LOS ANGELES – California Gov. Gray Davis (search) remains an underdog in the recall election to replace him, but that's not obvious by his campaign's bank account.
Doing slightly better in the polls this week has given Davis a boost in the form of new infusions of campaign dough. Since Monday, the Davis campaign, not bound by state campaign finance laws, has taken in more than $500,000 from 16 donors.
Of that money, $100,000 came from the biotech giant Amgen (search), $75,000 came from a plaintiff's law firm and $60,000 was donated by phone company AT&T.
Much of those donations are bankrolling new TV spots. The ones in English don't show Davis' face or mention his name.
"Newspapers are calling it a circus. Millionaires, local gadflies, political mavericks, even a porn king — all running for governor," one ad says.
But the ad in Spanish makes mention of the embattled candidate.
The translation says, "because fighting for what's fair and just is what Davis is all about."
At a town hall meeting, Davis was pressed again to apologize for what many consider an ethnic slur. Davis joked privately that someone who can't pronounce the name of the state shouldn't become governor and many interpreted it as an attack on Austrian-born Arnold Schwarzenegger (search).
"I didn't say it directly to Arnold Schwarzenegger ... and if anyone took offense, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, I have apologized," Davis said.
Schwarzenegger's camp still says Davis is a goner, but the film star lashed out at the Los Angeles Times, and said California's biggest newspaper is guilty of bias.
"Have you ever seen how many times they've put Davis on the cover and [Lt. Gov. Cruz] Bustamante on the cover, and I'm on page 12 or page 20 or something like that?" he asked Fox News' Bill O'Reilly.
The Los Angeles Times has denied biased coverage of the Oct. 7 recall election.
In an attempt to blast Schwarzenegger’s charge of media bias, the Davis campaign distributed an e-mail that lists 17 front-page stories on Schwarzenegger. Many of them were not flattering.
The paper has openly questioned Schwarzenegger's candidacy. The Schwarzenegger campaign refused to comment on the questions, but said they were glad the governor's staff could count the number of articles about him. They added concern that Davis couldn't count so well during the budget process.
To survive, Davis must rally Democrats and find new converts. He's still working on the base. As for the new believers, the numbers are discouraging. Almost 200,000 Californians have registered to vote since May, fewer than 20,000 did so as Democrats. More than 80,000 registered as Republicans, and 90,000 as independents.
How many of them will be pleased to see the governor campaigning with former President Bill Clinton remains to be seen. Davis and Clinton will appear at a popular Los Angeles A.M.E. church on Sunday to rally against the recall.
Fox News' Adam Housley contributed to this report.