Your Wednesday Juggernaut Update

From Holden:

So what’s up with Katherine Harris these days? Well, despite the fact that her former chief campaign advisor was recently grilled for two hours by the FBI concerning the illegal donations she accepted from Mitchell Wade, Rep. Harris says she is not under investigation.

U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris denied Tuesday that she is a target of a federal probe involving Mitchell Wade, despite reports that authorities questioned a former key political consultants about her dealings with the corrupt defense contractor.

Harris issued a statement after reports Tuesday that Ed Rollins, a political strategist who previously worked for her U.S. Senate campaign, was questioned about the congresswoman’s association with Wade, who funneled $32,000 in illegal campaign contributions to her and pleaded guilty to bribing a California congressman.

The Sarasota Republican said her campaign has cooperated with the Wade investigation and that she has been told by the Department of Justice that she is not a target. She has denied knowingly doing anything wrong when she took money from donors who were reimbursed by Wade.

Meanwhile, she’s running through campaign cash faster than bottles of eye-liner.

Republican Katherine Harris is spending money as fast as anyone in the nation as she runs for U.S. Senate, but she’s still playing catch-up.

By dipping into her own fortune, Harris has spent $2.1 million over the past three months on her campaign — about a million more than she raised.

Polls show she still lags about 30 percentage points behind incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson, who has $12.1 million in contributions.


Another thing driving up her spending is turnover in Harris’ camp. Her most recent federal campaign expenditure report is peppered with paychecks to more than a dozen former campaign staff members. Payments to ex-staffers include $20,000 to former senior adviser Ed Rollins, who has publicly said she should drop out of the race.

Harris is spending money as fast as challengers running for the Senate in hotly contested states like Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Arizona. In Pennsylvania, widely considered one of the most competitive races in the nation, Democrat Bob Casy Jr. spent $2.1 million over the past three months. Incumbent Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., has responded by spending $3 million.


Harris has raised $4.4 million for the campaign so far — far short of the $25 million she boasted last year that she would raise.

Harris has spent almost $5.3 million so far. Personal loans of $3.3 million that she made to her campaign earlier this year give her $2.6 million left as she heads into the last two months before the Sept. 5 primary.