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California could be cash cow for Brian Schweitzer

As former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer considers whether to run for the U.S. Senate seat from which fellow Democrat Max Baucus will retire next year, you can be sure that Californians and Schweitzer are preparing to rekindle their campaign-finance romance.

Brian SchweitzerWhile running for his second gubernatorial term in 2008, Schweitzer raised at least $137,000 in the Golden State – and that was for a contest that didn’t affect the national balance of power as this 2014 Senate race could.

Among the almost 300 California donors to Schweitzer’s 2008 campaign were entertainment figures such as Rob Reiner, Larry David, Michael Keaton and Casey Kasem; tech and venture capital figures like Steve Silberstein and Andrew Rappaport; Obama bundlers Wade Randlett, Steve Spinner, John Emerson and Nancy Koppelman; and other politically connected folks such as retired appeals court judge William Newsom, our lieutenant governor’s father.

Baucus’ announcement that he won’t seek a seventh term in 2014 has Democrats across the nation signing petitions, working social media and otherwise excited about Schweitzer’s potential candidacy. Baucus just incurred liberals’ wrath April 17 when he was one of four Senate Democrats to vote against the bipartisan Manchin-Toomey amendment to expand background checks for gun purchases; alas for those angry liberals, Schweitzer is pretty solidly opposed to gun control, too.