Study: Campaign spending for midterm election may reach $4 billion

WASHINGTON

Election spending may near $4b

Spending in this year's midterm election will "obliterate" prior records, approaching $4 billion, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. The group, which has tracked money and politics at the federal level for 27 years, said Wednesday that total spending — by parties, candidates and independent groups — will be about $1 billion more than the previous record, which was set during the 2006 midterm. The 2008 presidential election, which cost $5.3 billion, likely will remain the most expensive in history. But Sheila Krumholz, who heads the center, said the estimated cost of this year's election was "astounding," given that presidential campaigns add considerably to spending totals.

States pressed on ballots for military

The Justice Department on Wednesday announced a drive to pressure states to comply with a new federal law that protects absentee voting rights of military personnel serving abroad. Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez said the Justice Department has taken legal action or reached agreement with 14 states and the District of Columbia to ensure that as many as 65,000 military absentee votes are counted. The 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act requires states to mail unmarked absentee ballots to military and overseas voters at least 45 days before an election. States can seek waivers from the Department of Defense if they can demonstrate a hardship.

Election action ...

Obama gives $4.5M: President Barack Obama gave $1.5 million apiece to the Democratic National Committee and the fundraising arms of the Senate and House Democrats last month from his presidential campaign account, Federal Election Commission reports show.

'Shove it,' with respect: Rhode Island Democratic gubernatorial candidate Frank Caprio, speaking Wednesday during a televised debate that included his six rivals, said he has the highest level of respect for President Barack Obama despite having declared the president could "shove it" for not endorsing him.

Palin tweets for Miller: Sarah Palin is rallying behind beleaguered Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller after records showed he admitted lying about improperly using government computers while working as a government attorney. In a series of tweets, she said the media is ignoring Miller's "winning record" and message to favor "their Leftwinger chosen one."

Apology sought: Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul supporter Tim Profitt, who was caught on video stepping on the head of MoveOn.org activist Lauren Valle, told WKYT-TV he wants an apology from her. Profitt contributed about $1,900 to Paul's campaign, which dropped him as a county campaign coordinator and banned him from events after the incident. His contributions won't be returned, the campaign said.

California Senate: Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina, 56, who was hospitalized for two days while she was treated for an infection stemming from her bout with breast cancer, was cleared Wednesday and is scheduled to return to the campaign trail today.

Support the . . . oops: North Carolina Democratic state Rep. Tim Spear apologized after a campaign flier meant to tout his support for U.S. troops featured a photo of World War II re-enactors dressed as German soldiers. The political consulting firm that produced the flier said it is solely responsible for the mistake.

Times wires

Study: Campaign spending for midterm election may reach $4 billion 10/27/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 11:22pm]

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