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Owens trailing Doheny in campaign cash

TIMES WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT
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WASHINGTON — Rep. William L. Owens began the summer with more than half a million dollars in his re-election campaign account but trailed his main Republican rival, Matthew A. Doheny, in campaign cash.


Mr. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, reported to the Federal Election Commission that he had $568,928 in campaign cash on hand as of June 30, trailing Mr. Doheny's $691,205. Mr. Owens has raised $691,474 for the election cycle, well ahead of Mr. Doheny's $515,606.


Unlike his predecessor in office, former Rep. John M. McHugh, R-Pierrepont Manor, Mr. Owens is collecting a large percentage — about half — of his campaign money from individuals, rather than political action committees that represent special interests.


The individual contributions, mostly from outside the congressional district, reflect Democratic Party fundraising efforts on behalf of Mr. Owens, now that the 23rd Congressional District is considered competitive.


Among Mr. Owens's biggest contributors for the cycle so far is Ernest Keet, Saranac Lake, president of Vanguard Atlantic Ltd., who has contributed $6,700. Nancy R. Keet, of the same address, has given $2,400.


The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has sent along $11,475 in bundled individual contributions.


Another notable contributor is Daniel J. French, a Wellesley Island native and lawyer now living in Syracuse, who initially was considering running as a Democrat for the seat Mr. Owens holds, and who had worked on behalf of Mr. McHugh's re-election efforts. He has given $3,000 for the cycle.


Like Mr. McHugh before him, Mr. Owens benefits from organized labor contributions. But he also collected a contribution from the PAC for Walmart Stores Inc., which has a reputation as one of the country's least accommodating companies toward labor unions.


Among top PAC contributors are the political action committees for Honeywell International and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, each of which gave $15,000; the PAC for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which has given $10,000; the New York State Laborers' PAC, which gave $10,000; the Synergy PAC, which gave $7,500; the Walmart Stores PAC, which gave $7,500, and the PAC for the National Association of Realtors, which gave $7,000.


His top contributor for the period among other members of Congress was Rep. Brian M. Higgins, D-Buffalo, who gave $4,000 through his campaign committee.


Mr. Owens has lent his campaign $160,500 for the cycle but did not make any loans in the latest quarter.


Mr. Owens spent $13,500 in the quarter on fundraising consultants, using LaFave & Associates of Falls Church, Va., the FEC filing shows.


Mr. Doheny has raised virtually all of his campaign money through individual contributions, plus $250,000 in loans from himself. Like Mr. Owens, Mr. Doheny is collecting much of his campaign money far away from the north country.


Mr. Doheny also spent more than he took in during the quarter ending June 30, so his total cash on hand fell from more than $800,000. He spent $90,000 as of June 30 on media consulting, his FEC filing shows.


Mr. Doheny paid $6,000 to Mr. McHugh's former chief of staff and campaign treasurer, Cary R. Brick, to be a "senior communications director" in April and May, the FEC filing shows.


He also paid $3,000 for the cycle so far to Bellwether Consulting Group, a Washington firm, for fundraising strategy, and $15,000 to BQE Inc., Albany, for professional campaign services.


Douglas L. Hoffman, vying for GOP and Conservative nominations, trails in fundraising, reporting $213,245 in campaign cash on hand. He raised $82,948 for the period and $130,014 for the cycle — but spent more than $470,000 for the cycle, his FEC filing shows, in large part to repay $180,000 in loans he had made to the campaign, but also on campaign and fundraising consultants.


Mr. Hoffman also was his campaign's biggest contributor, giving $149,900 on June 28, to bring his total contributions for the cycle to $349,900.


Conservative-leaning political action committees gave $6,000 during the reporting period, Mr. Hoffman's campaign reported.

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