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One of the big questions that’s been raised to me several times since I started covering the city attorney’s race is just how much money incumbent City Attorney Mike Aguirre has at his disposal.

Rumors abound about how much Aguirre might be worth these days. The former litigator has won some very high-profile class action lawsuits in his time, and he self-financed his 2004 campaign for city attorney to the tune of $500,000. As city attorney, he earns about $200,000 a year.

So, this afternoon I called Aguirre up and asked him, point blank, how much he’s worth.

“Let me just say this,” he said. “There’s more money for the public good than for the special interests.”

That didn’t really tell me much, so I plugged him again. How much cash does he have at his disposal, I asked him. I also mentioned the fact that Aguirre’s nemesis, Council President Scott Peters, is independently wealthy and has the means to finance a robust campaign.

“I will assure you there will be the amount of money that’s needed to defeat the special interests,” Aguirre said. “Scott Peters could put all of his money into the race and it wouldn’t make any difference.”

Aguirre said his campaign will be grassroots. Then he made a comparison I’ve been waiting for.

“Look at Barack Obama,” he said. “That’s a grassroots campaign too.”

I pointed out that Aguirre’s last grassroots campaign was watered with a liberal sprinkling of his own money. Then I tried one last time and asked him how much moolah he has and how much he is willing to spend.

“I’m going to put the full faith and credit of everything I have behind those grassroots,” he said.

Glad that one’s cleared up then.

WILL CARLESS

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