Cole Harris’ campaign may be over, but his consultants aren’t finished with him

Republican Cole Harris, a first-time candidate who spent $2.2 million of his own money only to lose his run for lieutenant governor in June, is learning that politics is a tough business.

Recently, someone—apparently a disgruntled consultant—accessed the HarrisforCalifornia.com site and wrote in bold red and black capital letters:

“Cole Harris owes his campaign vendors and employees at least $1.1 million dollars in unpaid bills.”

Harris is a Glendale investor who posts Instagram photos of himself on yachts, planes and exotic cars, drinking French wine and wearing Rolex watches. He placed third in the top-two primary in June, despite vastly outspending most of his opponents and gaining the California Republican Party endorsement.

The campaign site, which has not yet been taken down, includes a link to his latest campaign finance filing, which shows five-and six-figure debts to consultants spread around the state and country.

Harris’ campaign Twitter feed also prominently features a tweet that links to the broadside, and, separately, displays a misogynistic Instagram posting under the candidate’s Twitter handle. The posting has no date, and wasn’t publicly visible on Harris’ Instagram account.

Harris, reached by phone, answered queries about the apparent dispute with a referral to his latest Instagram posting: “Keep throwin bricks at me. I’ll continue to use them to build with. Now, for anyone that wants to understand my side of things and what’s the TRUTH, wait. It’s coming.”

The campaign finance report shows Harris owes one firm, Majority Strategies, $288,000. The firm, which has control of the campaign website, did not comment.

Sacramento strategist Rob Stutzman, who was among those who worked for Harris, said of the web message: “I’m disappointed that someone has taken this tack. I think it’s unprofessional.”

The campaign finance report shows Harris also owes Stutzman $34,000. Stutzman said he’s working with Harris to resolve the bill.

Latest in Blogs

Animal rights advocate Deborah Classen holds a poster featuring rabbits to support a bill that would ban fur from wild animals., at a Capitol hearing July 9, 2019.

Blogs

Fur flies as California moves closer to a statewide ban

Blogs

Introducing a new look for CalMatters

Students are joining teachers in the rain today on the picket line at Marshall High School in Los Angeles, as an LAUSD teachers strike began. Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News

Blogs

If L.A. won’t raises taxes for schools, will Californians vote to overhaul a Proposition 13?

Gov. Gavin Newsom surrounded by legislators at the 2019 State of the State address in the Capitol. Photo by Andrew Nixon, Capital Public Radio

Blogs

Newsom’s biggest budget win? Lawmakers didn’t break his heart

Blogs

A million independent voters risk being irrelevant in California’s presidential primary

Oakland Council member At-Large, Rebecca Kaplan energizes the crowd by sounding the shofar during a pro-rent control rally on Monday, April 23, 2018. That November, a majority of California voters rejected Proposition 10, which would have reduced restrictions on rent control.

Blogs

Poll: To tackle housing crisis, most Californians would limit local control