Friday, February 03, 2006

Nothing really helps finish off an image like the details

Sweeney campaign pays $1,106 for cigars: "

By MAURY THOMPSON, thompson@poststar.com

Updated: 2/2/2006 10:03:16 PM

U.S. Rep. John Sweeney was passing out fine cigars, as he raked in cash at a fundraiser in Saratoga Springs last year.

Sweeney's campaign paid $1,106 to the Pacific Cigar Co. of Lemont, Ill. on Oct. 3, according to the campaign's latest finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission this week.

Pacific Cigar Co. products are produced in the Philippines, Indonesia, Dominican Republic and Ecuador from fine tobacco intended to appeal to 'the most discriminating cigar aficionado,' according to the company's Web site.

The company's silk cigar bands date back to a tradition started by Catherine II of Russia.

The cigars were handed out to attendees at the Congressman's annual event in Saratoga Springs, said spokeswoman Melissa Carlson.

The cigars were one of the smaller expenditures by Sweeney's campaign, which as of Dec. 31 had spent $575,168 in the current election cycle, which began Jan.1, 2005.

Kirsten Gillibrand, his potential Democratic opponent, reported spending $84,521.

Complete finance reports for the two candidates can be accessed through The Post-Star's free Web site at www.poststar.com.

Sweeney reported raising a total of $780,454 and had a balance of $710,059 as of Dec. 31.

Gillibrand, who began raising money in late summer, reported raising a total of $370,680 and had a balance of $286,158 as of Dec. 31.

The majority of money raised by both candidates over the past three months came from outside the congressional district.

Sweeney reported $107,080 in itemized contributions from addresses outside the district over the past three months, while $2,750 came from inside the district.

Gillibrand reported $208,749 in itemized contributions from addresses outside the district over the past three months and $13,310 from addresses inside the district."

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