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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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October 17, 2007 3:53 PM

Reichert numbers a mistake; Burner did better in 3Q

Posted by David Postman

Mike Shields, chief of staff to Congressman Dave Reichert, says he made a mistake in the numbers he gave me last week for Reichert's latest fundraising totals. Shields said he improperly added back into those 3rd quarter totals, money that had to be refunded to donors who had given more than the legal limit.

With those numbers out, Democratic challenger Darcy Burner raised more money than Reichert in recent months and -- as already was the case -- has more money in the bank than the two-term incumbent. Shields said the correct numbers are included in reports filed with the Federal Election Commission this week. That shows Reichert raised $294,888 in the 3rd quarter, for a total of $766,703 so far this year, leaving $339,460 in the bank.

Burner raised $304,901 in the third quarter. She has raised $518,630 so far this year and has $370,228 in the bank.

Shields said in a prepared statement:

"I apologize for the mistake and for any incorrect stories that were written or broadcast because of it. I encourage media outlets to correct the record.

"I certainly did not intend to mislead anyone, especially in the full
knowledge that the numbers are made public by the FEC."

He said the mistake came because the Reichert campaign used a credit card application while raising money for the joint account that took money from a fundraiser headlined by President Bush. That money was supposed to be shared with the state party. Shields said $47,100 was improperly transferred to the Reichert campaign account and had to be refunded to donors.

Shields said he reported the erroneous totals after talking with the campaign's treasurer and fundraiser.

"I misunderstood what they told me, which is entirely my fault, and gave incorrect information to the press. As someone who has worked with the media my entire career, I feel terrible that I made a mistake that led to erroneous stories being written and broadcast and I will ensure that figures are reported accurately in the future."

More to come ...

Shields said that he wishes the campaign had raised more money in the past quarter than it did. He says he doesn't worry that Burner did better than the incumbent, though he said he knows the media will focus on that comparison.

"The fact of the matter is when this is over both sides will have raised a lot of money. You can't concern yourself with those sorts of things. You just have to say, 'We have to raise the money we need to get our message on television next fall."

One of the reasons Reichert shows a smaller amount of cash on hand than many would expect from an incumbent is that the campaign is increasing its fundraising expenses. Shields said more money is being spent on fundraising consultants and direct mail costs, in part, to make up for the more difficult time Reichert has raising money in D.C. now that he is in the minority.

Questions came up about Reichert's report this week thanks to thorough work by Daniel Kirkdorffer. (Somehow, though, horsesass seems to be getting some of the credit for his labors.)

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