning more delegates with less money and, as we reported here this morning, still having more than $5 million cash in hand and not a single cent of debt as of Feb. 29.

For that nearly $57 million Giuliani won a single delegate in Nevada, actually one delegate since we don't know his/her marital status.

In today's filing with the Federal Election Commission, Giuliani discloses....

that he still has $3.1 million in debt, including $151,000 owed to Giuliani Security, the security firm he founded, and $65,000 to Giuliani Partners, another of his enterprises.

But his report also shows that he's returning many of his contributors' donations, most of them in $2,300 chunks to more than 1,400 donors. Under federal law, donors are limited to giving $2,300 to a candidate's primary and $2,300 to the general election campaigns. Since Giulianii did not quite make it into the general, he must return the donations for that unforthcoming effort.

Among the people who thought the former mayor was the likely GOP nominee and are now due the $2,300 general election donation refunds:

William E. Simon, who heads an investment firm; a half-dozen members of the Fertitta family, which controls Las Vegas-based Station Casinos; Texas energy billionaire T. Boone Pickens, who may have been his largest single fund-raiser; and Paul E. Singer, who along with others affiliated with his New York hedge fund, Elliott Associates, bundled more than $400,000 for Giuliani’s candidacy.

--Andrew Malcolm

Photo credit: Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images