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The games candidates play

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Saturday was the deadline for candidates for federal offices to file campaign fundraising reports for the third quarter. Candidates for Congress often tout these reports to show off their fundraising prowress, to create buzz about their campaigns and scare off potential opponents. As a consequence, they try to make them seem as impressive as possible.

They go to great lengths to do so, and Exhibit A is the campaign of former state Sen. Abel Maldonado of Santa Maria, running as a Republican challenging incumbent Democrat Lois Capps of Santa Barbara in the new 24th Congressional District, which includes a small sliver of Ventura County, consisting of Ventura residents who live near the coast west of Seaward Avenue.

Maldonado reported cash on hand as of Sept. 30 of $603,769. But that total includes an on-again, off-again, on-again loan to himself of a quarter-million dollars. The money has been shuffled in and out of his campaign account to coincide with the reporting periods. On June 30, the final day of the second quarter, Maldonado made the $250,000 loan to the campaign. On July 1, the first day of third quarter, his campaign paid him back. Then on Sept. 30, the final day of the third quarter, a new quarter-million dollar loan was deposited in his campaign account.

We won't know until the middle of January what happened on Oct. 1.

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95 percent accurate
Over the last 25 presidential elections, Ventura County voters have backed the winner 24 times, or over 95 percent of the time. It is one of only a handful of counties in the nation that has been such a predictable bellwether.
about Timm Herdt
Timm Herdt
The Ventura County Star's Sacramento Bureau Chief Timm Herdt on state issues and politics from Sacramento to Ventura County. He can be contacted at therdt@vcstar.com