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In unemployment benefits extension, a logistical headache for states

On Tuesday, members of the U.S. Senate plan to vote on a federal extension of unemployment benefits, which has been blocked by Republicans for an unprecedented two months. The swearing-in of Carte Goodwin, the temporary replacement for the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), will give Democrats the crucial 60th vote to overcome a GOP filibuster and restore unemployment insurance to 2.5 million Americans.

Colorado campaign spending quadrupled from 2004 to 2008

Political campaign spending, you might say, is trending through the roof, and not just on the federal level. State politicians and political issue committees are raising historic sums, according to a study released today by the National Institute on Money in State Politics. And the spending works. Incumbent lawmakers raise more money than their opponents and they win 95 percent of the time. In 2004, Colorado politicians and committees spent $20 million winning and losing votes. In 2008, they spent $85 million.