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Lavish LeeAnn Rimes fundraiser nets 11 recipients, including David Rivera, $650

A freshman California lawmaker made a big splash but barely broke even at a glitzy and controversial January GOP fundraiser featuring country singer LeAnn Rimes, new campaign filings show.

Celebrity, it seems, comes at a cost. Rimes and her entourage made out well at the Jan. 4 fundraiser that served as Republican Rep. Jeff Denham's big political debut in Washington. Between assorted fees, flowers, catering and other costs, Denham's special fundraising committee -- to benefit 11 members of Congress, including Miami's David Rivera -- reported spending $212,250 on the Rimes event.

The committee, meanwhile, raised only $212,900 from outside contributors. Add it all up, and Denham's special committee spent nearly a quarter of a million dollars to net a grand total of $650 in outside contributions. Rivera's campaign says he never attended the event.

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Cynical Idealist

And these folks think they're business-savvy enough to run the country? Clearly, they are, but where they're running it is into the ground...

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