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U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is continuing to raise campaign donations at a fast clip, pulling in more than $1 million in the past three months, about $200,000 of it from political action committees.
That leaves Brown with more than $6.5 million in campaign cash in his account — a daunting obstacle for any candidate considering challenging the Massachusetts Republican when he faces re-election in 2012.
Brown's campaign said just over half of the donations he received between April 1 and June 30 came from Massachusetts residents.
That's a shift from the nearly 80 percent of campaign donations that came from out of state during the closing weeks of the special election in January to fill the seat left vacant by the death of longtime Sen. Edward Kennedy.
About one out of every five dollars Brown received in the past three months came from political action committees representing a range of business interests, including pharmaceutical companies, insurers, defense contractors and banks, according to campaign finance records filed with the Federal Elections Commission.
Among those were PACs representing AT&T, the American Bankers Association, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Home Depot, Coca-Cola Enterprises, the Bayer Corporation, Wal-Mart, the National Beer Wholesalers Association and Altria, the parent company of Philip Morris USA, the nation's largest tobacco maker.
Brown also spent more than $314,400 from his campaign account during the reporting period.
Brown's furious fundraising pace in the final weeks of the special election overwhelmed his Democratic opponent, state Attorney General Martha Coakley.
All told, Brown collected $15.2 million during the special election, nearly all of it in those final chaotic weeks, particularly when polls began to show the race slipping away from Coakley.
Brown, who ran for Senate pledging to be the "41st vote" to block President Obama's health care overhaul, was raising money so quickly during the final weeks that he couldn't spend it fast enough.
He ultimately spent $8.6 million, much of it on campaign advertising.
The $6 million left in Brown's account after the special election thrust him to the top of the Massachusetts' congressional delegation in campaign dollar totals.
Brown's capture of the seat held for nearly half a century by Kennedy also made him an instant star in Republican political circles.
As he closed in on Coakley in the final stretch of the campaign, money flooded in from across the country at a rate of about $1 million a day to support Brown, who had been considered a long shot just weeks earlier.
At the time Brown's campaign portrayed the fundraising as broad-based. They said donations came from 154,431 donors and the average donation was $86.
Brown also enjoyed a late influx of spending by independent groups, including a $1 million television advertising campaign by the Washington-based U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Other out-of-state groups that supported his campaign were the Virginia-based Americans for Job Security, which spent $460,000 on an ad campaign; the California-based Tea Party Express, which spent $348,000; and the Iowa-based American Future Fund, which spent $618,000.
All told, outside groups spent more than $2.6 million in the last 12 days of the campaign supporting Brown's election efforts.
This program aired on July 15, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.
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