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McMorris Rodgers raises 12 times the money as her foe

WASHINGTON – Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has raised about 12 times as much money as her Democratic challenger in the first three months of this year, reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission show.

Joe Pakootas, chief executive officer of the Colville Tribal Federal Corporation, brought in campaign contributions of $28,951 between January and March, while McMorris Rodgers raised $363,324.

The Spokane-area congresswoman spent more on legal fees in those three months than Pakootas raised overall. FEC reports show she paid $42,322 to a Washington, D.C., law firm handling her response to an ethics investigation started by a complaint from a former employee.

The large gap in contributions isn’t unusual for McMorris Rodgers and her Democratic opponents. As one of the top-ranking Republicans in the House, she has received contributions from major corporations’ political action committees for recent campaigns.

Technology giants Facebook, Hewlett-Packard and Google all contributed to her re-election campaign. Both Google and HP have donated to her previous campaigns, but the contribution was a first from Facebook to McMorris Rodgers, who visited the company’s California headquarters in March 2013 as part of a trip to Silicon Valley. PACs for telecommunications companies Comcast and Verizon Wireless also contributed to McMorris Rodgers. Those two companies have been pressured by lawmakers recently. Comcast is under fire for its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable and Verizon for cooperating with the National Security Agency’s wiretapping program.

Rich Cowan, a Democrat who ran against McMorris Rodgers in 2012, had brought in $107,638 by this point of his 2012 campaign.

Matt Kalish, a student in the University of Missouri Journalism School’s Washington, D.C., reporting program, is a correspondent for The Spokesman-Review.

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