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Bachmann’s presidential campaign still $1 million in debt

HRC gives $250K to defeat marriage amendment; founder launches Best Buy buy-back; help for golden-winged warbler; and more.

Despite raising staggering amounts for her re-election bid, Our Favorite Congresswoman is still having problems with bills from her presidential adventure. Larry Bivins in the St. Cloud Times writes: “Bachmann’s presidential campaign finance report for the second quarter showed a total debt of $935,000 but only $199,000 in available cash.
Others still owed money include Dave Davidson, co-founder of Prezography. The Des Moines, Iowa-based company specializes in ‘art journalism coverage’ of presidential campaigns, using photos, videos and music. Bachmann’s campaign owes Davidson $10,000 for work he said he did beginning about a year ago. But he’s not complaining — at least not yet. … Bachmann’s congressional campaign account had $1.9 million in the bank on July 1. … More than half of Bachmann’s presidential campaign debt is owed to Strategic Fundraising Inc., in St. Paul. After making a payment of $79,669, the campaign committee had an outstanding balance of more than $504,000.” In other words, she needs to raise funds to pay her fundraiser.

At Politico, Maggie Haberman writes about the $1 million donation made by the Human Rights Campaign to four states fighting the so-called gay marriage amendments: “The HRC funds, which are being unveiled Monday, are $250,000 apiece for Maine, Washington, Maryland and Minnesota, all of which have ballot measures in November on gay marriage.  Officials said there will be more spending coming, and that it makes the total spent by HRC in 2011 and 2012 on marriage-related efforts to $4.8 million. … Conservatives have a number of concerns about President Obama, chief among them Obamacare and other policy issues, but one of them was the president’s open support for gay marriage. The Huffington Post reported that Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition will spend $10 million to energize the base and defeat the president. None of the states where the marriage fight is playing out is a battleground (Minnesota, if Tim Pawlenty is on the ballot on the other side, is the exception).”

Best Buy founder Richard Schulze is offering $24 to $26 a share to buy back the company. Patrick Kennedy at the Strib says: “Schulze submitted a written proposal to the Best Buy board of directors Monday to acquire all of the outstanding shares of the company that he does not already own for a price of $24 to $26 per share in cash. The price represents a premium of 36 percent to 47 percent over Best Buy’s closing stock price of $17.64 on Friday. Shares were trading at about $20.24 early in Monday’s session. … Schulze’s offer is not definitive and he will need further approvals. ‘Its the first offer, we will see where it goes from here,’ Colin McGranahan, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. told Bloomberg News. ‘Clearly he’s moved the ball forward pretty aggressively.’ ”

At MPR, Bill Catlin and Tim Nelson say: “Schulze has pledged his $1 billion stake in the company toward the purchase. …Wedbush research analyst Michael Pachter said he thinks Schulze will need a lot more cash. Pachter said he doesn’t think Schulze will be able to borrow the money to take the firm private. He said the company’s cash flow may not hold up. ‘It’s really clear to everybody involved that Best Buy is losing market share to Internet retailers,’ Pachter said. ‘Will they in fact be able to run their business, reinvest in capital?’ … Morningstar stock analyst RJ Hottovy said Schulze likely has lined up financing, but he notes the share price did not rise to the level of the offer. ‘To me that suggests that the market has some skepticism about whether or not Schulze can get the deal done,’ Hottovy said. ‘The fact that this isn’t trading where the offer price is says that there’s still a lot of question marks about whether this deal can ultimately get to the finish line.’ “

The GleanThe golden-winged warbler needs $4.8 million to sing. Says Dennis Lien in the PiPress: “The American Bird Conservancy is seeking $4.8 million from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council to identify and protect breeding areas for the species in Minnesota. The project was one of 32 proposals that made the council’s first cut last week as it figures out how to dole out almost $100 million in Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment dollars next year. ‘This also helps American woodcock and ruffed grouse,’ said Steve Hobbs, Minnesota project director for the Conservation Fund, which would handle real estate dealings involving the project. ‘If you manage for golden-winged warblers, they benefit as well.’ ” I wonder if I could get maybe $50 for preservation of the elusive Lambert Downstairs Shower Songbird?

So, a woman goes over a 30-foot bluff … Mara Gottfried of the PiPress reports: “Rescuers pulled a 21-year-old woman to safety in St. Paul after she fell about 30 feet down a Mississippi River bluff on Sunday, Aug. 5, the fire department said. The woman, identified in a police report as Mary Webb, was listed in good condition at Regions Hospital on Monday. The accident happened in a wooded area, and firefighters had to cut away brush to get the stretcher up the hill. When they did so, they disturbed a bees’ nest ‘and the bees got angry,’ stinging several rescuers, Zaccard said. None required medical attention, he said. Three fire department crews were part of the rescue, which took about two hours.”

She, of course, has a day job … Mark Zdechlik of MPR says GOP Senate candidate Kurt Bills wants a lot more debates: “Bills says he wants DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar to debate 20 times between now and Election Day. So far Klobuchar has agreed to take part in two candidate forums with Bills: one this week at Farmfest in southwestern Minnesota, the other on MPR News at the State Fair. The Klobuchar campaign says it’s considering additional debates in the fall. Bills says he wants 20, but that he would settle for five or 10.” Or, how about if she just provides a recorded voice announcement?

And a Hitler reference, to boot … MinnPost’s Eric Black and Aaron Rupar of City Pages note that David Carlson, challenging Kurt Bills for the GOP nomination, is diving into the deep end of the cesspool. Says Rupar: “Carlson — a 30-year-old former Marine Corps Sergeant and aspiring reality TV star — is challenging fellow Republican Bills in an August 14 primary, with the winner moving on to face Amy Klobuchar for her U.S. Senate seat in November. Bills has the endorsement of the MNGOP, but that hasn’t prevented Carlson from becoming the first candidate to air a TV commercial in the Senate race. The ad absolutely brutalizes Bills, portraying him as a Ron Paul lapdog that possibly would’ve allowed blacks to remain enslaved and Hitler to remain in power. Here’s a transcript … What would America have looked like if we had President Paul and Senator Bills? Well, ‘states’ rights first’ means no Civil War to free the slaves. It means women and minorities aren’t voting. We don’t have integration and open schools. Kurt Bills own school could be all male and white. Ron Paul even stated, ‘Saving the Jews was absolutely none of our business’ and that Adolf Hitler was initially a positive force for Germany!’ ” Stalin and Mao have to be asking themselves what they did to be left out of the fun here in Minnesota.

Paul Walsh in the Strib reports that injured prep hockey player Jack Jablonski has been able to crawl under his own power: “[T]he paralyzed Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School hockey player got on his hands and knees at Courage Center and moved with help from three therapists. ‘That was awesome!’ one of the high schooler’s helpers said as he appeared to move his right leg on his own. ‘Was that me?’ he asked. ‘Yes, that was you,’ came the response. Spokespeople for Courage Center couldn’t comment specifically on Jablonski’s progress in rehab but said that kind of motion is a ‘big deal’ for patients recovering from severe spinal cord injuries.”