Archive » July 19, 2012
Money race: Capps’s edge over Maldonado
By Jeremy Foster, Staff Writer
The most recent fundraising reports show that Lois Capps has outpaced her opponent in the money race for the 24th Congressional District, boasting a campaign war chest that nearly doubles that of her Republican challenger Abel Maldonado.
For the second quarter of 2012, Capps, D-Santa Barbara, collected $577,531, while Maldonado raised $359,456. Capps has spent nearly $1.2 million on her campaign so far, leaving her reelection bid with $1.3 million on hand.
Maldonado, who defeated tea party favorite Chris Mitchum in the June primary election, spent $369,705 and has just over $500,000 on hand, according to campaign fundraising reports.
Capps has seized upon $15,000 Maldonado loaned his campaign, claiming the financial boost only served to push his fundraising amount past the half-million mark.
“Once again, Abel Maldonado had to loan himself money to hide his poor fundraising,” stated Jeff Millman, spokesman for the campaign to re-elect Capps.
The fundraising news gave Capps’s team another opportunity to point out that Maldonado has been mired in a legal battle with the Internal Revenue Service. The former Lieutenant Governor and his family business, Agro-Jal, is engaged in a dispute over tax deductions with the IRS. In light of Maldonado’s tax troubles, the Capps campaign has challenged him to release his tax returns, because “Central Coast voters don’t know if he has met his obligation to pay his taxes for other years,” Millman stated.
Maldonado’s re-election team released a statement ignoring Capps’s large financial edge and boasting a strong quarter in fundraising: “Every day our coalition of voters who are demanding change is growing,” said campaign spokesman Kurt Bardella. “We are very pleased and grateful for the support Abel is receiving, which is reflected by the amount of contributions we are reporting today.”
The campaign also stayed on message in characterizing Capps as a feckless Washington insider who has done nothing to boost the economy and to reduce the unemployment rate. “This campaign is about the economy and jobs – Abel Maldonado has signed the front of a paycheck, Lois Capps has not,” Bardella added. “Her abysmal record on the economy and creating jobs reflects that.”
The statement was followed a day later by a press release from the National Republican Congressional Committee that contended tax rates on high-income earners would cost more than 700,000 jobs. “As Democrat leaders champion devastating tax hikes in order to grow the government even more, will Lois Capps once again follow their lead?” the release read.
Underscoring the high-stakes nature of the race, the NRCC’s involvement in the race included a $43,000 cable ad that blasted Capps for her support of the Affordable Healthcare Act, or ObamaCare. Capps is running for re-election in a district that saw its 12-point advantage for Democrats narrow to a competitive four-point edge. After edging out his Republican challenger in the June primary, Maldonado told the Journal that he and Mitchum together received more votes than Capps.
Still, Capps’s team interprets the incumbent’s fundraising advantage as a sign of larger support among voters.
“We are very grateful to Lois’ generous supporters who understand that our campaign needs more resources than ever to fight back against the SuperPAC ads already airing in the district,” said Bill Carrick, Capps’s campaign consultant. “With the help of Capps’s energetic grass-roots donors, we will continue building a strong campaign to win in November.”
Capps’s latest fundraising report show she’s received the most money from unions, including $5,000 from International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and $2,500 from American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She also received $5,000 contributions from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the American Federation of Teachers. Maldonado received $5,000 from the National Republican Congressional Committee and several large sums from business owners and ranchers.