On the Democratic side, Kissell is in a similar position. The DCCC has poured more than $1 million into helping North Carolina Rep. Mike McIntyre win re-election, but they've declined to invest in Kissell's adjoining district, redrawn to favor Republicans, even though Republican-aligned political action committees have spent heavily there.
The committees that lead their party's congressional campaign efforts shift money into some races and out of others in the final weeks depending upon how competitive they become. Coming down the stretch in the 2010 election, the DCCC signaled that they were waiving the white flag for about 10 incumbents including Shea-Porter, Walt Minnick in Idaho, Steve Driehaus in Ohio and Steve Kagan in Wisconsin_all of whom lost.
Among Republicans, Rivera has also got little help from the national party, according to Federal Election Commission records. Rivera, a freshman, has been accused by the Florida Ethics Commission this week of committing 11 violations of ethics laws while he was a state legislator. He's also been accused of secretly funding an opponent to his current challenger, Joe Garcia, during the Democratic primary. Rivera and his campaign have denied the accusations.
The redistricting that took place in the states last year prompted several incumbents to retire. In California, Republican Reps. Jerry Lewis, Elton Gallegly, Wally Herger and David Dreier all stepped down rather than face difficult re-election battles. In North Carolina, Democratic Reps. Brad Miller and Heath Shuler stepped down after that state's Republican-led legislature drew new congressional borders.
Kissell opted to stick it out. He survived the Republican wave in 2010 that saw 16 Democrats in the South lose their seat, but the DCCC appears to view the district as unwinnable, making no independent expenditures that would help counter the more than $800,000 that Republicans have spent in the past five weeks to criticize him.
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