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Eye on Approps, Regula Gives $200K

While most political candidates have spent this election year trying to hoard campaign funds, the three contenders for the chairmanship of the House Appropriations Committee have been busy handing out cash to their GOP colleagues.

Ohio Rep. Ralph Regula (R), a traditionally poor fundraiser and late entrant in the gavel race, spent the first quarter of 2004 making up for lost time.

From January through March, Regula’s CARE PAC handed out $192,000 to Republican Congressional candidates. Rep. Jerry Lewis’ (R-Calif.) Future Leaders PAC disbursed $50,000 over the same period, while Rep. Hal Rogers’ (R-Ky.) HALPAC gave $61,000.

While Lewis and Rogers have been running their committees for years, CARE PAC was created last year and only officially qualified as a multicandidate committee in February. Between Feb. 25 and March 26, it handed checks to 20 different House campaigns as well as Rep. George Nethercutt’s (R-Wash.) Senate bid. Most of those candidates received the maximum $10,000 from Regula.

Regula, Lewis and Rogers are currently second, third and fourth respectively on the Appropriations Committee roster. Each has hopes of ascending to the top spot in the 109th Congress, when current Chairman Bill Young (R-Fla.) will be forced by term limits to step aside.

Though Regula handed out the most cash, Rogers took in the most over the three-month period, raising $182,000 to Regula’s $175,000 and Lewis’ $49,000. The Kentucky lawmaker’s committee also had the most cash on hand as of March 31, $566,000, while Regula had $520,000 and Lewis reported $447,000.

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