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McCaskill to report $4.8 million in campaign warchest

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 27, 2012 - U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., had a healthy fundraising quarter in late 2011, which helped her amass $4.8 million, according to federal summary sheets provided to the Beacon.

All congressional candidates must file reports by Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission. (The Beacon only reports figures obtained from the FEC websiteor from copies of the candidates' reports.)

McCaskill, deemed one of the nation's most vulnerable Senate Democrats up for re-election, plans to report raising just over $1.4 million during the last three months and spending around $327,000.

That tally includes transfers of about $203,000 from other authorized campaign committee and $270,000 collected from political action committees. Her campaign says about two-thirds of the donors gave $100 or less, but that summaries can't verify that fact.

In any event, McCaskill's quarterly tally bests her third-quarter result, which had been touted nationally as among the largest of Democratic senators. Her latest total will likely be in similar company.

Overall, she has raised just under $7 million for her re-election bid this fall. That's far more than is expected to be reported by her Republican rivals: U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Wildwood; businessman John Brunner; and former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman. Brunner and Steelman have been using their own family money to finance part of their campaigns.

None of the three have yet to file their reports or provide copies to the Beacon.

(McCaskill, by the way, has gotten help in the past from family money, but so far she has not done so for this fall's contest. She is reporting no debts.)

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.