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[POLIT] Schumer Spreads the Wealth
BY Manu Raju

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer has poured millions of dollars into a slew of pivotal House and Senate races aimed at bolstering endangered candidates throughout the country, according to newly filed campaign finance reports.

So far this cycle, the hard-charging Democrat has given more than $4 million to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic candidates and state parties, making Schumer by far the most generous giver among Senate Democrats. Schumer is expected to coast easily to reelection for a third term against Republican Jay Townsend, allowing him to spread his money across the country to shore up his party’s political chances and his own standing within the Democratic caucus.

Schumer – who reported a whopping $19.3 million in cash in his campaign account – has stepped up his giving just as speculation intensifies that he could find himself in a race against Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin to succeed Sen. Harry Reid as majority leader if Republican Sharron Angle wins the hotly contested Nevada Senate race.

But Schumer has long said he’s simply trying to help elect more Democrats, and his latest report shows he transferred $250,000 to the Nevada Democratic Party, which is spending heavily to save Reid’s uphill reelection bid.

Brian Fallon, a Schumer spokesman, declined to comment on the fundraising numbers.

POLITICO reported last month that Schumer had transferred $2 million to the DSCC, which the senator chaired in 2006 and 2008, but he also transferred an additional $1 million to the committee on Sept. 29.

In addition, Schumer on Oct. 13 transferred an additional $250,000 to the New York Democratic Party, which is focusing on aiding the election of several endangered New York House Democrats.

Beyond those contributions, Schumer has transferred an additional $540,000 to state parties, including in states like Vermont, Hawaii, Maryland and Oregon, where Democratic senators are expected to easily win reelection.

But his campaign committee has also spent $50,000 in Washington state, where Democratic Sen. Patty Murray is in a neck-and-neck race against Dino Rossi; $50,000 to Colorado Democrats to aid Sen. Michael Bennet’s bid and $25,000 to the Democratic Party in California, where Barbara Boxer is in a tough reelection fight. And he’s spent similar sums for the Democratic parties in Illinois, New Hampshire, Alaska and Arkansas.