Reps. Howard Berman, left, and Brad Sherman during their first candidates' debate in January.

Reps. Howard Berman, left, and Brad Sherman during their first candidates' debate in January. (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times / July 16, 2012)

The weekend brought good news and bad for Rep. Howard Berman, who is gripped in a tough race against fellow Democratic Rep. Brad Shermanfor a San Fernando Valley congressional seat.

The latest campaign finance reports showed Berman has outpaced Sherman in fundraising since the 2012 election cycle began. Berman added some $500,000 to his coffers during the latest reporting period, bringing the total raised to almost $3.5 million. Sherman has reported collecting more than $2.7 million altogether. But, because he had stockpiled funds raised earlier and lent himself $700,000, Sherman has much more money in the bank—more than $3 million, compared with Berman’s $447,000—as the competitors move into the final months before the Nov. 6 election.

The so-called "super-PAC” supporting Berman, the Committee to Elect and Effective Valley Congressman, reported it was down to $7,800 cash on hand and was nearly $48,000 in debt. The group, which is allowed to raise and spend unlimited amounts from donors so long as it does not coordinate its efforts with the candidate’s campaign, spent nearly $600,000 to support Berman during the primary.

Continue reading >>

-- Jean Merl, Los Angeles Times