National parties pump money into 36th

The National Republican Congressional Committee today unveiled a new television ad that targets Democrat Raul Ruiz.

The NRCC’s $600,000 ad buy comes just one day after federally required finance reports revealed Ruiz’s fundraising significantly outpaced Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack’s in the last quarter.

Between July 1 and Sept. 30, Ruiz raised almost $545,000 – a new record for local Democrats — and bested the nearly $387,000 that Bono Mack received.

National Republicans haven’t traditionally had to invest in Bono Mack’s race, where the Palm Springs Republican incumbent has usually maintained a strong fundraising lead.

The national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has spent almost $520,000 on ads in this race to help the emergency room physician from Palm Desert. More than $20,000 of that was in donations that were reported through Ruiz’s campaign.

Roundup from the 36th

I arrived into work today to find my email inbox filled with updates on both Rep. Mary Bono Mack and her Democratic challenger Raul Ruiz.

Curious what the congressional candidates are doing? Here’s the latest:

– Bono Mack, a Palm Springs Republican, is gaining some national media attention. She was profiled in the Washington Post on Monday and then Roll Call published a short interview with her today.

–  That publicity hasn’t stopped Democrats from targeting her. On Monday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee handed out copies of the “Republican House of Scandal” calendar to GOP lawmakers across Washington.

Bono Mack was highlighted in the month of March, after political opponents criticized Bono Mack and her husband — Rep. Connie Mack of Florida, a U.S. Senate candidate — for getting homestead exemptions on both of their homes.

Officials told the Fort Myers News-Press that the couple is legally allowed to file for two exemptions as long as they maintain separate bank accounts, file their taxes separately and confirm neither is on the other’s deed for the property.

“Voters will hold Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack accountable for putting their personal interests ahead of the middle class and seniors and as a result Bono Mack may find herself out of a job next calendar year,” DCCC spokesman Jesse Ferguson said in a statement.

– Speaking of the DCCC, Ruiz is in Washington today for an event that features the “Red to Blue” candidates the party hopes will help them secure control of the House.

Ruiz’s campaign manager confirmed the emergency room physician from Palm Desert was attending today’s event. According to a report in Politico, tickets to the fundraiser start at $250.

The fundraiser has already drawn criticism from the National Republican Congressional Committee.

“Raul Ruiz may have signed up to rubber-stamp Nancy Pelosi’s big-government agenda of reckless spending, but California families have already rejected the failed policies Ruiz is embracing,” NRCC spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said in a statement.

“California voters don’t want a representative who would rather pal around with Pelosi and Democrat special interests in Washington than listen to voters back home.”