Sarah Palin

Independent groups pump money into many state-level races

The doctored photo on the mailer showed a Republican state Senate candidate arm-in-arm with conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin, who are unpopular in the suburban legislative district east of Seattle.

Yet the candidate the ad was designed to help wasn't impressed. He declared that the independent group behind the mailing was "flushing $20,000 down the toilet" by sending out the Photoshopped images of his opponent.

"Why don't they send out something with the actual votes he's taken, which show his conservative views?" asked Democratic state Sen. Mark Mullet, a Democrat, who has no control over the group known as Mainstream Voters of...