But can she afford birth control?
Sandra Fluke is trying desperately to carve political career out of being the face of "millennials who want free stuff," so she's running for California's state Senate. It isn't going well. Despite being the most easily recognizable candidate, Fluke floundered in June's open primary, where she carried just 19.4% of the vote in a turnout described as "embarrassingly low." That was enough to give her a weak second place finish. Unfortunately for her, it was probably not enough to bring substantial donors to the table.
Ms. Fluke is now the single largest contributor to her own Senate campaign.
From the Washington Examiner:
Fluke donated $12,000 to her campaign and $4,826.27 in non-monetary contributions. While $16,826.27 may not sound like a lot, Fluke also loaned her campaign $100,000.
Where does a 2012 law school grad working as a social justice attorney get a loan that size? Her campaign never responded to a Washington Examiner inquiry, so we’re left to speculate.
Perhaps the loan was in part secured by the family of Fluke’s husband, Adam Mutterperl. In 2012, Fluke married Mutterperl, an amateur stand-up comic and son of big-time Democratic donor William Mutterperl.
This is not a good sign. It could be an indicator that external support is less than stellar and, combined with Fluke's poor performance in the primaries, could portend trouble in the general election.
Also troubling? It looks like her family is propping up the numbers in order to keep up appearances....
As a family, the Mutterperls have given Fluke $20,500. Fluke’s own family has donated $9,600 to her campaign (her mother gave one donation as Betty and one as Elizabeth).
In total, Fluke has raised $416,185.28, according to disclosure forms. With one-third of that total coming from her family, it appears the campaign is trying to pump up its donation totals to appear stronger than it actually is.
Now, a family donating to a campaign is not surprising or unusual but the percentage of overall funds coming from Fluke's inner circle should raise red flags.
Currently, Fluke's campaign has raised more cash than Ben Allen, but Allen may still still be in a stronger position. First of all, he's considered a potent candidate with deepconnections in the district. He's given his campaign a $50,000 loan, and his parents have each donated $4,100. If you remove his family and his loan from the equation, he's raised $330,141 - slightly more than Fluke, who stands at $278,859.
And according to the Associated Press, the Examiner's numbers represent a "rosy" estimate. In reality, things are probably a bit worse:
“Allen has raised at least $443,388, including more than $50,000 from his law firm, Richardson & Patel LLP, while Fluke has raised about $500,000, including $175,000 from her own loans and contributions, according to campaign finance reports."
That would mean that Allen has funded just over 10% of his campaign, while Fluke is footing the bill to the tune of about 35%.
That's bad news for a campaign, but it's great news for someone who - just a few years ago - was claiming that $15 a month for birth control was a bridge too far....