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Democrats hold money advantage

The Republican National Committee’s $5.5 million in July receipts includes a $900,000 insurance payment, helping boost anemic fundraising by the national party.

Federal campaign reports show that Democratic Party committees maintained a cash-on-hand advantage over their Republican counterparts as they entered the final three months before the election.

The Republican Party’s insurance payment was from Illinois National Insurance, a subsidiary of insurance giant American International Group. A party official said the money was for an insurance claim but said there was a confidentiality provision in the agreement. The official was not authorized to discuss the claim publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The official said the payment was not related to AIG’s financial troubles, which required a massive federal bailout.

Even with the claim, the RNC’s receipts were less than half the $11.6 million raised by the Democrats. The Democratic Party reported $10.8 million in the bank and $3.5 million in debts; Republicans showed $5.3 million in the banks and $2.2 million in debts.

The RNC is by far the GOP committee struggling the most, creating anxiety among Republican operatives and increasing pressure on outside groups to help make up the financial gap.

CALIFORNIA

State GOP hoping for breakthrough

SAN DIEGO | For the first time in memory, California Republicans have a diverse statewide slate of candidates to field this fall, a group their party chairman calls an “inspirational ticket.”

Coupled with national momentum for conservatives, the California GOP is hoping this might be their breakthrough year.

But it’s far from clear whether California voters will see the same glitter the GOP faithful did at this weekend’s state GOP meeting in San Diego.

Democrats have a nearly 15-point voter-registration advantage in California and they’re working hard to retain the moderate voters who have helped them dominate.

They face a fundraising challenge, though, in billionaire former eBay CEO Meg Whitman’s gubernatorial campaign against Jerry Brown, and national support for former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina against Sen. Barbara Boxer.

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