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Hey, Big Spender! How'd You Do?

Florida Gov.-elect Rick Scott, center, and his wife Ann, right, wave to supporters before Scott's victory speech, Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

It's often said money can't buy happiness. After this week's elections, it's also clear that money alone can't buy an election. Here's how things turned out for some big spenders who dumped loads of their own cash into their campaigns:


  • In Wisconsin, tea party-supported Republican Ron Johnson, CEO of a polyester and plastics manufacturer, shelled out $8.2 million plus from his own bank account to snatch the Senate away from incumbent Senator Russ Feingold, a Democrat. Ironically, Feingold was a leading advocate of campaign finance reform.

Factoid: As a teen, Johnson started out as a Walgreens Grill dishwasher.

  • In Florida, former health care industry exec Republican Rick Scott spent more than $73 million out of his own pocket to win the governor's mansion in the race against Democrat Alex Sink.

Factoid: In college, Scott bought and upgraded two donut shops.

Connecticut Republican Linda McMahon gestures during her election night party in Hartford, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut's longtime Democratic attorney general, won the state's hotly contested U.S. Senate race. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa


  •  In Connecticut, former pro-wrestling magnate Republican Linda McMahon used more than $46.6 million of her own money, only to lose the Senate race against Democrat Richard Blumenthal. McMahon is the second-highest self-funded Senate candidate ever. Her spending became a key issue with opponents who accused her of trying to buy the election. In the end: she didn't.

Factoid: the only more expensive Senate races were the NJ and NY (Clinton-Giuliani) Senate races in 2000.

  • In California, Republican Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett Packard and a former AT&T executive, spent more than $5.5 million in the race against Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer.

Factoid: As a youth, Fiorina worked summers at a hair salon and as a secretary, but eventually rose to become one of Forbes' ten most powerful women in the world.

  •  Also in California, Republican Meg Whitman broke every record for self-funding: she spent more than $141 million dollars of her own money but still lost the governor's race to Democrat Jerry Brown. Whitman earned her fortune at eBay. She joined the company when it had 30 employees and went on to lead it.

Factoid: Whitman can afford the election loss: she's worth $1.3 billion and is the 4th wealthiest woman in California.

In this Feb. 19, 2008, file photo, Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, listens to questions from members of the Capitol press corps., following his address of the state legislature, in Juneau, Alaska. Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history, died in a small plane crash in Alaska, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010. He was 86. <br><br> <a href="" class="linkIcon read"><b> Spokesman: Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens Dead in Crash</b></a> Chris Miller
Sharyl Attkisson is a CBS News Investigative Correspondent based in Washington. You can read more of her posts in Hotsheet here.
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