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— When presidential candidates come to San Diego, where do they spend their money? Mostly at the sorts of places where sought-after high-rolling campaign contributors hang out. Take the case of wealthy Democrat John Edwards, whose campaign forked over $1696 to the La Jolla Country Club for catering. Rival Chris Dodd, the senator from Connecticut, paid $1000 for "lodging" at the La Jolla Hyatt Regency. But not all campaign money goes for high living. The congressional campaign of conservative GOP congressman Duncan Hunter, whose presidential bid is regarded by most as a long shot, paid $370 to Vista's Shred-it for "shredding services." Hunter also spent a total of $309 at Calhoun's ("Home of America's Best Ribs") in Knoxville, Tennessee, "entertaining constituents." ... The L.A. Times reports that, despite a heavy legislative workload pending in Sacramento, several state senators have taken off for a two-week visit to Brazil and Argentina and the famous Iguaçú Falls, along with other sightseeing draws. Among them are San Diego's Chris Kehoe and Denise Ducheny. They are being joined on some legs of the trip by fellow Democrats Gil Cedillo, Alex Padilla, and Louis Correa, along with Republicans Dick Ackerman and Abel Maldonado. The Times says that the members are paying for their own plane tickets, but food and local ground transportation are being partly funded by Fundación Nueva Generación Argentina, a nonprofit organization with close ties to the U.S. government.

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