Filner Accuses DeMaio of Strong-Arming Donors

DeMaio's campaign tactics criticized following campaign disclosure results

The first campaign disclosure reports since the June primary revealed a large gap in the money available for San Diego's two mayoral candidates -- and one candidate thinks he may know why.

Mayoral candidate and City Councilman Carl DeMaio has consistently raised much more than his opponent U.S. Rep. Bob Filner.

DeMaio received nearly $97,000 in contributions in June, with a cash balance of $116,000 and outstanding debts of $350,000, the report stated.

Filner's report shows he received just over $29,000 in June with a cash balance of $42,000 and $45,000 in outstanding debt.

On Wednesday, Filner blamed DeMaio's "high pressure shakedown of special interests" for the disparity in funds, accusing DeMaio of threatening potential donors if they didn't donate.

"After a very intense primary campaign, I thought donors and voters deserved a break, at least for a few weeks," Filner said in a written statement.

When asked who DeMaio allegedly threatened, Filner's spokeswoman could not name the individuals for confidentiality reasons. However many do work or have done work with the city, a statement read.

"The people who have come forward have done so in confidence because they are afraid of retribution," Filner said in a written statement. "Many of them have appointments, contracts, projects or other considerations with the city and have felt those considerations threatened in their discussions with the DeMaio campaign about who they will support in this race financially or otherwise."

This would not be possible, DeMaio's campaign manager Ryan Clumpner told NBC 7 San Diego. The campaign does not accept donations from government employees in the City of San Diego he added.

"Throughout Congressman Filner's decades in Washington, he's developed a pattern of blaming others for his failures," Clumpner said. "The reality is Congressman Filner has failed to raise money this entire campaign because the donors have severe doubts about his leadership abilities and have concluded he lacks a positive vision for our city that can unite and inspire people as DeMaio has."

Filner said regardless of the disparity reported Tuesday, he still plans on raising about $1.5 million when all is said and done -- just not immediately after the primary.

"I started making calls after July 1, and when I ask for contributions it's on the basis of a shared vision for the future of our city, not on the basis of a threat if they don't contribute," Filner said.

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