The 2012 race for the 36th Congressional District is only one week away, but the competition for campaign money and the public’s perception of the candidates— Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack and her Democratic challenger, Dr. Raul Ruiz — are already intense.
The results of the fundraising from January through the middle of October were released in the past week.
Bono Mack raised more than $1.6 million through Sept. 30 and another 90,000 in the next two weeks. As of Oct. 17, she had almost $600,000 in available cash.
Ruiz had raised nearly $1.2 million, about 75 percent of Bono Mack’s contributions. At the end of September, he had nearly $732,000 in cash. While he collected almost $140,000 in the next two weeks, his cash balance as of Oct. 17 was $365,000, about half of his balance two weeks earlier.
Forms identifying contributions continue to be filed with the Federal Election Commission. On Monday, Oct. 29, Bono Mack reported the receipt of $4,500 over the weekend.
Through the middle of October, the two candidates have spent more than $2.8 million on the election. But candidates are not the only spenders in many races and the 36th District is no exception. Independent expenditure committees only increase this amount.
In the week from Oct. 23 through Monday, Oct. 29, political action committees (independent expenditure committees) of all persuasions invested nearly $1.4 million on the Bono Mack and Ruiz campaign.
For example, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the House Majority PAC spent nearly $530,000 in television and media buys opposing Bono Mack. In total, nearly $700,000 was expended. Only $54,000 was spent supporting her.
Of course, independent expenditure committees oppose Ruiz too. The National Republican Congressional Committee and the American Unity PAC spent nearly $565,000 in anti-Ruiz efforts. He did receive $52,700 worth of support from other IECs.
The majority of Ruiz’s contributions come from individuals, including some from Idyllwild. But he has received more than $300,000 from political committees, of which nearly two-thirds are based in Washington, D.C., and one-sixth from California committees.
Bono Mack has received nearly $900,000 in individual contributions and $960,000 from political committees. Less than half of her committee contributions originate in Washington and about a seventh are from California groups.
In 2010, when her opponent was Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, Bono Mack spent $2.4 million on her re-election and Pougnet spent $1.8 million during the campaign.
Ruiz, the Democratic choice to face Bono Mack in 2012, will be the seventh consecutive different Democrat to attempt to unseat the incumbent.