Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota
WOODBURY, Minn. - U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann will report $5.4 million in 3rd quarter fundraising later this week, a figure that smashes records in Minnesota and appears to set a new national mark as well for Congressional candidates.
The official reports aren't due until October 15th, but campaign adviser Andy Parrish confirmed Tuesday night that the $5.4 million figure is accurate. He also confirmed the reports will show the money came from roughly 100,000 donors nationwide.
That's $2 million more than the second-term Republican form Minnesota's 6th District raised in the entire 2007-2008 election cycle, when she hauled in $3.4 million. She had already broken her own campaign record by the end of the 2nd quarter, according to reports submitted to the Federal Election Commission.
As of July 21st, the Bachmann campaign had raised a total of $4.5 million and spent $2.1 million in the 2009-2010 cycle. The $5.4 million covers the months of July, August and September. Her recent fundraising appeals have used Minnesota visits by Joe Biden and Bill Clinton, and one planned by President Obama, to motivate donors to step up their giving.
Bachmann' Democratic opponent, Sen. Tarryl Clark of St. Cloud, has not reported her 3rd quarter fundraising totals yet. As of July 21st, her totals for the 2009-2010 election cycle were $2.4 million raised and $1.6 million spent.
The Clark campaign has had more success raising money than any previous Democrats in the Sixth District, and her staff Tuesday night predicted another record breaking total for a Bachmann opponent, with 44,000 individual donors.
According to the Center For Responsive Politics' campaign finance website Open Secrets, the most expensive Congressional campaign ever was Vernon Buchanan's 2006 run in Florida. He spent $8.1 million to win a seat in Florida's 13th district, including $5 million of his own money. His closest competitor in that race spent $3.2 million.
Mike Dean of Common Cause Minnesota points out that Minnesota's 6th District race would only top spending record if Bachmann were to use all the money. He said federal election law allows her campaign to bank it for a future run for the U.S. Senate in 2012, or to donate it to other candidates for federal office.
The Independence Party candidate, Bob Anderson, took both Bachmann and Clark to task in a recent news release for their campaign spending. Anderson, who won 10 percent of the vote in the 2008 election, said voters should take stock of the fact that he's only raised and spent $5,000 on his campaign.
The Sixth District encompasses a Republican-leaning area stretching from St. Cloud on the west to the Wisconsin border on the east, and taking in several northern and eastern Twin Cities suburbs.
Clark renewed calls Tuesday for Bachmann to debate her head on, after several debates were cancelled because the congresswoman wouldn't commit. Clark wanted to debate earlier in the campaign season, but so far Bachmann has agreed to dates in the closing weeks.
Clark and Anderson appeared at a forum in Stillwater Tuesday night, but Bachmann did not attend.
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