Political pros call campaign fund-raising the money primary, and some early returns arrived this week with year-end campaign finance reports for 2009. News reports note that the three leading candidates for governor banked nearly $60 million, with much of it coming from the deep pockets of Republicans Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner. Democrat Jerry Brown is no pauper, but without a primary challenge, he hasn’t had to tap his personal resources yet.

A database compiled by the Sacramento Bee shows where the candidates collected the rest of their money and from whom. It shows Brown as the top fund-raiser in Sonoma County with $46,230 in 2009, followed by Whitman at $28,113 and Poizner at $12,014.

Whitman leads with $3,000 in Mendocino County, where Brown and Poizner raised $100 each. And it’s a dead heat in Lake County, where none of the candidates raised a dime.

Perhaps that speaks to the wisdom of Lake County voters …

— Jim Sweeney