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Those seeking 2010 campaign cash may have to travel a little farther to reap the largess of one of the most open political pocketbooks on Capitol Hill, if Democratic Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher is confirmed for a top State Department post.

First elected in 1996, Tauscher is among a handful of lawmakers who frequently donate to colleagues and challengers from their personal checking accounts in addition to transferring money they raised from their own contributors.

Tauscher has racked up $45,863 in personal contributions to candidates, political causes and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee since she was sworn in to Congress in 1997. The DCCC leads the way in Tauscher treasure with $11,500. Much of the money has gone to fellow Californians, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and fellow Reps. Jane Harman, Loretta Sanchez and Adam B. Schiff.

Tauscher, who has been nominated for the post of undersecretary of State for arms control and international security, even gave to the woman who will be her boss, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Clinton was running for president when Tauscher gave the former first lady a $2,300 check in November 2007.

— Jonathan Allen

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