Simon Campaign Short on Cash

GOP candidate for governor Bill Simon has dipped into his own pocket to enable his cash-strapped campaign to pay for pricey television ads to battle Democratic Gov. Gray Davis in the final 12 days of the campaign.

Simon lent his campaign $1.25 million from his personal pocketbook Wednesday, bringing to $10.25 million the amount he has provided in loans for his election bid. Originally, campaign officials said Simon would contribute around $2 million, but Wednesday they hinted the amount could be lower.

Davis, meanwhile, had $12 million on hand as of Oct. 19 for the closing days of his re-election bid — 10 times as much as Simon, according to campaign reports submitted Thursday.

Davis has raised a record-breaking $67 million for his effort to win a second term. And new reports show he has spent $51 million this year, largely on a sustained statewide television campaign attacking Simon and defending his record in the face of low popularity marks.

Simon's campaign, in contrast, has suffered several high-profile stumbles and he has been unable to draw the donations needed to match Davis' mammoth campaign treasury. Simon reported having $1.2 million in cash available Oct. 19, about enough for a weeklong statewide television advertising buy.

Simon's campaign aides early on said they expected to spend $60 million on his challenge, but current records show he has spent half that.