Saturday, June 5, 2010

Funny money matters in 11th District race

One note that should be added to Friday's story about Tony Amador, Elizabeth Emken, Brad Goehring and David Harmer, the four GOPers hoping to take down Rep. Jerry McNerney:

The money figures from the FEC, apparently, don't tell the whole story about who is raising what.

First of all, the figures are from the whole election cycle. That means the money Harmer raised in his 2009 special election bid for the 10th District seat counts toward his reporting total.

Also, when a candidate puts money into his or her campaign fund and then takes it out, it counts toward both income and disbursement totals. That means you could cycle the same $10,000 in and out of your campaign account 10 times without spending it, and you would report $100,000 in expenditures and $100,000 in contributions attained. While that wouldn't give you any more money to spend, it would inflate your fundraising numbers — and in the eyes of many political observers and insiders, that can make someone an imminently more attractive candidate.

Also again, those totals do not represent money just raised for the primary campaign season. It includes money that candidates might be tucking away for the general election campaign, as well.

It should be mentioned that these notes also apply to incumbents such as McNerney, not just challengers.

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