Thursday, August 1, 2013 – 09:30 a.m.

Campaign finance limits are having a definite impact on San Bernardino County officeholders.

The newly-imposed limits, effective January 1, 2013, cap contributions from a single donor source at $4,200 for each primary and general election cycle.

The following is a summary of activity for each county elected official or the six-month period ending June 30, 2013.

Officeholder                     Money Received  Cash-On-Hand   Debt        
Supervisor Robert Lovingood      $  38,650.00    $  20,831.41   $ 130,604.18
Supervisor Janice Rutherford     $  74,770.00    $ 248,562.23   $       0.00
Supervisor James Ramos           $  97,799.00    $ 113,577.99   $ 180,000.00
Supervisor Gary Ovitt            $  68,950.00    $ 112,554.22   $   1,351.14
Supervisor Josie Gonzales        $  20,500.00    $ 775,983.37   $       0.00
Sheriff-Coroner John McMahon     $  68,454.96    $  80,008.28   $   7,049.63
District Attorney Michael Ramos  $     600.00    $ 152,055.41   $       0.00
Auditor-Controller Larry Walker  $       0.00    $   7,164.00   $  70,217.03
Assessor-Recorder Dennis Draeger $       0.00    $       0.00   $       0.00
**Source: FPPC Form 460 for the period 01/01/13 - 06/30/13

I don’t believe I’ve ever collectively seen balances this low, and campaign debt this high.

Last year, county supervisors, in a drunken positive press chasing frenzy decided to pass campaign finance limits on themselves and countywide elected officers. What a mistake! The move capped their own ability to raise funds, while simultaneously handing over power to independent expenditure political action commttees.

Committees that can either help them or hurt them.

With the exception of Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales, any of these individuals is suceptible to challenge.

Sources say Assessor-Recorder Dennis Draeger may have retirement on his mind, while Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector Larry Walker blew what money he had in the bank on a questionable run for the State Assembly earlier this year.

On a side note: Appointed Sheriff-Coroner John McMahon received $20,000 of his small war-chest from the Safety Employees’ Benefit Association (SEBA), late last year. It’s interesting because McMahon’s an appointed, not elected, incumbent not previsouly endorsed by the union. Even District Attorney Mike Ramos reported receiving $40,000 from SEBA last year. Maybe the union wanted to give Ramos some spending money, $10,000 of which, went to Orange County-based political advisor Dave Ellis, in a non-election year.

Maybe Ramos is paying Ellis to recruit a candidate against Fourth District Supervisor Gary Ovitt.