Michele Bachmann leads state’s congressional colleagues in early fundraising

Minnesota’s 6th District Rep. Michele Bachmann, the recipient of extensive national media attention, finished first in fundraising among her colleagues in the state’s congressional delegation, according to first-quarter financial reports.

In addition to her growing national profile, the Republican’s fundraising success likely also stems from concern in some quarters that she could be financially vulnerable in 2010.

Her 2008 opponent, El Tinklenberg, had nearly $453,000 on hand at the end of the election and still has $183,503. Tinklenberg gave away significant chunks of his war chest, returning $250,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and much smaller amounts to Minnesota members’ PACs and election committees.

The political financial measurement that most insiders monitor is the amount raised.

Third District freshman Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen finished second in fundraising, likely in anticipation of another tough race in 2010.

After fundraising, observers look at the amount of cash on hand.

Eighth District Rep. Jim Oberstar and 7th District Rep. Collin Peterson reported the biggest cash-on-hand balances. But as the chairs of key House committees, the two Democrats are the least likely to need them. Oberstar heads the House Transportation Committee, and Peterson leads the House Agricultural Committee. Fundraising is generally easier for chairmen of committees because of the influence they wield over policy and spending projects.

Overall, the numbers didn’t fluctuate significantly, compared with the comparable quarter in 2007. The closer we get to 2010, the more that activity and cash will increase.

Here’s a quick look at totals (rounded to the nearest dollar) for the year’s first quarter and the percentage difference from those levels in the first quarter of 2007:

House Member 1Q ’09   
% Variance from 1Q ’07
Rep. Tim Walz (1)    
Raised: $157,181 -26%
Cash on Hand: $111,307 -28%
Rep. John Kline (2)    
Raised: $142,109 -11%
Cash on Hand: $103,002 – 9%
Rep. Erik Paulsen (3)    
Raised: $221,627 N/A
Cash on Hand: $190,960 N/A
Rep. Betty McCollum (4)    
Raised: $104,778 +69 %
Cash on Hand: $102,412 +35 %
Rep. Keith Ellison (5)    
Raised: $77,213 -62 %
Cash on Hand: $54,461 -83%
Rep. Michele Bachmann (6)    
Raised: $313,686 +20%
Cash on Hand: $224,447 +12%
Rep. Collin Peterson (7)    
Raised: $100,235 -57 %
Cash on Hand: $437,443 +116%
Rep. James Oberstar (8)    
Raised: $192,658 – 15 %
Cash on Hand: $836,129 + 276 %

In future quarters, Tinklenberg will be the challenger to watch. If he chooses to run again, he will start with a healthy balance. Having a well-financed challenger, though, also will benefit Bachmann, who can use that situation to grow her account balance.

The incumbent to watch will be Paulsen. As a freshman, Paulsen and his fundraising will be closely watched by both Republicans and Democrats to determine whether he will be vulnerable.

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Comments (11)

  1. Submitted by Barbara Miller on 04/17/2009 - 11:00 am.

    This is just . . . wrong!

  2. Submitted by myles spicer on 04/17/2009 - 11:06 am.

    How embarrassing! To our state. Our intelligence. Our values. Our veracity. Our Congress.

    I live In California in the winters, and I can tell you this woman is nothing but a bad joke nationally…even to my conservative friends.

    Can she be defeated in 2010? One can only hope!

  3. Submitted by Tim Walker on 04/17/2009 - 11:22 am.

    Fools and their money …

  4. Submitted by Jeremy Powers on 04/17/2009 - 11:33 am.

    Bachmann is such an embarrassment to the state that some Democrats are now hoping we lose a congressional seat so Bachmann’s district can essentially be eliminated. Normally neither party likes the idea of a state losing a district, but if it means the end of Bachmann, I know a lot of people who would meet its loss with a big smile.

    If we do lose a congressional seat and the Democrats can take over the Governor’s office, you know they will take it out on one of the three Republicans – all of whom have more volatile districts than most of their Democratic counterparts. Only Walz’s district is technically in play, but the voters of CD 1 seem to love the – dare I say – maverick congressman.

    All of the surrounding districts – Oberstar, McCollum, Ellison, Peterson and Paulsen would each get a big chunk. The Democratic seats would probably be a bit more volatile, but not enough to put them into play. It would probably solidify Paulsen’s seat by giving Wright County, which is one of Minnesota’s “crazy counties,” filled with right-wing paranoiacs. For instance a friend whose parents live in Wright County said a neighbor wanted to know when the Black Panthers were coming, presumably to take their guns, after Obama was elected. Crazy stuff.

  5. Submitted by John Olson on 04/17/2009 - 11:42 am.

    And don’t forget that reapportionment based on the 2010 census results may be a factor here as well.

  6. Submitted by Addie Moe on 04/17/2009 - 12:26 pm.

    Exactly who is contributing to this woman? She is such an embarrassment to the state of MN and to the country. Ms Bachmann is so terribly out of touch with reality.

    Every time I see a video clip of her speaking, I have to shake my head. I’m embarrassed that my fellow Minnesotans can’t find a more suitable representative than this for their district.

  7. Submitted by david granneman on 04/17/2009 - 02:17 pm.

    hello all
    just heard on the radio the congress is planning to enact cap and trade taxes on energy.

    president obama’s energy plan will be a disaster for the united states – this is a tax that will be put on all the food you eat, the products you buy, gas for your car, and the energy to heat your home. worse yet industry and business is the greatest user of energy. this added cost will cause minnesota businesses to be at a disadvantage to countries where energy is cheap and abundant. where do you think all the jobs will go, to a high tax, high energy cost state like minnesota, I THINK NOT. ARE YOU WILLING
    wasting money on renewable energy is pouring money down a rat hole. there is no viable energy source that has the remotest possibility of replacing coal and gas power plants in the near or even far future. wind and solor are very expensive and worst yet very unreliable.
    china is inversting heavily in developing their own natural resources. in addition they are working with cuba to develope oil fields in our own gulf of mexico. china is also working with argentina to develope their newly discoverd offshore oil fields. china is working to ensure they have a cheap and abundant supply of oil to allow them to grow and prosper.
    president obama is stopping the developemnet of our own natural resorces and wasting money on windmills and solar cells.
    michele bachmann is one of the few politicians who has the courage to declare the GLOBAL WARMING HOAX and support developing our own natural resources. when the cost for your food, gas, and the electricity skyrooket. when your job goes to foreign country you will wish you had listened to her wisdom

  8. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 04/17/2009 - 04:17 pm.

    This is yet another argument for full public funding of all campaigns for office at the federal level.

    Without the tons of dough donated to campaigns by lobbyists, would there still be support among former proponents of a national single-payer health plan in the Senate and House who now tamely support the Obama/Daschle plan that is designed to retain the unjust and expensive system – as managed by the for-profit insurance industry – that we have now?

    Would the insurance company lobbyists be rejoicing at how “welcome” they feel at the so-called everything-on-the-table forums from which every attempt is made to exclude any discussion of single-payer?

    Would there still be a lack of support for common-sense gun control if Congress weren’t scared to offend the NRA?

  9. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/20/2009 - 07:56 am.

    A helpful tip for the frustrated, confused leftist reader:

    If you wish to understand why Rep. Bachmann is not only so popular in Minnesota, but is a rising star nationally, take a moment to reread these comments.

    Keep ’em coming, but don’t forget to mock her religious faith, too!

  10. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/20/2009 - 01:20 pm.

    I think that the posts by Granneman and Swift go a long way towards explaining Bachmann’s support.
    And why she is no more a national figure (as anything other than a curiosity) than Palin.

  11. Submitted by david granneman on 04/20/2009 - 05:10 pm.

    hello all
    michele bachmann may be crazy, insane, out of touch or what ever else you many want to call her,

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