In their state controller battle, it looks like Republican Ashley Swearengin and Democrat Betty Yee are basically starting from close to zero in the money department. Or, in Swearengin’s case — below zero.
Campaign finance reports this week show Yee with $84,000 in her campaign account and $18,000 in unpaid bills. So on June 30 — the final day covered by the reports — she actually had a net of around $66,000.
Swearengin is faring even worse.
Fresno’s mayor had around $133,000 in the bank, but almost $260,000 in unpaid bills. That’s a campaign debt of around $125,000.
Both sides have added to the campaign coffers since then. Swearengin has $77,000 of late-contribution reports since June 30, and Yee has a single $50,000 contribution from the state Democratic Party.
But it will take more than that — a lot more — to wage a statewide campaign.
Tim Clark, Swearengin’s campaign consultant, said the debt is largely from the primary election — including around $64,000 in “win” bonuses owed to slate mailers that featured Swearengin.
“It’s a statewide race,” Clark said. “We’re already on track and penciling out our finance plan, and it looks really good.”
One step was a Thursday Swearengin fundraiser hosted by local businessman Richard Spencer at Harris Construction. Around 60 people paid $1,000 per person and up to attend the event.
A fundraiser in Orange County and two in Los Angeles are also coming up, Clark said.