Questions over Dean Andal’s fundraising claim

There’s an article on PolitickerCA.com in which Dean Andal — the Republican former Assemblyman and former Board of Equalization member from Stockton who’s challenging freshman Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton — insists his campaign, beset by reports of lackluster fundraising and a probe into a development deal in which he was a lobbyist, is doing just fine.

“No challenger in the country has raised as much money as we have,” the article quoted Andal as having said yesterday.

Andal had raised $829,184 as of June 30 compared to McNerney’s $2,084,313.

I checked the Cook Political Report’s latest list of competitive House races, jotted down 27 races considered toss-ups, and eliminated nine of those which are open seats. Of the remaining 18 races in which someone’s taking on an incumbent, I found that 11 of those challengers — three Republicans and eight Democrats — had raised more money by June 30 than Andal’s $829,184 (which could have something to do with why Cook moved the McNerney-Andal race from “toss-up” to “lean Democratic” last month).

Richard Temple, a spokesman for Andal’s campaign, said Andal wasn’t correctly quoted. “I believe he is referring to cash on hand. As of the latest campaign finance reports Andal had over $400,000 more cash on hand than other Republican challengers in what the Cook Report deemed to be toss-up races (at mid-year).”

I asked PolitickerCA.com reporter Ben van der Meer about this, and he said Andal “did not mention cash on hand in our conversation at all.”

Temple also said Andal “talks about raising money locally, in his district; probably 80% percent of his money is coming from the district and Jerry McNerney is probably the reverse.” He added that Andal’s fundraising by now has surpassed $1 million, putting him right on target for meeting his goals. In fact, less than an hour after our conversation, Temple’s office issued a news release saying Andal had broken the million-dollar mark and has more than $800,000 cash on hand:

In addition to the area’s traditional donor base, a recent Andal direct mail fundraising appeal generated contributions from hundreds of new local donors.

“We’re bringing new people into the process,” said Andal. “And that’s very gratifying.”

As for who’s raising a higher percentage of his money from within the CA-11, I couldn’t find absolute numbers but it would appear — based on lists of top metro areas and top ZIP codes — that Andal has the edge.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • I’m not surprised at the “inconsistencies.” When running for Lincoln school board, Andal told a group of parents at the district’s school of choice, Don Riggio elementary, that he would vote to eliminate the school’s program. When parents organized an anti-Andal campaign, defending their program in a paid “open letter” in the local newspaper, Andal called the parents “liars,” flip-flopped on changing Riggio’s program, and said his competitor “made up” the comments as a smear tactic. He has refined strategic lying into an art form in order to make his negatives look like they belong to the other guy.