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Cash On Hand figures misleading in County run-off contests

Keith Rodenhuis

In a Total Buzz post Tuesday the Orange County Register’s Elias Groll misinterperates the campaign finance reports of OC Treasurer/Tax Collector candidates claiming that the underdog Shari Freidenrich has a 10-1 fundraising advantage over primary first place finisher Keith Rodenhuis.

What Groll failed to account for are two very important factors; outstanding bills and loans. As of the end of June Freidenrich had more unpaid bills than Rodenhuis, $27,555 to $26, 842. The other factor that boosts Freidenrich’s cash on hand higher, is her $54,000 loan to her campaign vs. The $5,200 loan Rodenhuis made to his campaign.

What these figures really show is that Freidenrich has a greater ability to self fund her campaign; not that she has some fantastic advantage over Rodenhuis. In a County-wide contest, a few thousand dollars doesn’t buy enough mail to make much of a difference. While Rodenhuis will need to pick up the pace a bit, buy no means do these numbers suggest any great advantage for Freidenrich.

Also in Groll’s report was a similar analysis of the 4th District Supervisor contest. Supervisor Shawn Nelson does show significantly more cash on hand compared to Harry Sidhu, $29,736 to $6,252. Nelsons numbers are however inflated once you deduct his $23,103 in unpaid bills. Once you deduct the outstanding invoices from their Cash on hand Nelson has $6,633 to Sidhu’s $3,539.

The big difference between the two candidates is that Nelson has pretty much maxed out in his ability to fund his campaign, having loaned it $183,000. While Sidhu also has an outstanding loan of $185,000, he has significantly more personal wealth and can pour as much money as he needs into the race. In fact, Sidhu was quoted after the primarystating that money is no object in the general election.


  1. Used to Care Says Used to Care Says August 5, 2010

    This all may be true, but Harry will have to spend a significant amount of money to move back into the 4th district, where he has never really lived. All the neighbors in his fleabag apartment complex will tell you he doesn’t live there and has not been seen since the last election.

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