Embattled California Democrat's coffers running dry

During the latest three-month period, as the House Ethics Committee issued a severe reprimand of Richardson for pressuring staff to campaign for her, the embattled lawmaker only raked in $6,955.

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But the real writing on the wall, perhaps, came when House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) finally weighed in on the contentious race, donating $2,000 to Hahn, just five days after the Ethics panel took to the House floor to reprimand Richardson.

Through donations like Hoyer’s and former Rep. Lincoln Davis’s (D-Tenn.), Hahn managed to raise a hefty $179,240 between July 1 and the end of September, according to the latest Federal Election Commission financial filings. And the Democratic challenger attributes Richardson’s weak fundraising numbers to her ethics woes.

“This strong fundraising report is a testament to Congresswoman Hahn’s broad-based and enthusiastic support throughout the district,” said Dave Jacobson, a spokesman for Hahn’s campaign, in an e-mailed statement.

“It also confirms that Congresswoman Richardson’s ethics violations, unprecedented reprimand, and offensive actions towards her staff have resulted in a downward spiral of her campaign.”

A spokesman for Richardson’s campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.

In the last quarter, Richardson lent her campaign more money than she has raked in, loaning herself $9,000, and shelling out another $1,500 for ethics-related legal services to the Brand Law Group.

In a race that has become progressively more contentious as it has threatened to divide Democrats between allegiances for either candidate, many of the party’s top leaders, including Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), have remained neutral or absent.

Richardson’s main support on Capitol Hill during her campaign and in the wake of the ethics punishment has come from the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). The group’s chairman, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), told the chamber that, “she regrets the violations and hopes that the reprimand by the House will allow both her and the House to move on to address the great issues facing the nation.”

Hahn, meanwhile, has attracted endorsements from only three of her House colleagues, all from California — Reps. Grace Napolitano, John Garamendi and Jackie Speier — and former Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.), according to Hahn’s office.