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Ex-Nebraska Sen. Kerrey Draws Down Once-Hefty Campaign Account

Nearly a decade after leaving Congress, former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey (D) is close to emptying a still-active campaign committee account that was in the seven figures even after he was no longer running for office. Kerrey, who served in the Senate from 1989 to 2000 and is now president of the New School in New York City, gave a $120,000 charitable contribution in August to the University of Nebraska Foundation via his campaign committee, according to a third-quarter report recently filed with the Senate’s public records office.That six-figure donation for Kerrey’s alma mater, along with a $4,000 contribution to the 2010 re-election campaign of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), left Kerrey’s campaign committee with $25,000 in the bank.It’s not uncommon for former Members to keep their campaign committees open, but Kerrey’s committee was notable in that it had $1.2 million in the bank upon his retirement from the Senate at the end of 2000. At the end of 2005, five years after he left the Senate, his account still held $562,000.Campaign committees for current and former Members of Congress are allowed to make charitable, as well as political, contributions. Over the years, Kerrey has donated campaign funds to Democratic candidates and party committees. In October 2004, his committee gave $50,000 contributions to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which Kerrey once headed, and to the Democratic National Committee.