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Paltry Fundraising Sparks 2012 Questions

File Photo
Longtime California Rep. David Dreier raised only $45,000 in the quarter.

While operatives from both parties have been touting the second-quarter fundraising successes of many vulnerable incumbents, they were also poring over the new reports for clues.

The figures, filed late last week, offer glimpses into the political prowess of Members and their challengers. The reports distinguish the strong from the weak and allow political observers to peek inside campaigns of freshmen and veterans.

Longtime California Rep. David Dreier, a Republican who might be without a political home next year - thanks to redistricting - raised only $45,000 in the quarter.

The Los Angeles-area Congressman has more than $750,000 in the bank, but his relatively minuscule April-through-June receipts puts him among several candidates whose latest figures spurred questions about their political futures.

Three House Members - Reps. Dan Boren (D-Okla.), Dale Kildee (D-Mich.) and Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) - have already announced they will retire next year. Kildee, who announced just last week that he is not seeking another term, raised more in the last quarter than Dreier and several others on retirement watch.

Among retirement possibilities, Florida Rep. Bill Young (R), who will turn 82 next year, flew to the top of the list when he reported raising just $9,000 and ending June with $147,000 in the bank.

Others fitting that mold include 85-year-old Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), who raised $28,000 last quarter, 80-year-old Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.), who raised $25,000, and 79-year-old Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), who brought in $46,000.

Texas Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D), 70, raised $18,000 but had $403,000 in the bank. Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), 74, raised $39,000 but had $314,000 in cash on hand.

After netting a gain of 63 seats last cycle, several Republican freshmen are under a microscope, though none more than Florida Rep. David Rivera. The Miami-area Congressman is under a state investigation regarding his personal and campaign finances. He raised just $35,000 last quarter and had just $62,000 in the bank.

Other GOP freshmen in potentially competitive districts who raised less than $150,000 are: Reps. Mike Kelly (Pa.), Tom Marino (Pa.), Daniel Webster (Fla.), Ann Marie Buerkle (N.Y.), Dan Benishek (Mich.) and Scott Tipton (Colo.).

Some - including Webster, who defeated former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) last cycle - could face rematches next year. Rep. Paul Gosar's (R-Ariz.) $169,000 quarter was topped by the $240,000 brought in by former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D), who is looking to win back her seat from Gosar.

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) won easily in 2010 but brought in just $91,000 last quarter. Likewise, Rep. Rich Nugent (R-Fla.) won by 35 points last year but brought in just $41,000 and had $43,000 in the bank.

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