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Sunday, October 16, 2011

California Campaign Finance News

Scott Lay reports at Around the Capitol (CA):

Tonight at midnight is the third quarter filing deadline for congressional candidates. As I wrote in Thursday's Nooner, this is an important period for several candidates. It will give an indication of whether some people who are testing the waters are in it to win it, may signal some retirements, and can shine the light on dark horses. This quarter's reports give us a little of each.

Anyway, not all reports are in, but I'm hopping on a plane back to Sacramento after several days in Dallas. I'll update the online version of this message tonight or tomorrow morning and I'll have more analysis in Monday's Nooner.

My quick take:

  • The shocker: Lodi resident and UC Berkeley law student Ricky Gill raised $283,417 for his campaign against Jerry McNerney. He outraised and has more cash on hand than three-term incumbent McNerney.
  • The -ermans: Having the DreamWorks trio headlining your fundraising efforts pays off. Howard Berman reported raising $818,769 compared to Brad Sherman's $151,207. Sherman still has $1.5 million more on hand than Berman's $2.2 million, which should be enough to pay for a website redesign.
  • ...
  • The retirees?: Dennis Cardoza gave the strongest sign that he's retiring, reporting only $23,150 raised and $62,472 cash on hand. David Dreier raised only $37,300, but has $774,464 on hand that he can use if he finds a district, and Jerry Lewis raised $43,750 and has 755,830 on hand.
  • A few weeks ago, The Washington Post profiled Gill and his fundraising prowess:

    Much of that cash came from the Sikh community — where his parents are politically active — but also from small-busi­ness­ owners and residents of all stripes.

    The impressive fundraising got Gill on the National Republican Congressional Committee’s ‘On the Radar’ list, and the party has been attacking McNerney with robocalls and ads.

    Gill is downplaying his party affiliation — no surprise given the district’s Democratic tilt expected to materialize after redistricting.

    The new bipartisan map will make the new 9th district about five points more Democratic — McNerney’s old 11th district was Republican-leaning, and he still survived the 2010 bloodbath. President Obama won the new 9th district by 15 percentage points in 2008.

    Democrats will do everything they can to emphasize the R after Gill’s name.