McCaskill raises $1.2 million in third quarter

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) raised slightly more than $1.2 million in the third quarter of 2011 and now has $3.7 million on hand heading into her tough reelection battle.

The figures show that McCaskill continues to be a solid fundraiser, but it remains unclear whether it will be enough to defeat her eventual Republican opponent. The candidates in the GOP primary have yet to announce their numbers.

A moderate Democrat in a state where Obama is highly unpopular, McCaskill is considered one of the most vulnerable senators up for reelection in 2012, but has the support of national Democratic groups. She edged out a Republican incumbent in 2006 to win her first term in the Senate.


RNC raises more than $9 million in September

The Republican National Committee raised $9.3 million in September, surpassing their August numbers by more than a million and marking two months in a row that the committee has set a record for monthly fundraising in an off year.

Those donations allowed the RNC to bring its debt down to under $15 million. Republicans were also able to elevate their cash in the bank to more than $11 million.

Republicans have had better fundraising success in recent months, but were saddled with larger debt and less cash on hand. RNC officials said the group has slimmed down operating costs while boosting fundraising operations under Chairman Reince Priebus, who took over in January.

The Democratic National Committee hasn't released its September totals yet, but raised $5.5 million in August and had raised almost $120 million during all of 2011, when added to the funds President Obama has raised for his reelection.


Democrats raise big sums for House, Senate races in Florida

Sen. Bill Nelson (D), fighting a tough reelection battle in Florida, raised almost $2 million in the third quarter of 2011, while two Democrats vying to take on Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) each raised about one-third of a million dollars, Democrats said Tuesday.


FEC fines Michael Steele $54,000 over his 2006 Senate bid

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steeles failed 2006 campaign for Senate has been fined $54,000 for taking too much money from Steeles sister, the Federal Elections Committee announced.

In addition to Steeles civil penalty, his sister Monica Turner has agreed to pay her own civil penalty of $5,500 for excessive in-kind and cash contributions to the campaign. The FEC faulted Steele for accepting some of those prohibited contributions knowingly and willfully and also found that Steeles former treasurer, Belinda Cook, used funds improperly.

The complaint alleges Turner held two 2006 fundraisers at her Bethesda, Md., home for her brother, bringing in more than $100,000 in donations. Turner spent more than $35,000 to cover some of the fundraisers’ costs and in other contributions to the campaign, but that money wasn’t disclosed in Steeles FEC filings. The complaint also maintains that federal and state campaign funds were intermingled in a way that violated FEC regulations.

The $54,000 the campaign must pay the FEC adds to the $51,493 in other debt the defunct campaign still owes, according to FEC data. The campaign had just $42 cash on hand as of the end of June.

Steele, who previously served as Marylands lieutenant governor, lost his 2006 Senate bid to then-Rep. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), but in 2009 won the chairmanship of the RNC, where his tenure was marked by a series of embarrassing gaffes and the rapid accumulation of debt.

Reince Priebus took over as RNC chairman in January. Steele is now a commentator and political analyst for MSNBC.


Fundraiser nets $1.5 million for vulnerable Republicans

A fundraiser for the National Republican Congressional Committee pulled in $1.5 million Thursday for vulnerable incumbents in the committee's Patriot Program, the NRCC confirmed.

The program to shore up Republicans facing tough reelection battles made its debut during the 2010 election, where the GOP took control of the House.

So far this cycle, 10 members have been added to the list: Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.), Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.), Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-Ill.), Rep. Jon Runyan (R-N.J), Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) and Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.). Eight of them are freshmen.

Republicans can lose 24 seats in 2012 and still maintain control of the House.


Texan anti-Perry Super-PAC files with FEC

A new Super-PAC that will direct its efforts against Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) presidential bid filed a statement of organization Monday with the Federal Election Commission.

Texans for America’s Future Treasurer Jeff Rotkoff says he started the committee to allow Democratic donors from Texas to make an impact on the national stage.

“There are a number of Texans who are looking to participate in the 2012 presidential election cycle,” said Rotkoff. “So we created a vehicle for them to do so.”