At least he admits it when he’s wrong

Republican U.S. Senate primary candidate Tom Campbell announced today that he has raised about $700,000 since switching to this race from the gubernatorial primary about a month ago. “Our fundraising is on fire,” said campaign finance director Kimberley Halcomb.

But it was almost primary rival Chuck DeVore’s pants that were on fire. DeVore campaign spokesman Joshua Trevino sent out an e-mail this afternoon urging reporters to double-check Campbell’s numbers; he said Campbell had fudged a November claim of having surpassed $1 million raised for his gubernatorial bid, given Campbell’s end-of-year report showing only $925,000 raised in 2009.

“We’re not saying his present figure is also false. We’re saying it deserves a bit of skepticism given recent history,” Trevino wrote. “Unfortunately, we can’t take the Campbell campaign’s self-reporting on these things at face value.”

Or, maybe you can. Trevino send a second e-mail 32 minutes after the first:

On the e-mail I just sent out to you — well, there’s no way to sugarcoat it. I was wrong in my line of questioning on Tom Campbell’s self-reported numbers. Turns out he raised approximately 200k in his 2008 exploratory phase. I missed that, and mea culpa.

So ignore the previous, or I suppose you can report it as an error if you like. But I hope a takeaway is that we want to be accurate. We’re not the campaign of demon sheep, after all!

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.