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Spending in New York Special Escalates

Independent expenditures continue to flood in to the three-way special election to replace former Rep. John McHugh (R-N.Y.), according to new filings with the Federal Election Commission.On Friday, the National Republican Congressional Committee dropped $102,000 for attack ads against the Democratic nominee, attorney Bill Owens, and paid another $21,000 for a survey by Public Opinion Strategies, a leading GOP polling firm.Meanwhile, the Service Employees International Union dropped $100,000 into the upstate New York district Friday for two radio ads on Owens’ behalf.Owens is battling state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava (R) and CPA Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party nominee, in the Nov. 3 contest to succeed McHugh, who became secretary of the Army. It is a race that is defying conventional wisdom in many ways, and an independent poll released Thursday confirmed just how tight the election has become. Owens had 33 percent, Scozzafava had 29 percent, and Hoffman had 23 percent.The Club for Growth, which has already spent $250,000 on Hoffman’s behalf, spent another $9,600 in the district Friday, including $8,100 for a poll by Basswood Research.And another conservative group, the Susan B. Anthony Fund, dropped about $10,000 into the district Saturday to pay campaign workers on Hoffman’s behalf.Meanwhile, Owens began airing his fourth TV ad of the campaign late Friday, which touts his commitment to new approaches for creating jobs in the district and criticizes both Scozzafava and Hoffman for supporting Bush-era tax cuts that favor the wealthy.The three candidates will show what they’ve been spending on the contest next Thursday, when their latest campaign finance reports are due with the FEC.