The political director for seven-term Rep. Mary Bono Mack, who is running in November to represent the San Gorgonio Pass, said Monday her opponents always benefit from "significant left wing celebrity support."
Marc Troast of the Mary Bono Mack Committee made the comment after Democratic challenger Dr. Raul Ruiz's campaign announced it raised $271,000 in the first quarter of 2012 while incumbent Bono Mack raised $258,000.
"Mary's opponents have always received significant left wing celebrity support," Troast said. "Sean Penn and Nancy Pelosi are more proof of that."
Ruiz's campaign contribution filings with Federal Election Commission include donations of 5,000 from Penn the actor-activist, and $2,000 from Nancy Pelosi for Congress.
The 36th District includes Whitewater, Cabazon, Banning, Beaumont, Cherry Valley and Calimesa. The congressional race will be decided in November.
Ruiz, an emergency physician in Rancho Mirage, raised $271,866 between Jan. 1 and March 31, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
, R-Palm Springs, who is seeking her eighth term representing the Coachella Valley, raised $258,387 during the same time period, according to FEC filings.
Ruiz' campaign in an announcement distributed Monday.
"We did it. Our people-powered contributions beat the special interests and lobbyists. With your help and support, we outraised Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack in the first FEC filing quarter! Because of you, our campaign raised $271,000 to her $258,000.
"In total, we have raised $500,000 from over 1,600 individual contributors," Ruiz' finance director Vivek Kembaiyan said in the announcement.
A pdf map of the is attached to this report.