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Campaign spending likely to hit a record $2B

CAMPAIGN TRAIL

spending LIKELY TO hit A RECORD $2B

House and Senate candidates have already shattered fundraising records for a midterm election and are on their way to surpassing $2 billion in spending for the first time, according to new campaign finance data.

To put it another way: That's the equivalent of about $4 million for every congressional seat up for grabs this year.

The fundraising by candidates has largely been overshadowed in recent weeks by a tide of spending by outside interest groups, most of it targeting vulnerable Democrats. Such groups could spend $400 million by Nov. 2.

But the latest Federal Election Commission data, along with a new study from the watchdog group Public Campaign Action Fund, show that most of the money is being raised and spent by the candidates themselves.

As of last week, House and Senate campaigns reported taking in more than $1.5 billion, exceeding the total from 2006 and 2008. Another $500,000 is expected to be spent by Election Day.

Democratic hopeful to Obama: 'Shove it'

In a year when some Democrats are keeping President Barack Obama at arm's length, Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate Frank Caprio went a provocative step further Monday, telling Obama to "shove it" after learning that he would not be getting an endorsement from the president.

As Obama traveled to Rhode Island, White House officials said Obama would sidestep one local contest — the governor's race — out of respect for Lincoln Chafee, the former Republican senator now running as an independent. Chafee was an early Obama supporter.

Caprio quickly took to the airwaves to denounce the president as he tried to turn the development to his advantage. "I'll wear as a badge of honor and a badge of courage that he doesn't want to endorse me as a Democrat, because I am a different kind of Democrat," Caprio said.

Reid aide is out amid fake marriage report

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday night that Reid's press secretary in Nevada is no longer with the office amid a news report accusing her of a fake marriage to help a man evade immigration laws. Reid spokesman Jim Manley said in a statement that the alleged conduct of Diana Tejada was "clearly wrong." But he called the Fox News report a "desperation measure" by Republicans trying to gain an advantage in a tight Senate campaign.

Reid is seeking a fifth term against GOP challenger Sharron Angle. Polls show the race about even.

The Fox News report said Tejada, 28, lied to authorities to cover up her marriage to Bassam Mahmoud Tarhini, 37. But the report said Tejada was never charged with a crime.

Times wires

Campaign spending likely to hit a record $2B

10/25/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 1:09am]
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