Send money now! Candidates compete for online cash

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None of the technical considerations is readily apparent to the potential donor, left to sift through competing appeals.

No event or issue, it seems, is too minor to trigger an urgent and/or outraged request for contributions.

The campaign of Sen. Sherrod Brown wants money because Rove and his allies "have taken the gloves off" and are attacking the Ohio Democrat. "If we can't hit the million-dollar goal for our No Fear Fund, we'll get buried before the summer even starts," said a recent email.

Sarah Steelman, a Republican running for the Senate in Missouri, warned recently that Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill "has a series of liberal celebrities who are funding her campaign ... defeat Hollywood's Third Senator," it says. Photos of Danny DeVito, Susan Sarandon, Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg are included, superimposed on the iconic Hollywood sign in the hills of Los Angeles.

In recent days, Florida Democrats claimed they had registered 10 percent more voters than Republicans and pleaded, "Contribute today and help us keep the momentum."

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's political organization emailed supporters about her new book, "Can't Is Not an Option."

"If you donate $50 or more to help me continue our fight, you will receive a limited edition personalized copy," she wrote.

Tommy Thompson, a Republican contender for the Senate in Wisconsin, told his email recipients somewhat breathlessly, "We just received our first shipment of yard signs." Anyone interested in having one could stop by the office. If not, they could join the campaign as a volunteer.

Either way, a $20 donation means "we can keep buying more signs."

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