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As scandal mounted, Ney's corporate, political donors kept giving

Akron Beacon Journal, January 31, 2006:
As scrutiny of Rep. Bob Ney's role in the developing Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal intensified, the Ohio Republican's campaign fundraising improved, according to records filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission.

Ney's campaign raised $276,499 in the final three months of 2005, just before lobbyist Abramoff pleaded guilty to several counts of corruption and said he bribed Ney for political favors.

Ney's quarterly fundraising totals more than double the $119,220 he raised in the final three months of 2003, the last time he was a year away from Election Day. He is seeking a seventh term representing an expansive, mostly rural district in southeast Ohio.

This time, Ney relied more heavily on support from corporate political committees and those of his congressional colleagues. More than two-fifths of his quarterly total at the end of 2003 came from individual donors, whereas individuals accounted for only one-third of his fourth-quarter total in 2005.

The Back America's Conservatives PAC, run by Rep. Richard Baker, R-La., gave or transferred from others payments of more than $12,000 to Ney's campaign during the quarter.

Fellow Ohio GOP Rep. Michael Oxley's Leadership PAC 2006 gave Ney $5,000 in November, as did California Rep. John Doolittle's Superior California PAC. Ohio Rep. David Hobson's campaign gave Ney $1,000 on Oct. 27.

Ney also received more help from labor groups than he typically does this early in an election cycle. He got a total of $12,000 from groups that represent workers, such as the Ironworkers PAC, Laborers Political League and the National Association of Home Builders, which doubled its contribution from the last quarter of 2003 to $5,000.

"Labor is coming in big for me, and I'm very proud and pleased with that," Ney said.

Only 21 percent of individual Ney contributors who listed their name with the FEC put Ohio addresses. Less than 4 percent of the political groups that gave Ney money during the quarter listed Ohio addresses.