Maldonado inflates campaign war chest
October 19, 2011
Abel Maldonado, seeking to challenge Lois Capps in the 2012 congressional election, is being accused of shifting around campaign funds in order to inflate reported figures. [SacBee]
The former California lieutenant governor, originally from Santa Maria, has dropped big money into his campaign, retrieved it quickly and then dropped it back in again. The rapid cycling of money, timed to fundraising deadlines, could appear like a way to inflate campaign reports and demonstrate political viability.
Seemingly mirroring campaign moves seen last year in a Northern San Joaquin Valley congressional race, Maldonado loaned his House campaign $250,000 on June 30. Coming on the last day of the fundraising period, the loan, combined with contributions, enabled Maldonado to show a respectable $531,401 on hand.
One day later, newly filed records show, Maldonado’s campaign repaid the loan. Because the repayment came after the second-quarter filing period ended, it didn’t have to be reported until mid-October.
Maldonado reprised at least the first part of the maneuver Sept. 30, the last day of the third-quarter fundraising period. Again, he loaned his campaign $250,000. With the loan’s help, he showed having $603,768 on hand.
The campaign fundraising amounts to the preliminary rounds of what could be one of the country’s most closely watched House races. The newly redrawn 24th congressional district, spanning San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties with a sliver of Ventura County, has Democrats claiming a thin 39-to-35 percent voter registration edge over Republicans.
The district currently represented by Capps, by contrast, has Democrats crushing Republicans with a voter registration advantage of 45 percent to 27 percent.