Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

Meg Whitman, the Republican candidate for governor, said today that her committee has raised more than $6.5 million since her campaign began earlier this year, while her top Democratic rival, Attorney General Jerry Brown, says he's banked a cool $7.3 million.

Whitman boasted that though she was the last Republican candidate to form an exploratory committee, she's ahead of her rivals and also claimed she has attracted contributions from every corner of California.  

The $6.5 million raised by Whitman's team is in addition to the $4 million of her own money that she has pumped into her campaign.

Team Whitman's spin: "This unprecedented outpouring of support for Meg confirms the demand for a new style of leadership that creates jobs, cuts wasteful spending, and effectively manages state government," said former Gov. Pete Wilson, Whitman's campaign chairman. "Meg's appeal reaches far beyond just traditional Republicans. She is attracting new donors and new voters to expand our party at a critical time ."  

Brown told The Bee that his campaign has between $7.3 million and $7.4 million "net" in the bank, has little campaign overhead and very few expenses so far.

Jerry Brown's own spin: "The money comes from a widespread group of donors that include individuals and groups who represent the heart and soul of the Democratic Party,  but also money from independents and Republicans," Brown told Capitol Alert.

Trailing though still successful were the campaigns of Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Poizner's campaign said it's raised $1.2 million, reporting that its June tally was triple May's and included nearly a quarter million dollars raised on the last two days before the June 30 fundraising reporting deadline.

Poizner's organizers said most of his donors gave small amounts involving a hundred dollars each or less, reflecting his success in building grassroots support.

Poizner's campaign also said it has more than $3.5 million cash on hand and "will be fully funded for the spirited campaign ahead."

Team Poizner's spin:  "Our campaign has focused heavily on generating support at the grassroots level from hard-working California voters and these numbers reflect our success in earning that support," Poizner said.  "We will have the funds needed to communicate our message throughout the state, from now to the primary and beyond."

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's campaign said it's raised more than $1.6 million since Jan. 1 from more than 3,600 separate donors.

More than $1 million of that was raised online, the Newsom campaign said.

The Newsom group also touted its success in building "a grassroots effort" and said its $1 million raised online "is a record for California gubernatorial campaigns."

So far, the Newsom has raised to $2.8 million but is seemingly burning cash fast, reporting in its news release that it has just $1.1 million in the bank

Team Newsom's spin: "Today's figures show we're building the support we need to change California and end the status quo in Sacramento. We have used the past six months to organize hundreds of thousands of Californians into our campaign to set a new course for the state. I am deeply grateful to all who have joined this growing grassroots army."


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