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Special: The money trail -- Democracy for sale (10-7-97)

CQ Profile: Rep. John Hostettler

CQ Profile: Gail Riecken


Federal Election Commission Web site

Center for Responsive Politics Web site


Post your opinions on the November races

Candidates fight a money war, too

FEC filings show a mixed picture

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, October 23) -- In some of the most-watched House and Senate races this fall, the final outcome may hinge on which candidate has the most money to spend from now through Election Day.

Campaign finance

Judging from the candidates' latest filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), it's a mixed picture, with neither party possessing an overwhelming advantage as November 3 approaches.

A review by The Associated Press of candidate filings in four dozen key House races showed that 27 Democrats had an edge in cash on hand as the midterm campaign entered its final month.

And in 12 of this year's most competitive Senate races, it's a draw, with the Republican holding the cash-on-hand advantage in six races and Democrats in six, the AP found.

In one House race, Democrat Gail Riecken, who is challenging Rep. John Hostettler (R-Indiana), has outraised her opponent $644,000 to $523,000 so far.

"Gail knew that in order to take this race, she was going to have to raise more money than her opponent," campaign spokeswoman Heather Fidler told AP. "The national party was of far less importance than what was happening in the candidates' bank accounts."

The individual candidates' financial reports tell only part of the story, though. Nationally, Republicans hold a marked fund-raising advantage and are in better position to help individual campaigns during the final weeks before the election.

That help comes in the form of cash for selected campaigns in key states or advertising purchases.

Democratic candidates, recognizing their national party's post-1996 fund-raising woes, have known for months they were not likely to get much help and would have to rely on their own efforts.

"That was our strategy," said Olivia Morgan, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "As a result, we have incredibly strong campaigns who are able to get out their own message."

Republican committees have been pumping money into campaigns in New York, Florida, California and elsewhere. The Republican National Committee provided $400,000 to the state GOP in Florida to help Jeb Bush's campaign for governor and $1.3 million to assist New York Sen. Alfonse D'Amato. Dan Lungren, the GOP candidate for governor in California, got $1.6 million in Republican assistance.


Friday, October 23, 1998

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