The relentless Wendy Greuel today claimed the early-early fundraising lead in the 2013 mayor's race.

Greuel raised $519,000 in the first six months of the year. That bests Councilwoman Jan Perry, who reported $457,000 and Austin Beutner, who raised $405,000.

The winning candidate will likely have to raise upwards of $6 million, so…

… these numbers don't tell you much, especially with the self-funders in the field. Beutner, for instance, could easily put the entire campaign on his American Express card.

But no matter how meaningless these numbers are, each campaign is working hard to spin them. Here's how each one is doing it:

Greuel: I'm the most frugal! Greuel has every right to crow about her early fundraising lead. But she's also claiming her early advantage in cash-on-hand shows she's the most “frugal” candidate. Put a big asterisk on that, because she could be incurring expenses that will get billed later.

Beutner: I got a late start but I'm closing fast! His folks are saying that since Beutner started six weeks after Greuel and Perry, he is actually the true frontrunner on a per-week basis. “Austin is certainly setting the pace,” said consultant Sean Clegg. OK, fine, but Greuel did raise more money.

Perry: If you count matching funds, I'm actually leading! In a release, Perry added her matching funds to her fundraising total, for a grand total of $660,000. OK, but all the other campaigns could have done the same trick, so that doesn't mean much.

And don't forget radio host Kevin James. He brought in $91,000. His spin: We have more small donations, and $91,000 rounds up to $100,000! James put out a release last week claiming $100,000 in contributions, mostly from small donors. When the report came in today, it was actually $91,000, which only rounds to $100,000 if you are rounding to the nearest $100,000.

Still on the sidelines are Zev Yaroslavsky, Eric Garcetti and Rick Caruso. August is a terrible month to launch new products, so look for them to start making their decisions in September.

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