| While perhaps not a sign of the better side of our politics, the money race in California politics is crucial. This is especially true for the Governor's race, where the campaign has been mostly fought via air war in the last few elections. Thus, it is time for a Calitics look at the money situation in some of the statewide races. We'll start with the Governor's race, and within the next few days, I'll post information on some of the other races of note.
So, let's get right to it. First, the Republicans:
Ending Balance - $4,962,065.61
Debts - $295,175.64
What isn't included in this report, however, is that Whitman donated a bit of money to her campaign. You know nothing, major, just $15,000,000. Yes, you read that right. Whitman has now donated over $19 million to her campaign. Money will be no issue for the Whitman campaign. There is a litany of problems for Whitman, both with the Republican primary electorate as well as with the general election voters. However, if she has an overwhelmingly large a lot of money, she might simply be able to drown out any message that isn't exactly to her liking. It is a bit worrying, despite all the fun that you can have with Meg Whitman.
Ending Balance - $3,701,993.79
Debts - $176,186.66
Steve Poizner hasn't dumped the kind of money that Whitman has into her campaign. He's getting some decent level of grassroots support from the right-wing, as there has been no real hard-right McClintock-esque type of candidate. Poizner doesn't have quite the wealth of Whitman, but he can afford to drop a few million into his campaign if he begins to get overrun by the Whitman machine.
Ending Balance - $317,381.69
Debts - $0
Poor Tom Campbell. Not that Campbell is a poor man, but compared to the other two, he simply cannot donate to his campaign. He cannot get the right-wing grassroots support as he has consistently ticked off the right-wing with his positions on Prop 8 and taxes. At some point unless his fundraising picks up steam rapidly, you begin to question whether this is a serious campaign and not some platform for him to talk about the budget. If that's the case, well, it's a fairly good tack, and would give him some power over the discussions in the campaign. He'll need to raise a lot more to actually be competitive in the Republican primary though.
On the Democratic side, it's starting to look like an un-fair fight. Attorney General Jerry Brown (and supposed candidate for that race again) has a lot of money heading into the Democratic primary, SF Mayor Gavin Newsom had a fairly disappointing first half of the year for fundraising, considering he was the only announced candidate. Running for Governor also allows a substantially higher maximum, so Brown can go back to a lot of his maxed out donors when (if?) he declares for the Governor's race.
Ending Balance - $7,386,669.12
Debts - $0
Brown has been extremely thrifty, with his staff very limited. His wife, Anne Gust, is doing much of the day-to-day work, and Joe Trippi is doing a bit of consulting. But, there just hasn't been much money flowing out of his campaign. If he goes back and double-dips to his other contributions, he'll have even more money. This is a train with a lot of steam now.
Ending Cash - $1,244,919.85
Debts - $334,482.67
In years past, these numbers wouldn't have been terrible. But costs have gone up, and you simply need a lot of money. With the exodus of Eric Jaye and the now unquestioned authority of Garry South, it is a fairly safe assumption that there will be a big push on traditional fundraising methods over new media and grassroots fundraising. Whether Newsom will succeed with such methods is still an open question.