Assemblyman Richard Robinson (D-Garden Grove), one of the county's top money raisers through six Assembly races, has garnered more money in his race for Congress than either Rep. Robert K. Dornan (R-Garden Grove) or fellow Democratic challenger David O. Carter.
According to reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission on Tuesday, Robinson, who is seeking Dornan's 38th Congressional District seat, raised $90,609 in the Jan. 16-March 31 reporting period, about half from political action committees, half from individuals.
During the same period, Dornan said he raised $82,456, $4,000 from political action committees, the rest from individuals. Although no records were available, the congressman reported the figures by phone from Washington Tuesday night as he struggled to complete the forms by midnight.
Carter Close Behind
Meanwhile, Carter, Robinson's opponent in the June 3 Democratic primary, trailed close behind in fund raising. Carter, a Superior Court judge who is walking the district and relying on volunteers in his first bid for partisan office, reported raising $74,026 in the same period, 98% from individuals, many of them local attorneys.
"It's a real horse race," Dornan said. Tuesday's results "give Robinson a fighting start," Dornan said.
Still, he promised that his campaign will take off after May 4 when a dinner featuring Vice President George Bush is expected to raise $200,000 for his campaign.
Robinson and his rivals amassed their campaign contributions despite federal restrictions on fund raising. Although state campaign law does not limit contributions, federal election law limits contributions from an individual to $1,000 and limits contributions from a political action committee to $5,000 per election.
Rosenberg Edges Badham
Elsewhere, in the 40th Congressional District race, a campaign report from Republican challenger Nathan Rosenberg showed him edging Rep. Robert E. Badham (R-Newport Beach) $39,551 to $37,341.
However Badham's cash on hand at the end of the period was $54,804 contrasted with Rosenberg's $18,742. Badham aide Bill Schreiber said the 10-year incumbent could raise much more money if needed.
Of Badham's contributions in the period, all but $5,500 came from political action committees. The veteran congressman has been promised aid from the White House and from Vice President George Bush's political action committee.
Meanwhile, Rosenberg, a management consultant and former Young Republicans president who is bucking the county's Republican leadership, raised all his money from individuals, including about $8,800 from employees and executives of Werner Erhard & Associates, a San Francisco-based firm. Erhard, Rosenberg's brother, founded the consciousness-raising program known as est.
'I Like Raising Money'
Rosenberg, who claims to have raised $1 million over the last few years as a fund-raiser for an Erhard spinoff called the Hunger Project, said he isn't worried about contributions.
"I like raising money," he said Tuesday. "I have two Rolodexes sitting by my desk." Rosenberg said he thumbs through them every day for about two hours, calling friends around the country and asking them to contribute to the campaign.
On the Democratic side of that race, write-in candidate and Democratic Party Chairman Bruce Sumner could not be reached for comment Tuesday about whether he filed a statement.
Meanwhile, Art Hoffmann, a follower of extremist Democrat Lyndon LaRouche, said he did not know that Tuesday was a filing date. But if it was, "I don't have much to file," Hoffmann said.
The candidate said he had not received enough--$5,000--to require filing a report. Besides "I'm more worried about my taxes," Hoffman said.
The reports filed Tuesday offered an early clue to the cost of this year's campaigns and the viability of the candidates.
Still, campaign managers cautioned that any contributions reported Tuesday are just a beginning.
"The first $100,00 is the easiest," said Robinson campaign manager Hope Warschaw. "That's your friends. . . . If you've got 100 friends, you've got $100,000. The next $100,000 to $1 million is the test."
In this first period, Robinson reported raising $90,609 and spending only $4,462, for cash on hand of $86,147. The campaign has paid a few office expenses but neither Warschaw nor Robinson's consultants, Berman D'Agostino Campaigns of Los Angeles, have been paid.
Warschaw said she is hoarding the money for major preelection expenses like mailers. "I'm in it to win," she said. '
By contrast, Carter's campaign raised $74,026 but spent $43,168 on office equipment, T-shirts and campaign consultants, including $15,000 to San Francisco consultant Clint Reilly. By March 31, Carter had $30,858 in cash on hand.