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Cheney helps raise estimated $200,000 for Musgrave's reelection campaign

Cheney helps raise estimated $200,000 for Musgrave's reelection campaign

Though he has a lesbian daughter, Vice President Dick Cheney gave an estimated $200,000 boost Monday to the campaign coffers of Republican congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave, who is one of the original sponsors of a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and considered one of the nation's most vulnerable incumbents. Musgrave has proved "to be exactly the right person for the job," Cheney told a crowd of about 200 people who paid $500 to $4,000 to attend a downtown Denver luncheon. Musgrave's campaign fund had about $422,000 in cash as of March 31, the end of the first quarter, said Guy Short, her chief of staff. Before Cheney's speech, Republican National Committee member Bob Shaffer told the crowd the national party will spend whatever is necessary to help Musgrave win a third term in her northeastern Colorado district. She has not said whether she will seek reelection next year. Musgrave recently was named as one of 10 beneficiaries of the Retain Our Majority Program, a political action committee created by House majority leader Tom DeLay in 1999 to help protect GOP incumbents expected to face tough reelection battles. In 2002, Musgrave beat Democrat Stan Matsunaka, a former state senate president, by 13 percentage points, but her winning margin against Matsunaka last year dipped to about half that. "By funneling cash into the coffers of Marilyn Musgrave, Vice President Cheney is merely money-laundering for the antimarriage amendment," said Eric Stern, executive director for the National Stonewall Democrats. "The vice president's actions underscore how the Bush administration continually speaks of protecting families while actually working to dismantle their security. Marilyn Musgrave has routinely placed her extreme political ideology ahead of the concerns of her constituents. Now Vice President Cheney is following her lead by choosing to pander to the Republican base rather than standing for principle." (AP)

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