In Wake of Unpleasant Poll, Kamala Harris Trumpets Fund-Raising Totals

Categories: Politics
Kamala Harris.jpg
'One million dollars!'
According to a press release Attorney General candidate Kamala Harris fired off about an hour ago, her campaign raised more than a million bucks in the last half of 2009. But according to a poll leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle -- she'll need it.

The J. Moore Methods survey showed undeclared AG candidate Jackie Speier -- currently a Peninsula Congresswoman -- outpolling San Francisco District Attorney Harris in the race by a tally of 23 percent to 5 percent. Speier also has much more name recognition downstate than Harris.

The Harris press release, fired off in the wake of this poll and its accompanying Chron story, is as notable for what it says as what it does not. It notes that Harris was the only AG candidate to amass more than $1 million in consecutive filing periods, which brings the "total raised for the AG campaign to $2.3 million." Nowhere on this release, however, does it indicate how much money Harris has spent nor how much cash she now has on hand. Our calls to Harris' campaign manager, Brian Brokaw, have not yet been returned.

Eric Jaye, a campaign consultant for one of Harris' competitors, Alberto Torrico, called the Harris press release "cleverly worded."

"A million bucks in a whole six months? I guess that's good news for us," he said. Jaye declined to disclose Torrico's fund-raising or cash-on-hand numbers, noting that those reports will be available at the end of the week. He did note that Torrico's fund-raising has been "competitive," and claimed that his candidate has been running a more "efficient" campaign and spending less than Harris.

It should be noted that Torrico polled Mike Gravel-type numbers in the Jackie Speier survey, charting barely a percent or two. But, in a laudable act of political chutzpah, Jaye spun these poll numbers as a big boon for his client.

"What I think is interesting -- and what Jackie's folks didn't emphasize for their own purposes -- is that the undecided rate is 62 percent," he said. "I take that as good news. You have two candidates being tested with the same profile -- very liberal Bay Area women. Two chances to choose a candidate that has that profile. And almost a supermajority of voters said no to that profile. That leaves a great, big opening for Alberto Torrico."

Update, 12 p.m.: Harris' campaign manager, Brian Brokaw, called back. He said this morning's press release was pre-planned and not a response to the Jackie Speier poll reported in the Chronicle.

Like Jaye, he declined to reveal his client's cash-on-hand and spending totals, noting that those numbers will become public later this week. But he did acknowledge that, yes, money has been spent, and plenty of it.

"No doubt, to run a statewide campaign and to build a network of support like we've built ... requires investments and putting together a campaign. Kamala has an incredible support  network in Southern California and until she began running a statewide campaign she was unknown."

Brokaw noted that "unlike some of our opponents who are in the state legislature" -- ahem -- "we haven't transferred money from past legislative accounts into our race. We'll absolutely be competitive in cash-on-hand."

Brokaw declined to discuss the Jackie Speier poll, preferring to focus on fund-raising prowess as the true predictor of future electoral success. Naturally.  

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