Friday, October 8, 2010

Out-of-state campaign spending hits new high

Relaxing to a cable rerun of "Seinfeld"? The break includes a message from seniors who fret about their Social Security benefits if Republican Ken Buck is elected.

It's not just commercials. Coloradoans drive by one billboard after another, carrying political messages before arriving home to a mailbox full of pleas from politicians.

Shadowy out-of-state interest groups have been flooding Colorado with a level of advertising that goes well beyond the typical election year bombardment. Colorado has become such an attractive destination for outside political money this year because of the state's bellwether status, its many competitive races and its relatively cheap media rates.

The top target is the Senate contest between Bennet and Buck, a race that could help determine the control of Congress. Competitive House races in the state have also been affected by the spending.

People are scratching their heads at all the outside attention Colorado has drawn. In rural eastern Colorado, 67-year-old Democratic volunteer Jim Bowen talks politics with his friends at a Prowers County senior center and is amazed how much advertising they're getting.

"People are confused, and I don't blame them," said Bowen, a retired postmaster. "It's just amazing, the lack of accurate information that goes out."    - More -

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