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CALIFORNIA: FEC Report: Boxer Spent Money to Raise Money

They say you have to spend money to raise money. That appears to explain why Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D) re-election campaign spent so much money in the second quarter of the year. According to campaign finance reports, Boxer spent about $602,000 while taking in $1.7 million in the same period. She had almost $3.2 million on hand.

Boxer’s outlay was the second highest of all Senate incumbents seeking re-election in 2004. Only Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), who is already engaged in a hard-fought primary battle with Rep. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), spent more during the period.

Where did Boxer’s money go? With no major opponents on the horizon, and no media buys yet necessary in what is universally considered the most expensive state to campaign in, Boxer appears to have spent a lot of money on raising money.

According to a Roll Call analysis of

Boxer’s June 30 campaign report, her top expense — $105,760 — was for telemarketing. Next came fees to fundraising consultants ($98,975), followed by printing and printing/mailing ($76,656). Catering, another staple of fundraising, cost $21,689.

Polling, by the way, cost $48,000, and staff salaries accounted for $44,096.

While Boxer is seeking a third term, so far only former Los Altos Hills Mayor Toni Casey (R) is formally in the race to oppose her. Former U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin (R) has formed an exploratory committee, and Assemblyman Tony Strickland (R) is contemplating getting in.

— Josh Kurtz


First Candidates Declare For Nethercutt’s Seat

Now that Rep. George Nethercutt (R) has finally agreed to run for the Senate in 2004, two candidates wasted no time offering themselves up as a possible House replacement.

Less than 24 hours after Nethercutt announced that he was running for Senate, state Sen. Larry Sheahan (R) and Spokane County Sheriff Mark Sterk announced that they would be candidates for Nethercutt’s 5th district seat in eastern Washington.

Sheahan, who spent six years in the state House of Representatives and has been in the state Senate since 1999, said he “concluded that my experience in the state Legislature on issues of importance to eastern Washington will help the ‘other Washington’ understand our issues better.” Sterk, a former legislator, said he would fight to ensure that eastern Washington gets its fair share of federal funding.

They may not be the only GOP candidates in the race. Other possible contenders include state Rep. Cathy McMorris, Spokane lawyer Shaun Cross, and state Sen. Jim West.

Although the district has trended Republican ever since Nethercutt upset then-

Speaker Tom Foley (D) in 1994, Democrats believe they can compete there. But their leading potential candidate among elected officials, state Sen. Lisa Brown, has taken herself out of consideration because she is the single mother of an 11-year-old son and did not want to move to Washington, D.C.

— J.K.


State Senator May Join Ballooning Senate Field

State Sen. Steve Rauschenberger (R) is forming an exploratory committee to look at running for the open Senate seat, which has drawn wide interest and created large primary fields for both parties.

Rauschenberger, 46, is a former furniture store owner and has served in the state Senate since 1992.

Millionaire paper company president Andy McKenna, investment banker-turned-teacher Jack Ryan, dairy magnate Jim Oberweis, businessman John Cox and billionaire businessman Chirinjeev Kathuria are the Republicans already running to replace retiring Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (R). At least five Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination.

— Lauren W. Whittington

South Carolina

Developer Ravenel Is An Official Candidate

Charleston developer Thomas Ravenel (R) made his Senate campaign official last week, touting his family’s long political legacy in the state.

“The name Ravenel isn’t new to South Carolina,” he said. “Now I intend to carry that legacy into a new generation.”

His father, Arthur, held the 1st district House seat from 1986 until 1994, when he ran unsuccessfully for governor. Arthur Ravenel now serves in the state Senate, a post he held prior to his election to the House.

Thomas Ravenel made a fly-around of the state to announce a campaign that will center around tax cuts and tort reform.

Although he has never before run for elected office, Ravenel immediately became a major player in the Republican primary when he dumped $950,000 of his own money into a Senate campaign account at the end of the second quarter. Rep. Jim DeMint and former state Attorney General Charlie Condon are also in the race.

It remains unclear whether the primary winner will face Sen. Fritz Hollings (D), who has yet to make a public pronouncement about an eighth term, or a Democratic replacement in an open-seat race. State Superintendent of Education Inez Tenenbaum (D) is seen as the strongest replacement.

— Chris Cillizza


Former Ashcroft Aide Takes on Taff in Primary

Former Justice Department official Kris Kobach (R) entered the 3rd district race against Rep. Dennis Moore (D).

“The positions of President Bush, not those of Dennis Moore, reflect this district,” said Kobach at an announcement rally in Olathe.

Moore is a regular GOP target, as his seat leans strongly to Republicans. Bush would have won a nine-point victory there in 2000.

Kobach, who served as counsel to Attorney General John Ashcroft for the past two years, joins 2002 nominee Adam Taff in the Republican primary. Taff took 47 percent of the vote last cycle.

Kobach is a former Overland Park city councilman, elected to the job in 1999. He quickly ran for the state Senate in 2000, placing third out of four candidates in a Republican primary although he received roughly one-quarter of the vote. He resigned from the council in 2001.

Moore first won the seat in 1998 by knocking off freshman Rep. Vince Snowbarger (R).

— C.C.


Swallow Ready to Fly Again in 2nd District

Former state Rep. John Swallow (R), who finished a hair behind Rep. Jim Matheson (D) in 2002 and intends to try again next year, was in Washington, D.C., last week to shore up his support among GOP party leaders and Republican interest groups.

Swallow finished 1,641 votes behind Matheson — the fourth closest House race of the cycle. He figures starting early this cycle can only help him and is convinced that he would have won in 2002 if party leaders and interest groups had recognized the strength of his challenge and contributed accordingly.

“If the money had been there two weeks earlier, we would have won that race,” he said.

So Swallow hasn’t taken a breath since Election Day. After spending $1.1 million on the 2002 campaign — including $171,000 from his own pocket — he has $104,000 so far for the next cycle. But Matheson, who is bound to be one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents for as long as he represents such heavily Republican territory, hasn’t taken a breath either. After raising $1.4 million for 2002, he already has $346,000 on hand.

Swallow may not be the only Republican candidate in the race, however. Business consultant Tim Bridgewater, the runner-up to Swallow in the GOP race last year, has not ruled out running again. Mike Dunn, a former aide to ex-Rep. Jim Hansen (R) could also run.

— J.K.

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