Retiring North Dakota Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan is donating some of his campaign funds to boost the election bids of fellow Democrats, as he whittles down his own multimillion-dollar campaign war chest.
As of April 1, Dorgan still had nearly $2.6 million on hand, but during the second quarter of 2010, he reduced that figure by nearly half a million dollars -- mostly by donating $380,000 to federal, state and legislative campaigns.
Dorgan cannot keep or spend the money for personal use, but otherwise has wide latitude. Under federal election law, he can give up to $2,000 per election to federal candidates' campaigns, but he has no limit in donating to national, state or local political parties.
According to an analysis of Dorgan's second-quarter report to the Federal Election Commission:
He donated $225,000 to the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party and $100,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which those parties can then use to support their candidates.
Dorgan also gave to Democratic-NPL candidates for North Dakota statewide office: $5,000 each to secretary of state candidate Corey Mock, attorney general candidate Jean Boechler, tax commissioner candidate Cynthia Kaldor and agriculture commissioner candidate Merle Boucher, and $4,000 to Public Service Commission candidate Brad Crabtree.
Incumbent U.S. Rep. Earl Pomeroy received the maximum $2,000 from Dorgan toward the primary election, and U.S. Senate candidate Tracy Potter received $2,000 for each the primary and general elections.
Dorgan donated $18,000 total to 55 Democratic-NPL state Legislature candidates across North Dakota.
He also dished out $6,000 to help two other U.S. senators' re-election bids and $1,000 to Iowa's Democratic Party.
Kristen M. Daum is a reporter
at The Forum of Fargo-
Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.