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Schiff, Sherman transfer funds

Candidates seen as heavy favorites divert campaign money to other Democrats.

October 30, 2010|By Bill Kisliuk, bill.kisliuk@latimes.com

Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) and Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) have given nearly $1 million in combined donations to their colleagues during a fundraising cycle in which Republican challengers are poised to make significant gains.

Both incumbent congressmen face relatively weak Republican challenges in their own re-election campaigns for Nov. 2, and so have diverted more money to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The committee directs dollars to the congressional races where Democrats need them most. Many House Democrats from around the nation are fighting for their political lives this year, with polls indicating Republicans will win enough seats Tuesday to gain control of the House.

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Sherman and Schiff's races are seen as relatively safe, as they have more money and name recognition than their rivals — Mark Reed and John Colbert, respectively — and represent Democratic-leaning districts.

In 2009-10, Sherman says his campaign has given more than $746,000 to other Democrats. That includes $517,500 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and nearly $229,000 to candidates ranging from other House Democrats to California gubernatorial hopeful Jerry Brown.

"I'm proud of it," Sherman said, noting that a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling made it easier for corporations and unions to pay for influential political ads that are not directly tied to candidates.

"Given the large amount of money given by corporations secretly, I felt I had to step forward," he said.

Sherman has also hosted fundraisers for others, including an August event for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at the Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Burbank.

Schiff has given more than $163,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2009-10 cycle, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Since he was first elected to Congress in 2000, records show Schiff has given more than $816,000 to the committee.

"Adam has always been supportive of other good candidates around the country," said Schiff campaign spokesman Parke Skelton. "The battle terrain is extraordinarily broad this year, and the needs for funding are major because there are so many seats in play."

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