Senators start '09 with little fundraising to report

The difference between campaigns for Mississippi’s freshman U.S. senator and its veteran: $110,957 in debt versus $364,143 in the bank.
The debt belongs to the political campaign of Roger Wicker, and the cash will benefit political plans for Thad Cochran.
However, with four years left on his term, Wicker has time to pay it off.
Members of the U.S. Senate and House filed 2009 first quarter campaign finance reports April 15 with the Federal Election Commission. The reports give the public an accounting of money raised and spent on campaigns.
Cochran, who now lives in Oxford, and Wicker, of Tupelo, are Republicans.
Wicker, a longtime House member, was appointed by Gov. Haley Barbour in late 2007 to fill the seat vacated by Trent Lott.
Wicker knows what it means to raise money, though. His Senate campaign posted receipts of nearly $6 million during 2008 when he defended his interim appointment against a Democratic challenge from former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove.
By comparison, veteran Cochran raised nearly $2.6 million during his re-election to the Senate.
For 2009’s first quarter, Wicker’s campaign receipts were relatively light with $8,270 from individuals and $11,000 from political action committees. Cochran’s were lighter with no contributions, but no debts owed.
Last week, north Mississippi’s U.S. House member, Travis Childers, D-Booneville, reported first-quarter campaign receipts at $205,331 with a $150,000 debt owed to himself.
Campaign fundraising isn’t the only source of money for candidates. Many senators and House members use personal PACs for campaign resources.
Cochran’s PAC, Senate Victory Fund, raised $277,917 during 2008 and ended with $668,070 cash at the end of the year.
His PAC donated $25,000 to House candidates and $240,000 to Senate candidates, as well as to GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain last year.
Wicker’s PAC, Responsibility amp& Freedom Work, had $92,000 in receipts, ending the year with $31,540 cash.
His PAC gave $5,000 to one House candidate, $2,500 to a Senate candidate and $10,000 to his own campaign.
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or


Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

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