U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis said Monday that his campaign and affiliated political committee “took in more than $3 million” last month, but that may have been a little misleading.
When he made the announcement, partial month records for his committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, showed it had brought in about $1.27 million as of May 31, however those records have since been updated to include another $1.43 million worth of transactions on the last day of the month for a total “haul” of $2.7 million in May.
The source of $1.1 million of that cash was a transfer from Ron DeSantis for Florida, the principal campaign committee for his now-defunct re-election bid for Florida’s 6th Congressional District.
Here’s what his campaign said Monday, in its entirety: “The Ron DeSantis campaign for Governor took in more than $3 Million throughout a successful round of fundraising in May. The total amount was collected between the Friends of Ron DeSantis Political Committee and the campaign. This latest fundraising haul brings the total amount raised to $10.8 Million.”
Lots of candidates twist words when it comes to fundraising, most often by finding euphemistic ways to spin self-funding. This is different. This money wasn’t raised in May. Most of it wasn’t even raised in 2018.
While it’s technically not an untruth to say the money was “collected,” or that the account “took in” $3 million in May, it is certainly misleading. Especially considering the campaign held back half of its May 31 transactions until after it announced its “successful round of fundraising.”
Why the DeSantis team found it necessary to twist words is unclear. As it stands the committee brought in $1.6 million actual new money last month, and assuming there isn’t another trick up their sleeves the campaign is likely to show another $300,000-plus in its own right.
A $1.9 million effort is nothing to sneeze at. Even without the $1.1 million transfer, which indeed spends the same way as other cash, DeSantis is primed to go toe-to-toe with Adam Putnam’s May numbers.
We’ll see what the numbers actually show when the campaign and committee reports are in. Both are due to the state by June 11.