Republican hopeful Bachmann gets fundraising bump

WASHINGTON Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:51pm EDT

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) speaks during the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana June 17, 2011. REUTERS/Sean Gardner

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) speaks during the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana June 17, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Sean Gardner

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann saw a jump in political donations in May, aided in large part by small contributions as she revs up her fundraising machine for the 2012 Republican nomination.

Bachmann, a conservative Tea Party favorite in the House of Representatives, saw one of her two political committees -- MichelePAC -- bring in about $214,000 in May, compared with $173,000 for April, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission posted on Monday.

The three-term Minnesota congresswoman, who raised more than all of her House colleagues during the 2010 midterm election cycle, declared she would be a presidential candidate last week.

Bachmann, 55, is founder and head of the House Tea Party Caucus. She was one of the first elected officials to court the movement that helped fuel Republican gains in the 2010 midterm elections with calls for spending cuts and reduced government.

As impressive as Bachmann's fundraising has been, she will have a campaign cash rival in Mitt Romney, the billionaire former Massachusetts governor leading in many national polls.

Romney's Free and Strong American political action committee raised $1.9 million in the first quarter of 2011. During his 2008 effort, Romney raised about $107 million.

Of the $214,000 MichelePAC reported in May, about $123,000 came from donations of under $200, according to FEC filings.

Leadership PACs are intended for politicians to back other candidates, not for campaigning. But finance experts say activities that PACs fund -- traveling around the country to political events, for example -- are clearly a boost in running for office.

Another value is developing a list of key donors, which can be purchased by her presidential committee, according to campaign finance expert Anthony Corrado at Colby College.

"That is the bigger value to her," Corrado said. "It is a way of getting started without officially getting started."

While many Republicans are sticking to economic issues, Bachmann unabashedly embraces her social conservatism. Bachmann is a fervent opponent of abortion and has said that gay marriage could lead to polygamy and "group marriage."

Bachmann also raises funds through her congressional committee, pulling in $1.7 million in the first quarter. She will likely now turn even more of her focus to that committee, as those funds can be used for her presidential run.

The first snapshot of the candidates' official presidential campaign committees will come early in July, when second quarter figures become available.

(Additional reporting by Todd Melby; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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Comments (2)
fromthecenter wrote:
Who in their right mind would throw money in this knuckleheads corner? Oh, nevermind I answered my own question.

Jun 21, 2011 3:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
breezinthru wrote:
I think it’s great that Bachmann is running for president. Many Americans are unaware of the dichotomy that she represents in the Tea Party.

She rightly opposed the massive bailout of the financial community a few years ago. Those failed banks should have been allowed to fail however severe the consequences. That position and other similar conservative positions regarding financial matters are the primary driving force behind the Tea Party.

However, she also epitomizes an extreme right wing Tea Party position regarding Christianity that strongly advocates a Sodom and Gomorra view of homosexuality, attempts to impose Creationist teachings in science classes, and impose prayer to her Christian God in schools.

Her candidacy will now cast a brighter light on that aspect of the Tea Party. That archaic belief system should either be officially confronted by the Tea Party or officially adopted by it.

America needs to know exactly where the Tea Party stands on these issues.

Jun 22, 2011 8:55am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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