Candidates for 2008 Spend Big Bucks in 2007 It may be 11 months before the Iowa caucuses, but presidential campaigns are busy raising — and spending — money. Some of the brightest stars in U.S. politics are plenty busy, as records with the Federal Election Commission show. Wouldn't it be cheaper just to buy everyone who cares a new car?
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Candidates for 2008 Spend Big Bucks in 2007

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Candidates for 2008 Spend Big Bucks in 2007

Candidates for 2008 Spend Big Bucks in 2007

Candidates for 2008 Spend Big Bucks in 2007

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It may be 11 months before the Iowa caucuses, but presidential campaigns are busy raising — and spending — money. Some of the brightest stars in U.S. politics are plenty busy, as records with the Federal Election Commission show. Wouldn't it be cheaper just to buy everyone who cares a new car?

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

It's 11 months and counting before the Iowa caucuses. Presidential campaigns are busy raising money for the next year and beyond. As commentator and Republican political consultant Mike Murphy observes, some of the brightest stars in American politics are already spending a lot of money on their presidential campaigns.

MIKE MURPHY: Reporters love this because they can see who raised what, and more importantly, who was dumb enough to take a check from Larry Flynt or Paris Hilton. But for me, as a recovering political consultant, the delicious part is seeing what each candidate has blown all their money on.

T: Since it is way too early for the voters to give a hoot, who are the candidates trying to influence with all this spending? Who is all that money aimed at? Let's think about adding it up.

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NORRIS: 200; yes-men who hang around Capitol Hill, 400 at least; big-time liberals in Hollywood, 816; big-time conservatives in Hollywood, three; board of Halliburton, 12; board of Plan Parenthood, 33; Fortune 500 CEOs; top bloggers, 100; top hoggers, the board members of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, 24; miscellaneous yackers, interest group poo-bahs and other muckity-mucks, 550; Jimmy Carter, Graydon Carter, and Nell Carter - dead, I know, but still voting in Chicago; people I forgot, another 1,000 at most.

A: me. The total is 5,524 people who care. Divide that into early candidate spending of $47,854,887.04, you get $8,663.09 of candidate spending per interested person with the first primary still 10 months away and zillions more to spend. I wonder, by the time the race actually begins next year, it might've been cheaper just to buy them all a brand new car.

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NORRIS: Mike Murphy is a writer and Republican media consultant who so far is sitting out of the presidential race.

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