When a candidate is running for a seat in Congress they raise money to fund two different elections: first the primary and, if they make it, the general election.
A single campaign contributor can give a maximum donation of $2,700 toward each one of those elections. And those dollars need to be kept separate, meaning $2,700 given to support the general election in November can’t be spent on fliers to voters ahead of the June 7 primary.
His primary opponent Nanette Barragán, an attorney and former member of the Hermosa Beach City Council, has accused Hall of breaking election law by spending almost $100,000 of general election funds on the primary.
Hall’s campaign reported having $39,182 in cash on hand at the end of the last reporting period in mid May, according to Federal Election Commission records. That means the campaign spent almost all of the $978,983 that it raised from individuals and political committees for both the primary and the general election.
The problem: Of the nearly $1 million raised, about $126,000 was earmarked specifically for the general election, according to FEC records compiled by the nonpartisan California Target Book, which tracks races around the state.
Hall’s campaign admits spending the funds — on general election expenses.
The other problem: Hall’s campaign only specified a single expense of $100 that went toward the general election on its last FEC report. And Hall aides are being mum when asked about what other general election expenses they have racked up so far.
“The classification of some general election expenses as primary expenses is a reporting error, and will be fixed on the next report,” said Mac Zilber, a Hall campaign consultant.