Jon Bowerbank has out-raised all of his competition for Lieutenant Governor, and by a long shot—$500k to Jody Wagner’s $400k! Sweet Jesus! That’s amazing! It sounds like everybody should just drop out of the race.
What’s that now? He what? He gave himself that money? Well, that can’t be true. Check out the press release from his campaign:
Bowerbank Dominates Democratic LG Race in Total Money Received, Cash on Hand
Brings In Over $100,000 More Than Closest Opponent, Out-raises Incumbent Republican
Alexandria, VA – The campaign of Lieutenant Governor candidate Jon Bowerbank today announced that it has received more than $494,000 during the first quarter reporting period, leading his nearest competitor by over $100,000. Bowerbank also has more than $431,000 cash on hand, more than any other Democratic lieutenant governor candidate in the race.
“The numbers from this reporting period show Jon emerging as the leader in this three-way race,” Bowerbank campaign manager Jon Paul Lupo said. “He leads in money received, cash on hand, and campaign organization. The campaign collected the most petition signatures of any statewide candidate, our staff and volunteers placed thousands more signs than our closest competitors at Shad Planking in Wakefield this week, and Jon’s message of developing a new energy economy in Virginia is catching on with voters. And Jon will be able to spread that message throughout the Commonwealth better than any other candidate in the campaign. It is clear that Jon Bowerbank is the best candidate to beat Bill Bolling in November.”
See, there’s not a word in there about Jon Bowerbank moving money from one pocket to another. And that seems like the sort of thing that you’d call up in a press release, because every reporter in the state is familiar with VPAP, so they’re just going to check. Ergo, that can’t be true. Check and mate.
So how much did he really raise? $51,000. Ouch. That’s…woo. That’s pretty bad. And $5,150 of that came from Bowerbank himself? Wow. So he actually raised somewhere around $46,000. That’s…man…some city councilors raised more than that in the past few months.
There’s nothing wrong with candidates substantially funding their own campaigns. (Unless it’s your guy’s opponent doing it. Then it’s evil. Exhibit A: Terry McAuliffe.) But when they use their money as a substitute for actual support, or to provide the appearance of support where there is none, that’s a sign of a fatally flawed campaign. In 2001 Mark Warner pumped millions into his own race, but not until October, and not as a means of feigning support, but to supplement his own already-healthy coffers.
With Bowerbank moving money around and calling it income, I have to wonder what energy company his experience is with. It sounds a lot like Enron to me.