Feinstein’s foe is in the red, FEC report shows

No surprise, but U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein once again has far outstripped her opponent in campaign fundraising, according to reports filed yesterday with the Federal Election Commission for July 1 through Sept. 30.

Feinstein, D-Calif., raised $924,768 and spent $494,884 in the third quarter of 2012, and had $3,328,842 cash on hand as of Sept. 30 with $331,924 in outstanding debts and obligations, leaving $2,996,919 unencumbered.

Republican challenger Elizabeth Emken of Danville raised $324,259 and spent $250,546 during the third quarter, and had $99,423 cash on hand as of Sept. 30 – but she also had $309,579 in outstanding debts and obligations, potentially leaving her in the red if she can’t raise a lot in these final weeks. Unless I’m reading it wrong, that outstanding debt does not include the $200,000 she personally loaned her own campaign earlier this year, because the campaign already has repaid her.


Your political singalong: ‘Akin Breakin’ Heart’

(To the tune of “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray “Father of Miley” Cyrus:)

Go and tell Missouri, and tell Governor Romney
I’m not droppin’ out of this campaign
And tell Claire McCaskill, that Democratic rascal
She’d better not be popping that champagne

I was asked about abortion, so I served up a portion
Of knowledge ‘bout “legitimate rape”
I took a lot of heat from the liberal elite
I wish the Dems would stop airing that tape.

But don’t tell my heart, my Akin breakin’ heart
That I look like a political clown
‘cause I know in my heart, my Akin breakin’ heart
Them woman parts can “shut that whole thing down.”

You can tell John Cornyn he really shouldn’t horn in,
On Show-Me State concerns he shouldn’t scold
And you can tell Scott Brown, way up in Boston-town
At least I never was a centerfold

Oh, tell all your doctors, your uptight Barbara Boxers
I learned the birds’n’bees from my gran’pa
But now they’re using me to judge the GOP
I guess I won’t be welcome in Tampa.

From St. Lou to Kansas City, I’m not getting much pity
Rasmussen shows I’m now 10 points behind
But about a woman’s body, my knowledge ain’t so shoddy
So you can tell ‘em all I’ve not resigned.

And don’t tell my heart, my Akin breakin’ heart
That I look like a political clown
‘cause I know in my heart, my Akin breakin’ heart
Them woman parts can “shut that whole thing down.”


No fundraising boom for Emken’s Senate campaign

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Emken’s success in the June 5 primary didn’t translate into a big fundraising boom for her, her latest report to the Federal Election Commission shows.

Elizabeth EmkenEmken, 49, of Danville, bested 22 other candidates to finish second behind U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in the June 5 primary; Feinstein got 49.3 percent of the vote, while Emken got 12.6 percent.

In the period from May 17 through June 30, Emken collected only $53,834 in new contributions, bringing her total in this election cycle so far to $182,927. Worse yet, she had only $26,754 cash on hand as of June 30, with $260,546 in outstanding debts and obligations.

Feinstein hasn’t filed(see update below) her May 17-June 30 report yet, but her previous report showed she raised almost four times more from April 1 through May 16 – $706,419 – than Emken has in this whole cycle.

“We knew this was going to be a financial challenge — in fact, I don’t know anyone who thought otherwise — but that snapshot has been taken and the picture is looking brighter,” Emken spokesman Mark Standriff said today. “In just the past few days, the Emken campaign brought on Ron Nehring as senior strategist and Anne Hyde Dunsmore, one of California’s most successful fundraisers, as our finance director. It’s still going to be an uphill struggle, but we’re picking up steam at the right time.”

Nehring is the California Republican Party’s former chairman.

Nobody expects the National Republican Senatorial Committee will sink much, if any, money into Emken’s campaign; Feinstein is widely seen as unassailable, and the NRSC will target its money to states where seats are truly up for grabs.

For context, 2006 Republican U.S. Senate nominee Dick Mountjoy raised $18,672 during the similar period from May 16 to June 30, 2006, leaving him with $20,854 cash on hand at the middle of that year. So maybe Emken shouldn’t feel so bad; then again, Feinstein beat Mountjoy 59 percent to 35 percent that November.

UPDATE @ 12:52 P.M.: My bad – Feinstein has filed her FEC report for May 17 through June 30. It shows she raised $575,678 during that time (almost 11 times as much as Emken) and had $3,085,603 cash on hand as of June 30 (115 times as much as Emken) with outstanding debts and obligations of $302,092.


DiFi hosting fundraiser tonight for Senate Dems

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, though her campaign was the victim of a tremendous embezzlement, seems unconcerned enough about her own re-election race that she’s hosting a fundraiser tonight mostly for other Democratic Senate candidates.

The 6:30 p.m. reception and 7 p.m. dinner tonight at her home in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood will benefit the Heartland Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee authorized by Feinstein; U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.; U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; North Dakota U.S. Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp; Nebraska U.S. Senate candidate Bob Kerrey; and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Tester, Heitkamp and Kerry will attend tonight’s dinner.

Tickets for the dinner cost from $15,000 per person to $35,800 per couple. The first $5,000 of each contribution will be allocated evenly between Feinstein’s, Tester’s, Kerrey’s, McCaskill’s and Heitkamp’s campaigns; the next $30,800 of each contribution from a person, and the next $15,000 of each contribution from a multicandidate committee, will go to the DSCC.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee took its shots this morning.

“It’s funny how the road from North Dakota to Washington keeps leading Heitkamp through the hills of San Francisco and Los Angeles,” NRSC spokesman Lance Trover said in a news release. “If North Dakotans want to see who Heidi Heitkamp will stand with in Washington, they don’t need to look any further than to see who she is hobnobbing with in San Francisco.”

Kerrey, who lived and worked in New York City from 2001 to 2010 as a university president, got a similar verbal beatdown.

“Last week, Democrat Bob Kerrey wanted to keep outside money out of Nebraska yet today he’s collecting cash from Dianne Feinstein’s liberal friends in San Francisco,” NRSC spokesman Jahan Wilcox said. “It’s clear liberals in New York and San Francisco know that Bob Kerrey will once again be a loyal vote for their big government agenda of higher taxes and reckless spending.”


Octogenarian Senate candidate scales mountain

Ain’t no mountain high enough for this 83-year-old U.S. Senate candidate and ex-Marine.

True to his promise, Republican candidate Don Krampe of Murrieta last week scaled Mount Whitney — the lower 48’s highest summit — to call attention to his campaign. Mount Whitney rises 14,505 feet; the campsite from which he made his ascent last Wednesday, May 23, is at about 10,000 feet. He returned from the 22-mile hike last Friday, May 25.

It’s safe to say that none of the other 22 candidates challenging U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in next week’s primary went to such great lengths – um, heights.

“We are running a grassroots campaign with a very small budget, this was the best way I could think of to get publicity for our campaign,” said Krampe. “The people in Washington are irresponsible with the taxpayers’ money and are in the pockets of lobbyists. When I get there, I will not sell out to special interest groups. My plan is to spend just one term in office and then come back home.”

Krampe said his priorities are balancing the budget, removing burdens on small businesses and securing the border.

And he said that although he’s in fine shape, the hike would’ve been more fun at age 40 or 50. Only Krampe and one other Senate candidate — Atherton Republican Greg Conlon, 79 — are older than Feinstein, 78.


Ex-Marine to climb Mt. Whitney for Senate bid

Some have likened waging a campaign against U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein to scaling a mountain, but one of her 23 challengers this year has chosen to take that literally.

Donald KrampeDonald Krampe, a Republican from Murrieta, plans to climb Mt. Whitney – the lower 48’s highest summit – next week in order to call attention to his campaign.

And that’s no small feat for most people, much less for an 83-year-old like Krampe.

“The climb is on – I’m leaving here on the 22nd for Lone Pine and will start the climb on the 23rd,” Krampe said Friday, noting he’ll bear a banner noting his campaign website, the mountain’s elevation, and the slogan, “Don Krampe tops summit and stomps D. Feinstein’s TV blitz.”

“I’m just doing what I was taught in the Marine Corps,” said the veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars – thinking outside the box when faced with daunting odds. “I needed to do something to get some kind of name recognition because I don’t have the kind of money to throw into TV ads.”

For the sake of Bay Area voters – of whom he used to be one, while working for the Mt. Diablo YMCA and later for the U.S. Treasury in San Francisco – Krampe notes that Mt. Diablo rises 3,864 feet above sea level while Mt. Whitney’s latest measure is 14,505 feet. (However, the campsite from which he’ll make his ascent is at about 10,000 feet.)

Other numbers to consider: Only Krampe and one other Senate candidate are older than Feinstein, 78; the other is Atherton Republican Greg Conlon, 79.

“I have to tell you that’s one of the cleverest things I’ve ever seen,” admitted Bill Carrick, Feinstein’s campaign consultant. “If he’s in good enough shape to do it, that’s fabulous.”

Mt. Whitney“Having done Mt. Whitney myself, I know it’s gorgeous, beautiful and very tough, particularly when you get up at the higher elevations, it’s very steep. I hope he has a good group of people going with him and they’re well-prepared.”

Krampe offered assurances that he’s in good shape and has had a pre-emptive medical checkup: “Everything is A-OK.”

Krampe said he’s running for the Senate because most people he talks to are fed up with Washington’s acrimony and special interests, and Feinstein isn’t doing enough to create jobs and grow the economy.

His website says he would seek federal funding for improvements to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach so they can process more freight, and develop a plan for local governments to host job fairs. He wants to get U.S. troops out of Afghanistan as soon as possible, and reallocate money from the war to domestic priorities such as highways, education and enforcement of laws against illegal immigration; on the latter issue, he says he favors a path to citizenship for those already here but opposes giving college grants to children of illegal immigrants.