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Eleven former presidential candidates carry more debt than Bachmann

REUTERS/Joe Skipper
Rep. Michele Bachmann should have no problem paying down the rest of her debt: As of March 31, her congressional campaign had $1.8 million in bank.

WASHINGTON — A staple of the last year’s worth of quarterly congressional fundraising recaps has been a look at Rep. Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign debt and the degree to which it has been paid down.

Presidential campaign debt is neither new nor controversial — many campaigns drive up at least a little bit of debt before they come to an end. At last check, in April, Bachmann for President still owed vendors more than $100,000, down from the $1 million in debt it carried when it closed shop in January 2012.

To put that number in context, take a look at today’s report from the Center for Public Integrity, which found 11 former presidential candidates (including the incumbent) with more debt than Bachmann.

Topping the list: Newt Gingrich ($4.6 million), a Democrat named Lyndon LaRouche ($3.2 million, much of it from a 1984 campaign) and the president himself, Barack Obama ($3.1 million).

Here’s CPI’s Bachmann explainer:

Days after Bachmann quit the presidential race after the January 2012 Iowa caucuses, her campaign reported being more than $1 million in debt with less than $166,000 in available cash. In the 15 months since, Bachmann has been able to whittle her debt down to less than $128,000, as of March 31. “That said, we are in communication with our venders and are working to pay the residual remaining balance off in the near future,” Bachmann for President finance chairman James L. Pollack said. Nahigian Strategies in Alexandria, Va., is owed more than half that amount for campaign management services. And Bachmann owes more than $6,200 to law and lobbying firm Patton Boggs for legal services. Smaller, stranger debts include $688 to a golf cart supplier in Omaha, Neb., and $47 to a general store in West Des Moines, Iowa. Bachmann’s campaign committee has found itself particularly crosswise with the golf cart rental set, as one Iowa-based supplier sued Bachmann — and won — after her campaign allegedly damaged several contracted vehicles, then failed to pay the bill. Bachmann ultimately paid up.

Since candidates can transfer funds between congressional and presidential campaigns, Bachmann should have no problem paying down the rest of her debt: As of March 31, her congressional campaign had $1.8 million in bank.

Devin Henry can be reached at

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Logan Foreman on 05/02/2013 - 04:46 pm.

    So what

    She was an earlier quitter/loser. Better topic – the disgrace of money in politics which allows her to be elected to anything.

  2. Submitted by Jed Covington on 05/11/2013 - 07:47 am.

    Lyndon LaRouche is NOT a Democrat

    For the sake of all that is good and holy PLEASE do not call Lyndon LaRouche a Democrat. The His thinking is as far from their ideology as a Tea Partier is from a college degree. He is one time Marxist born again crypto-fascist with a healthy dose of antisemitism thrown in for good measure The Democratic National Committee has never recognized LaRouche as a member of their party and has made several statements designed to ensure people (especially journalists) know this. I would appreciate it if this newspaper does not make this same mistake again. en wikipedia org wiki Lyndon LaRouche U.S. Presidential_campaigns

  3. Submitted by Gus Scott on 05/11/2013 - 05:26 pm.

    I agree

    Calling Lyndon LaRouche a Democrat is the same thing as calling David Duke a Republican. This should be corrected immediately.

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