How many more hits can the Wendy Davis campaign withstand? That is the question the state senator from Texas will have to ask herself as she deals with yet another PR disaster.
The official Davis campaign reports released Wednesday revealed the discrepancy:
Instead of $13.1 million in cash on hand as claimed, the reports Davis and her allies filed show there was actually $12.8 million in the bank at the end of June, a difference of about $300,000.
A more detailed report suggests how those numbers became so skewed:
Davis has invited criticism in part because she counts money contained in four separate accounts — her campaign for governor, her old Senate campaign account, a joint fundraising operation and the Democratic turnout operation known as Battleground Texas.
It was the cash-on-hand figure from Battleground Texas that came in lower than advertised. In the press release, the Davis campaign said Battleground would report $1.1 million in the bank. But Battleground told the Ethics Commission it only had $806,000 in the bank.
Battleground Texas also helps out other Democratic candidates, so it can be argued it’s unfair for the Davis campaign to count their funds in the first place.
Her campaign figures from the latest period were enhanced as well:
The $11.2 million that Davis had reported raising included $500,000 in in-kind donations, where a donor offers services instead of money, including $250,000 that was the cash value of a concert that country music legend Willie Nelson performed at a campaign fundraiser.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the ring, Abbott has reported an impressive $35.6 million in cash on hand.
Despite these hard-to-argue with numbers, Battleground Texas just released an email to supporters today bragging about how Davis is “shattering expectations”:
Wendy Davis is keeping pace with Greg Abbott's fundraising, and Leticia Van de Putte outraised Tea Party favorite Dan Patrick, gaining a cash-on-hand advantage as well.
For a dose of reality, here’s a little recap: Wendy Davis’s campaign has thus far featured an exaggerated rags-to-riches story, a spokesman quitting, a staffer mocking her Republican opponent Greg Abbott for being in a wheelchair, fuzzy math - and now more fuzzy math.
Senator Davis, do yourself and all of Texas a favor by throwing in the towel.