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Not that they are getting (or expect) much sympathy from those watching their home values and retirement savings sink with the rest of the economy, local political consultants say the last couple of months have been tough sledding for campaign fundraising.

The financial crisis has caused a drop in attendance at fundraising events, forced candidates to do more of their own “dialing for dollars” and limited television ad buys.

“I don’t know if I have ever seen a fundraising period that has been this tough,” said Jennifer Tierney, a consultant for Democratic City Council candidates Todd Gloria and Sherri Lightner.

Tierney said her candidates have had to spend more time making personal pleas for money, and the money is coming in later than normal — “which puts us in a cash flow crunch.”

It hasn’t been much easier for Republicans. Janette Littler, campaign manager for city attorney candidate Jan Goldsmith, said the campaign is struggling to come up with money for television ads.

“If we don’t raise enough money, we can’t go on TV,” Littler said. “Our opponent has said he will be on TV, and we take him at his word.”

Goldsmith’s opponent, City Attorney Mike Aguirre, whose fundraising comes primarily from his own bank account, quipped that the financial meltdown has not damaged his fundraising.

“I’ve never been able to raise money — and I still can’t,” Aguirre said. “So there has been no effect.”

DAVID WASHBURN

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