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Super PACs point to Indiana

Senate race ranks 4th in U.S. in outside money


Indiana’s Senate race ranks fourth among U.S. Senate campaigns for the amount of “outside” money it has attracted, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Groups independent of the candidates’ campaigns have poured $17.75 million into Indiana’s primary and general election contests, according to the latest count at the center’s website. The total excludes political party spending.

The Indiana race trails only those in Virginia, $29.1 million; Ohio, $23.7 million; and Wisconsin, $23.6 million, for money spent by “super” political action committees and their ilk. Much of the money goes for TV advertising to oppose candidates.

The running tally has a hard time keeping up with the super PACs. Friday afternoon, Club for Growth Action announced it is increasing its spending in Indiana to more than $3.5 million in support of Republican Richard Mourdock’s bid for the Senate seat from Indiana. That is at least $160,700 more than reported in the latest analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, which advocates for transparency in government.

The Indiana candidates’ own campaign finance reports show a recent influx of money from out-of-state supporters.

In two filings with the Federal Election Commission this week, Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-2nd, reported receiving $43,000 since Oct. 18, and only $3,500 of that came from individual Hoosiers.

State Treasurer Richard Mourdock filed reports showing his campaign has received $32,000 since Oct. 18, with just $2,000 coming from Indiana residents.

All of Mourdock’s recent contributions came from individual donors. Donnelly’s financial backing included a total of $13,500 from PACs for the National Association of Realtors, the National Farmers Union and New York Life Insurance Co.

Going into October, Mourdock had raised more than $2.9 million in contributions to about $1.5 million for Donnelly. Mourdock had more than $1.3 million in cash for the final weeks of the campaign, compared with $936,000 for Donnelly, according to the FEC reports.