Bachmann campaign questioned over financial reports

WASHINGTON — Federal Election Commission officials have asked Michele Bachmann’s campaign to account for $1.5 million in donations they say should have been itemized but weren’t, as well as three refunded contributions they say don’t match listed donations.

Federal rules require donations above $200 to be listed individually, along with information about the donor. The rule particularly hits Bachmann, because multiple donations under that limit that add up to more must be listed too, and much of her $13 million campaign haul in the 2009/10 cycle came in the form of small, online donations.

Bachmann’s race against Tarryl Clark was the most expensive House race in America last cycle. Her fundraising set records for an incumbent, while Clark’s $4.7 million set a record for a challenger.

“Requests for further information from the FEC are not uncommon and we will respond with the requested details,” Bachmann Chief of Staff Andy Parrish responded in a statement e-mailed to MinnPost. “The campaign had more than 100,000 donors, demonstrating a broad base of support, but also requiring a large record-keeping operation. The campaign will continue to ensure that it acts in full compliance with FEC rules.”

FEC officials gave Bachmann’s campaign until Thursday to officially respond. If the agency finds fault with her campaign, it could pursue further action against Bachmann. Most such actions come in the form of relatively small fines.

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