The campaign of Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) put out a statement today questioning the amount of cash that Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) has on hand, saying it cannot be taken at "face value."

Berman beat Sherman in fundraising in the last quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012, but the latest figures show that Sherman still has $4.1 million in cash on hand, while Berman has $2.5 million.

Brandon Hall, a senior adviser to Berman's campaign, pointed out that Sherman incurred $118,885 in debt in the most recent quarter and, according to LAObserved, is raising money for 2014. The effect is to inflate cash on hand with sums Sherman can't even use in this election, Hall said in a statement. He added that Berman has "padded his fundraising numbers by loaning $250,000 to his own campaign."

John Schwada, spokesman for Sherman's campaign, said in an email that only $37,000 of his current cash on hand is for the 2014 campaign, less than 1 percent of the total. "And as far as the loan is concerned, yes, Brad loaned his campaign $250,000 (at zero percent interest it should be noted). Again, no biggie. Brad's just counterbalancing — with his own 'bet' — the $210,000 Berman is getting from a SuperPAC affiliated with Berman."

He also said that the Berman campaign is "dancing around on a hot skillet today trying to avoid the unavoidable: They have outspent the Sherman campaign 2-1 and they have nothing to show for it. The poll numbers haven't budged."

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