Lawmakers, Parties Pouring Money Into Special

Posted March 25, 2009 at 6:25pm

Members of Congress continue to shower cash on the first special Congressional election of the cycle, which is just five days away.

Roll Call reported Friday that at least 73 Members had contributed to venture capitalist Scott Murphy, the Democratic nominee in New York’s 20th district. Another 70 Members gave money to state Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco, the Republican nominee.

But Members have kept on giving this week. Through Tuesday, Murphy had received new donations from the campaign committees of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who gave $2,400 apiece; Reps. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), John Olver (D-Mass.) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), who gave $2,000 apiece; and Reps. Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.), Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) and Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.), who each contributed $1,000.

The political action committee of Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) chipped in $2,500, while the PACs of Reps. Ron Klein (D-Fla.) and Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) reported giving $2,000 each. The PACs of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) contributed $1,000 each.

Among Republican Members, Reps. Bill Cassidy (La.), Tom Rooney (Fla.) and Peter Roskam (Ill.) gave Tedisco $1,000 apiece this week, while the PAC of Rep. Jack Kingston (Ga.) kicked in $5,000.

National campaign committees are also pumping cash into the race. Through late Wednesday afternoon, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reported $574,000 in independent expenditures in the New York race, while the National Republican Congressional Committee had spent $553,000.

The Republican National Committee has put $275,000 into the district, while the Democratic National Committee has contributed only $5,000.

Several interest groups are also playing in the contest. Through Wednesday, the Service Employees International Union had dropped $129,000 into the race on Murphy’s behalf, while another leading union, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, had spent $97,000.

Conservative PACs were working on Tedisco’s behalf, including the National Republican Trust PAC, which had spent $292,000, largely on TV ads attacking Murphy; Our Country Deserves Better PAC, which has spent $93,000; and the National Right to Life PAC, which has dropped $15,000.