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Minnesota: Mad(ia) Money — Vet Raised $1M in Quarter

The Democrat seeking to replace Rep. Jim Ramstad (R) is raking in the big bucks.

Iraq War veteran Ashwin Madia (D) announced Friday that he has raised almost $1 million in the most recent fundraising period. Madia and state Rep. Erik Paulsen (R), who has Ramstad’s backing, are running to follow in the Congressman’s footsteps.

Madia announced that he has raised $997,600 from July 1 to Sept. 30, for a total of more than $2.1 million raised so far in his campaign for the seat.

A spokeswoman for Paulsen’s campaign, Stacey Johnson, said the campaign would release its fundraising totals early this week. Johnson said, however, that the campaign had raised more than $2 million by the middle of September.

The suburban district west of the Twin Cities is one of the wealthiest in the country. Ramstad easily held on to the seat for nine terms, but the district has increasingly voted for Democrats during his tenure.

Coleman Swears Off Negative Campaigning

Sen. Norm Coleman (R) announced Friday that he will cease all negative advertisements in his hotly contested re-election campaign. What’s more, he said he’d like everyone else, including the third-party groups who support him, to do the same.

At a news conference at his campaign headquarters Friday, Coleman announced that he was suspending all negative campaigning because of the financial crisis and what he called issues of “real consequence” dominating the last weeks of the election cycle.

“I decided that I was not all that interested in returning to Washington for six years based on the judgment of voters that I was not as bad as the other two guys,” Coleman said. “I want folks to vote for me, not against the other guys.”

Coleman’s matchup with comedian Al Franken (D) has already proved to be one of the most negative races in the country. Recent polls have shown an increasingly tight race between Coleman and Franken, with former Sen. Dean Barkley of the Independence Party capturing double-digit support — in part because voters have been turned off by the tenor of the Franken-Coleman battle.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee released a statement relinquishing any responsibility of the ad-buying activity of its independent expenditure arm. The committee has more than a dozen negative Web and television advertisements about Franken on its Web site.

“By law, we are not allowed to coordinate with the NRSC’s IE unit, which operates independently of this building,” NRSC spokeswoman Rebecca Fisher said. “Therefore, neither the NRSC nor the Coleman campaign can dictate the message or the type of ads that the IE Unit chooses to run.”

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s IE arm is responsible for a bevy of negative ads against Coleman, including a recent spot featuring two Minnesota parents who blame Coleman for their son’s death in the Iraq War.

DSCC spokesman Matthew Miller said Coleman’s announcement was too little, too late.

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