According to the latest FEC filings, Suzan DelBene dumped over $1 million of her own money into her 1st Congressional District race during the April-June quarter, while the mysterious Super PAC mailing anti-DelBene flyers turns out to be entirely funded by Laura Ruderman's mother, Margaret Rothschild.
"I grew very frustrated that a candidate could self fund a campaign for Congress and knew that my daughter did not have the means to do that," Rothschild said in statement released Sunday afternoon. "I love my daughter very much and I think she would make a great Congresswoman."
For its part, the DelBene campaign is outraged. Outraged, I tell you! At least according to a fundraising email sent out last night:
That’s right our primary opponent’s mother has dumped well over $100,000 in these Karl Rove-style SuperPAC launched by close friends and supporters of Ruderman, all to try to tear down Suzan as her campaign gains momentum. It is shameful. Shady attack groups collecting unlimited donations with minimal disclosure requirements — a result of the partisan Citizens United Supreme Court decision — should have no place in our election.
"Well over $100,000!" Heaven forfend!
Let me just say that it of course beggars belief that Ruderman's mom's "independent expenditure" was truly independent (especially in light of the rumors during the weeks leading up to it that Ruderman was hinting at something big coming in her campaign). But complaints about "unlimited donations" are hard to take seriously coming from a candidate who's only primary advantage is her own personal fortune. If DelBene wants to refute the negative content of the PAC's ads, fine. But a self-funding candidate is the last person to preach about the dangers of money in politics.
To be exact, Rothschild contributed $115,000 through the end of June, though her PAC has already reported spending almost $175,000, so she has likely since put in more. In addition to the $85,314 spent on mailers (a fourth mailing was reported Sunday) the PAC has spent $13,890 on polling and has booked $75,544 in TV ads. That's a lot of money. But it's nothing compared to the $1,001,740 DelBene has put into her own campaign, most of which has been spent on TV.
Apart from her own largesse, DelBene's fundraising proved rather ordinary in the second quarter, amounting to only $132,822 in individual contributions compared to $126,410 by Ruderman and $164,002 by Darcy Burner. Steve Hobbs raised $43,345 and Darshan Rauniyar raised $30,563.