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Physicians group spends $50,000 on mailers to support Janice Hahn for Congress

April 28, 2011 |  2:48 pm

A California physicians insurance group has spent more than $50,000 on two political mailers to support a candidate in next month's crowded special congressional election, federal records showed Thursday.

In documents filed with the Federal Election Commission, the Cooperative of American Physicians said it spent $51,092 on a mail campaign advocating the election of Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn.  Hahn is one of 16 candidates on the May 17 ballot to replace former Democratic Rep. Jane Harman of Venice.

The physicians group is apparently the first to make a so-called independent expenditure in the 36th Congressional District race. Groups are allowed to spend unlimited amounts to support or oppose a candidate so long as they do not coordinate with the candidate's own campaign.

Hahn so far has led the pack in fundraising, outpacing even Secretary of State Debra Bowen, believed to be her strongest competitor for the seat. About half of Hahn's contributions appear to come from lobbyists, developers and others doing business with the city. The next campaign finance reports are due at the FEC on May 5.

-- Jean Merl