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$150-MILLION DWARFS FUNDRAISING RECORDS

Democrat Barack Obama raised a staggering $150-million in September, shattering all previous fundraising records and dwarfing the amount raised by Republican presidential nominee John McCain.

Obama raised money at the rate of $5-million per day.

He reported a take more than double his record-breaking collections of $62-million in August.

A top aide to Obama said the candidate is now finished attending fundraisers. He will depend almost exclusively on his Internet donors while he concentrates on campaigning in the remaining two weeks of the race.

Obama has now raised more than $600-million since the start of his presidential bid, a stunning amount in historical terms and in its relationship to his Republican opponent. McCain's decision to take public financing in the general election limits his spending to $84-million for the fall, while Obama is expected to spend in excess of $300-million on the general election.

McCain complained on Sunday that Obama won't have to detail the source of the small donations.

"There's $200-million of those campaign contributions, there's no record," McCain said. "They're not reported. You can report online now ... $200-million that we don't know where the money came from. A lot of strange things going on in this campaign."

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe did not detail the contributions, beyond saying that the campaign had added 632,000 donors to its rolls and that the average donation for the month was less than $100.

"What's healthy for democracy is people sending their contributions in $5 and $10 amounts," Obama strategist David Axelrod said. "It's campaign finance reform on the natural. The more we can encourage people to contribute like that, the better."

On the trail Sunday

Barack Obama, addressing a crowd in Fayetteville, N.C., filled with families from nearby Fort Bragg, accused Republicans of trying to make "a big election about small things." "Colin Powell reminded us of what's at stake in this election, for America and for the world," he said. "He reminded us that at a defining moment like this, we don't have the luxury of relying on the same political games and the same political tactics that have been used in so many elections to divide us from one another and make us afraid of one another."

John McCain, evoking "Joe the Plumber" near his hometown in Toledo, Ohio, cast himself as the guardian of middle-class workers and small-business owners who fuel the economy. "If I'm elected president, I won't raise taxes on small businesses, as Sen. Obama proposes, and force them to cut jobs. I will keep small-business taxes where they are, help them keep their costs low and let them spend their earnings to create more jobs, not send to Washington." Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher wasn't there, but McCain has been evoking his spirit after making him the focal point the final presidential debate. The plumber was videotaped questioning Obama about whether his tax plan would keep him from buying a plumbing shop.

Alaska gov. Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, will meet this week with an investigator examining whether she violated state ethics law when firing her public safety director. An attorney for the GOP vice presidential candidate said the separate depositions by an attorney for the Alaska Personnel Board will be held out of state.

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