WASHINGTON — Michele Bachmann’s re-election campaign has purchased airtime to run television on KMSP-TV over the next two weeks.
According to Federal Communications Commission filings, Bachmann’s campaign is spending $14,565 to air 31 30-second spots on Fox 9 between Thursday and May 27. The ads are scheduled to run primarily during news broadcasts, and Democratic sources said the spots appear to be part of a broader $85,000 buy.
A Bachmann spokesman did not immediately return an email asking for comment. We’ll update if he does.
National Journal was the first to find the FCC filings and called it “extremely unusual” for a candidate to begin airing ads this early in an election cycle. At this stage in the game, political organizations will occasionally make tiny ad buys and alert the media of them in the hopes of winning free media coverage for whatever message they’re trying to convey. But Bachmann’s campaign did not announce this ad buy ahead of time. And while a $14,500 ad buy would not be considered especially large in the heat of election season, a 30-commercial ad campaign 18 months ahead of Election Day is unusual.
Bachmann won re-election to her U.S. House seat last fall by 4,300 votes, or 1.2 percent, over businessman Jim Graves, who will challenge her again in 2014 (the Graves campaign was already fundraising off Bachmann’s ad buy on Wednesday evening). Democratic groups like the House Majority PAC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee are expected to target Bachmann next year.
Devin Henry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.