PHILADELPHIA, Pa.– GOP Senate hopeful Christine O’Donnell had a big smile on her face at the Eagle Forum banquet here on Saturday evening.
Small wonder: The conservative O’Donnell, who is a long-shot primary opponent to liberal GOP Rep. Mike Castle for the Delaware Senate seat long held by Vice President Joe Biden, got a tremendous financial boost after Castle became one of only two Republicans to vote Thursday for the restrictive campaign finance measure known as the DISCLOSE Act.
"Within hours of his vote for DISCLOSE [which passed the House by 216-to-209], we got more than $30,000 in small donations, all on-line and many accompanied by some strongly worded comments about my opponent," O’Donnell told HUMAN EVENTS. "In fact, I was so happy that I sent out a message on twitter saying ‘Thank you, Mike Castle!’"
O’Donnell, who drew 37% of the vote as Biden’s opponent in ’08, freely admitted that "$30,000 may not seem like much if you are [conservative Senate hopefuls] Mario Rubio in Florida or Sharron Angle in Nevada. But in Delaware, it pays for a lot of mailings and radio spots."
After Biden was elected Vice President, his longtime top aide Ted Kaufmann was appointed to fill the Senate seat until the special election that is being held in November.
The DISCLOSE Act, which had strong adminstration backing, seeks to weaken the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in the Citizens United case earlier this year that permitted unlimited spending on behalf of candidates by corporations and other private organizations.
DISCLOSE would add a complex layer of regulation to that spending, including requirements that corporate CEO’s appear in their campaign commercials. Although 35 Democrats crossed over to oppose the measure, only two GOP House Members — Castle and Louisiana Rep. Joseph Cao — voted in favor of it.