Juggernaut Update Part I: Show Me The Money

Um, Kathy? Whatever happeneed toodaddy’s $10 million?

In March, U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris went on national TV and pledged to spend $10 million of her own money to beat Democrat Bill Nelson in the race for the U.S. Senate.

But with five weeks remaining until the election and the Longboat Key congresswoman way behind in the polls, her campaign now refuses to discuss whether she has spent that much or her fundraising strategy in what many political observers believe is a lost cause.

On Aug. 16, at the end of the last campaign finance reporting period, Harris reported contributing $3.2 million of her own money to the total $8.2 million collected by her campaign, and had $2.2 million on hand. At the end of the same period, Nelson, who didn’t have a primary opponent, reported having $12 million on hand.

The next reporting period ends Saturday, and indications are that she hasn’t put in any more of her own fortune. Federal election laws require candidates to notify their opponents before contributing significant amounts to their own campaigns, and Nelson spokesman Bryan Gulley said there has been no such notification from the Harris campaign.

When questioned by national radio talk show host Sean Hannity about her finances on Friday’s show, Harris said, “I’ve put in all my liquid assets, I have some real estate on the market.”

She didn’t elaborate, and campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Marks this week wouldn’t say how much of her own cash Harris plans to contribute, nor would Marks answer questions about what property the congresswoman plans to sell.


In March, Harris said she planned to spend money she inherited after her father’s death in January on the campaign. Later, she said she would sell off all her assets to pay for it. Lately, though, she has refused to discuss specifics, saying she doesn’t want to tip her hand on campaign strategy.

In July she reported taking back $100,000 from the money she had put toward the campaign, to finish renovating her Washington home so she could sell it for the campaign. Her spokeswoman wouldn’t comment on whether that house will be sold.