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Keeping track of the US Senate candidate's donors

Updated:
Many political campaigns come down to money and which candidate is most effective at fund raising.

Looking into the sources of that money can be a good way to size up the candidate - and the place to start is online. News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan has this campaign 2004 update.

The Internet has lots of information about the candidates. In the US Senate race - both campaigns lay out what they think are the issues - and where they stand on them. But to find out more - you have to follow the money.

Brad Carson is the money raising leader in the race so far. His campaign raised more than $2.9-million - and spent almost a million in the primary. 20% of the campaign cash came from political action committees, and 77% came from individuals.

His top two contributors were the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Stipe Law Firm, but generally the biggest contributors were lawyers, lobbyists and unions. The money from the Democrats pay for some of the commercials. They started earlier and run more often than Coburn’s.

Tom Coburn raised a relatively small three quarters of a million dollars for the primary. A smaller 10% of his campaign cash was from political action committees and more was from individuals. His top two contributors were Cummins-American, Pathology Lab Associates - and generally he raised a lot from health related people and companies.

Coburn's campaign got free ads from "The Club for Growth" - which so far ran only in the primary. The candidates have to disclose all their fundraising.

The Center for Responsive Politics makes it easy to find on the Internet. Their web site is located at www.opensecrets.org. That's a good place to check out a candidate's donors - so you can see if the people giving to a campaign are people like you.

The candidates have to file detailed reports quarterly, and with the fast moving finances of a campaign - information quickly becomes dated. Only one more set of detailed campaign finance data will come out before the November election.
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