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The Rhode Island U.S. Senate Race

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Alleged GOP Senator Lincoln Chafee faces a tough primary opponent in Cranston, RI Mayor Stephen Laffey in the September 12, 2006 Republican primary, and even if he survives that face down with Republican voters, another tough opponent in likely Democratic nominee, RI Secretary of State Matt Brown.

Despite the clear indications that support for Chafee is crippling its fundraising with the grass-=roots, the National Republican senatorial Committee is already spending scarece resources to attack Laffey and defend Chafee.

The trouble is, these attacks seem to be helping Laffey.

One other point/question:

Matt Brown is a candidate in an FEC regulated race. The Huffington Post is giving him valuable blog space. Is this a contribution? If Brown was running editorials on a television station, would that be an in-kind contribution? If a newspaper allowed Campbell to run daily op-eds, would that be a contribution?

I along with most other bloggers absolutely reject the idea that anything a blogger writes or says on blog is a contribution to a candidate’s campaign, but I haven’t thought through the situation where the blogger is a candidate for office blogging on another’s website. This is a much more troublesome and thus inviting target for the overactive regualtors at the FEC. I’d welcome the opinion of experienced campaign counsel.


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