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Congressional campaigns cost more than 2010

Posted: October 29, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 29, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon and his Democratic opponent, Dr. Lee Rogers, have both far exceeded 2010 levels of spending in their race to represent California’s 25th Congressional District.

According to the Federal Election Commission, McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, has spent $1,598,810 combined for both his primary and general election campaigns. This already outpaces the $1,334,201 his campaign spent for all of 2010 and the $903,406 spent in 2008.

McKeon’s campaign spending is more than five times that of Rogers, a political novice who has spent $303,488 so far.

Name Party Amount raised Amount spent
Lee Rogers D $333,391 $303,488
Howard "Buck" McKeon R $1,869,645 $1,598,810

McKeon’s figures include $1,420,710 the 20-year congressman has spent on operating expenses, according to the FEC. Rogers has spent $291,806 on operating costs as of Oct. 17. The additional money spent by the candidates includes donations to other campaigns or reimbursement of donations.

The race pits a longtime incumbent, McKeon, against Rogers, a podiatrist at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys. The two candidates have traded barbs on issues such as the proposed open-pit Cemex mine in Canyon Country, McKeon’s voting record and Rogers’ lack of political experience.

PAC support

McKeon has received $1,869,645 in funding for his campaign so far, including $56,565 from the McKeon-21st Century Joint PAC Committee. The PAC, or political action committee, is a fundraising group dedicated to ensuring a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, according to the PAC’s website.

Alissa McCurley, spokeswoman for McKeon, said the increase in McKeon’s spending comes in part due to the need to reach new voters because of redistricting.

McKeon’s district before changes reflecting 2010 Census numbers sprawled from the Santa Clarita Valley through the High Desert all the way to Nevada.

The redrawn district is more compact, but it still takes in much of the conservative high desert and extends into the more conservative northern areas of the San Fernando Valley and part of Ventura County.

“It has been important to reach out to voters regarding the clear choice between Congressman McKeon, a proven leader in the community for over 40 years, and his opponent, someone who is a virtual unknown in the community,” McCurley said.

Credit cards

A large amount of the $333,391 Rogers has raised so far in his campaign comes from credit card contributions processed through ActBlue.com, a website that raises money online for Democratic causes and candidates. According to the site, Rogers has received $219,649 in the form of 2,448 individual donations as of Saturday.

Rogers said some of his expenses go toward paying for credit card processing through the site.

The Democratic challenger says the uptick in McKeon’s spending this year is the result of someone “actually campaigning” against him.

While McKeon is far outpacing Rogers in both fundraising and spending, Rogers has already dwarfed the money spent and raised by McKeon’s 2010 Democratic opponent, Jacquese Conaway, who spent $4,171 on her campaign, according to the FEC.

Rogers pledged to spend all the money he raises on his campaign and end with a $0 account balance.

“People don’t give me money to have,” Rogers said. “They give me money to spend on this election and to win.”

All financial figures are current as of Oct. 17 and reflect the final reporting period before elections on Nov. 6. The next financial filing deadline is Dec. 6.

lmoney@the-signal.com

661-287-5525

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