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Giuliani Won't Accept Donations Of $9.11

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani said on Wednesday that his campaign would not accept any contributions in the denomination of $9.11.

On his way to a house party in New Jersey, the candidate was addressing criticism over a California house party fundraiser where attendees were asked for $9.11 per person, saying the decision to do so was "unfortunate."

CBS News reporter Ryan Corsaro reports Giuliani said his campaign put a block on his system to not accept such contributions.

"I think they made a mistake," Giuliani said.

The campaign on Wednesday also said a top finance official has left the operation in a staff shake-up just days before the fundraising deadline for the White House hopefuls.

Giuliani aides said the departure of Anne Dunsmore, deputy campaign manager for finance, was unrelated to fundraising. The third-quarter deadline for all campaigns, Republican and Democrat, is Sunday.

"Anne Dunsmore is no longer working on our campaign. We thank Anne for her service and the departure is amicable," Katie Levinson, communications director for the campaign, said Wednesday.

Republican fundraiser Jim Lee will now serve as national co-chair and head the finance operation, with day-to-day responsibility for all fundraising operations.

In a statement, Dunsmore said: "I continue to believe Rudy Giuliani is the strongest candidate in the race and I strongly support him for president."

Giuliani aides said Dunsmore left over differences in strategy more than anything else. Dunsmore is based in Los Angeles and headed President Bush's California fundraising in 2000 and 2004.

Giuliani was raising money Wednesday in New Jersey, at a fundraiser for Somerset County Republicans and at a house party where givers were being asked for $500 per person. Polls show Giuliani leading the Republican field in New Jersey.

Giuliani said fundraising was strong.

"We'll have a very good quarter, probably the best of the Republicans," Giuliani told reporters before the Somerset County event.

In the first six months of the year, Giuliani raised more than $33 million, second to Republican rival Mitt Romney, with more than $34 million. Both candidates were ahead of rival John McCain, who brought in more than $24 million.

Earlier in the day, Giuliani met privately with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and indicated he would keep a U.S. presence in Iraq for as long as necessary, campaign aides said.

The former New York mayor is one of the few GOP candidates who has never been to Iraq. Talabani, in New York for the U.N. General Assembly, provided what Giuliani aides described as an optimistic report about progress in the region during the meeting.

Giuliani, in turn, emphasized his support for a unified Iraq and indicated that he would keep a U.S. presence in that country for as long as necessary, aides said.

The Republican front-runner in national polls has long backed the U.S.-led invasion in Iraq as well as this year's troop buildup. He often answers questions about the war by deferring to military commanders and has waded less into the specifics of how he would handle the conflict if he were to win the presidency.

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