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2009/2010: Importance of being rich…

…especially in this economy. "So far this cycle, 30 candidates have spent at least $100,000 of their own money on their campaigns for House or Senate. That is nearly twice as many as the 16 who had done so at this point in the 2008 election cycle. The Hill's analysis of self-funding in first and second quarter financial reports also found that 15 candidates have already ponied up $200,000, while just seven had done so two years ago." 

FLORIDA: "Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) reportedly requested applications from three possible Senate appointees Friday, including Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R), as he considers whom to choose as a temporary placeholder when Sen. Mel Martinez (R) resigns."

NEW JERSEY: New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez's (D) has said, "Every election is personal," but the current gubernatorial race is, for him, especially so. Menendez was the subject of a 2006 corruption probe, spearheaded by none other than Republican candidate (and then-U.S. Attorney) Chris Christie. Menendez alleges that the investigation was politically motivated. Although "Christie's name appeared on a federal Attorney General's list of U.S. Attorneys slated for firing," his name came off the list "after information was leaked in the middle of a contentious Senate campaign" that Christie was probing Menendez. Menendez eked out a victory over Tom Kean Jr. in 2006. Speaking Friday at a Corzine campaign event, Menendez cited the recent testimony by Karl Rove that Rove "had political conversations with Christie while the latter" was U.S. Attorney. "Clearly the Rove information under oath creates very serious concerns about the political process that took place at the Justice Department," Menendez said. "To be honest with you, I think more needs to be done." 
 
PENNSYLVANIA: Liberal Democrats at Netroots Nation in Pittsburgh overwhelmingly prefer Joe Sestak to Arlen Specter, according to results from a straw poll at the event. Sestak bested Specter 46%-10% among the crowd with 33% undecided.