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Rep. Joseph Cao's fund-raising sputters after health care vote

Remember the woman in New Orleans who told me that Rep. Joseph Cao's (R-La.) votes had convinced her that the freshman had betrayed his donors? She was not alone. A quick scan of FEC records finds that Cao's fundraising machine has sputtered since last year, when he became the only Republican to vote for a version of health care reform.

In the final quarter of 2009, Cao received $224,000.22 from individual donors and $23,775 from PACs. In the first quarter of 2010 he only pulled in $69,951.87 from individuals, less than one-third of the previous quarter's haul. (The total was bolstered a bit by $31,500 from PACs.) It meant that for the first time, Cao was out-fundraised by likely Democratic foe Cedric Richmond, who raised $106,035 from individuals and $22,200 from PACs.

Cao has more money in the bank than Richmond, if not too much more -- the incumbent ended the quarter with $309,135.59, Richmond with $278,821.56. But Cao isn't exactly cutting costs. I noticed a $302 charitable donation to Xavier University Prep School and a $1,000 check for Van Tran, the Vietnamese-American candidate running against Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Ca.).

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By David Weigel  |  April 21, 2010; 2:43 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Election  | Tags: Federal Election Commission, Health care, Joseph Cao, New Orleans, Political action committee, Politics, Republican, United States  
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