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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on February 8th, 2012, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 12, Issue 48 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 12, Issue 48

What's up with Abel?

BY KRISTINA SEWELL

U.S. Rep. Lois Capps’ (D-Santa Barbara) campaign committee recently accused Republican Congressional candidate Abel Maldonado of inflating his fundraising totals.

According to a recent press release from Capps’ campaign committee, Maldonado loaned $250,000 to his political campaign on Oct.1, 2011, only to immediately withdraw the loan the following day. Capp’s campaign consultant Bill Carrick said that this isn’t the first time this has happened.

In June of 2011, Maldonado loaned his campaign $250,000 on the last day of the fundraising period. The loan and the combined contributions showed that Maldonado had upwards of $531,400. But the next day, newly filed records showed Maldonado’s campaign repaid the loan.

Brandon Gesicki, a spokesman for the Maldonado campaign, said the money Maldonado is loaning to his campaign is part of the budget and “that is a wise thing to do with our resources.”

Gesicki said that the second $250,000 loan will be repaid soon and that it shows Maldonado’s dedication to the public by using his own money to fund his campaign.

However, members of the Capps campaign claim these explanations don’t make sense.

“It’s a phony game he is engaged in,” Carrick said in a statement.

According to the Federal Election Committee (FEC), which keeps track of campaign funding, Maldonado has reported receipts totaling approximately $300,324 in funds for the last three months. However, records show that a personal loan of $250,000 made up the majority of that total. Reports for the 2011 calendar year show that Maldonado raised approximately $1.2 million, with about $750,000 coming from personal loans.

An FEC representative did confirm that committees are allowed to receive loans from their candidates. However, he wouldn’t speculate whether Maldonado is using those loans to inflate his fundraising totals. 

The upcoming House of Representatives race is sure to draw some attention, thanks to the recently redrawn district, which spans parts of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, with a slice of Ventura County, giving Democrats a slight advantage over Republican candidates.