The National Rifle Association, League of Conservation Voters and American Medical Association have begun to unleash late independent expenditures on behalf of, or in opposition to, targeted campaigns, according to reports filed with the FEC. The NRA has spent more than $1.4 million in 26 House and Senate races, while the AMA has spent more than $485,000 on three races and the LCV has put more than $267,000 into its nine targeted races.
Sen. Lauch Faircloth, R-N.C., who is locked in a tough re- election battle with Democratic attorney John Edwards, is the biggest NRA recipient in recent days with $176,375 spent on his behalf. Rep.
Jim Bunning, R-Ky., also locked in a tight battle with Democratic Rep.
Scotty Baesler in the race to replace retiring Senate Minority Whip Ford, is the next largest NRA beneficiary with $139,808. Other Senate candidates on whose behalf the NRA has intervened are GOP Reps. Bob Inglis in South Carolina, $89,700; John Ensign in Nevada, $76,758; Mark Neumann in Wisconsin, $56,594; and Linda Smith in Washington, $53,214. House incumbents benefiting from NRA independent expenditures include GOP Reps. Steve Chabot of Ohio, $62,851; J.D. Hayworth of Arizona, $58,873; Merrill Cook of Utah, $51,820; and Robert Aderholt of Alabama, $38,000.
The NRA also spent money on behalf of these selected Republican candidates running for open House seats: $105,833 for consultant Molly Bordonaro in Oregon; $74,190 for Boulder Mayor Bob Greenlee in Colorado; $65,873 for state Sen. Gex (Jay) Williams in Kentucky; $57,126 for former Senate staffer Paul Ryan in Wisconsin; and $51,146 on behalf of former state judge Don Chairez in Nevada. Also in House contests, the AMA has entered the fray on behalf of two Republican physicians. The AMA has committed more than $207,000 to help elect GOP nominee Ernest Fletcher in Kentucky's 6th District, the seat now held by Baesler, who is running for the Senate. The AMA also has put more than $247,000 into the re-election campaign of Rep. Greg Ganske, R-Iowa, who broke with his House Republican leadership over managed care legislation this year.
The LCV geared all its money to oppose candidates. In Senate races, it has spent $57,245 against Neumann in Wisconsin and $113,720 against Smith in Washington. Targeted House candidates are Democratic Reps. Robert (Bud) Cramer of Alabama, $50,064, and Charles Stenholm of Texas, $5,183. The LCV has spent $30,610 against former Rep. Robert Dornan, R-Calif., who challenges Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez. The LCV has spent less than $200 each against GOP Reps. Helen Chenoweth of Idaho, John Hostettler of Indiana and Bill Redmond of New Mexico. - by Keith White CongressDaily