Gavin By the Numbers: He Didn't Lose As Much Dough As You Thought!

Categories: Politics
The Twitterati are dissecting the just-published campaign finance numbers from the carcass of Mayor Gavin Newsom's failed bid for governor. Here's the skinny, per KQED's Capital Notes

CAGov wannabe Gavin Newsom's campaign raised $2.35 million in 2009, spent almost $3.1 million.
While this is true, the math behind a 529-page (!) form 460 filing is more complicated, as you'd expect. Yes, Gavin spent more than he raised. And, yes, he spent boatloads more and raised craploads less than undeclared competitor Jerry Brown (all while Brown was operating under more restrictive campaign contribution limits -- don't forget this). But Newsom isn't $700,000 in the hole. Far from it.

I can't claim to have read all 529 pages, but I do think these are the relevant numbers:

Newsom raised $631,677 -- in monetary and non-monetary contributions -- in the last six months of 2009 and $2,351,420.64 for the entire calendar year. He spent $1,761,003 between January and July of last year and $2,948,843 in the whole calendar year.

But here's where it gets a tad trickier than simple addition and subtraction. First of all, Newsom had $1.2 million in the bank carried over from 2008 -- that's not insubstantial. Second, it appears Newsom's campaign ameliorated some old debts in the last six months of '09, spending $353,551 against only $45,475.60 in unpaid expenses (this is on page 390 -- you can look it up!)

According to the forms, Newsom's campaign sputtered to a close last year with $40,083 in cash and 47,615 in debts. So, unless we've forgotten to carry some numbers here, he's around $7,500 in the red. That's hardly the stuff of dreams, but it's a lot better than being $700,000 down.

Obviously, Brown's numbers represent a far more healthy campaign (or, really, lack of a campaign -- he's hardly spent a cent). Brown's haul in the latter half of '09 was a modest $473,379 -- but he did pull in $3,895,772 for the year. But the aforementioned kicker was Brown's effortlessness -- He pulled in nearly $4 million while spending only $390,869. His war chest stands at $7,737,032 -- with no debt.

And, as noted before, once Brown gets around to actually declaring for governor, his campaign contribution limit quadruples. He can go back to many of the folks who've already ponied up and ask for far, far more.

And, considering the personal wealth of his potential Republican opponents -- he'll need to.

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