From MPR's Conrad Wilson:
More than 4,000 people turned out to hear former President Bill Clinton speak at St. Cloud State University Sunday night.
The hall where Clinton spoke held about 1,000 people and 3,000 more overflowed outside.
In the closing weekend of the campaign, Clinton was in St. Cloud campaigning for President Obama as well as 6th district DFL congressional candidate Jim Graves.
Clinton criticized Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, saying Romney's policies were a return to old ideas.
"The first thing I want to say is, I'm for Barack Obama more enthusiastically than I was four years ago because I have seen him work and make change. And that is even better than talking about change" Clinton said.
Before the event Graves -- who is challenging Congresswoman Michele Bachmann -- said in an interview that Clinton wouldn't have come to St. Cloud if former president didn't believe Graves could win.
Clinton thanked Graves for running against Bachmann, calling it a "a heavy, important, wonderful battle to replace Michele Bachmann in the United States Congress."
"He understands real economics," Clinton said of Graves. "That we're all in this together works a lot better than you're on your own."
GOP Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan held a campaign event at the Minneapolis-St Paul Airport earlier in the day.
You can listen to Clinton's speech here: Listen
Jim Graves is getting some big name help with fundraising in the final week of his campaign.
The Graves campaign sent out an email fundraising appeal from former President Bill Clinton Wednesday morning.
Graves, a Democrat and hotel entrepreneur, is taking on 6th District Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in what's become one of the costlier U.S. House races this fall.
Clinton doesn't mention Bachmann by name in the email but says, "our country deserves better leaders than these Tea Party Republicans in Congress." Bachmann chairs the House Tea Party Caucus. He also says Republican super PACs are flooding the airwaves in the 6th District although their presence is actually minimal in that district compared to the nearby 8th District contest.
The fundraising pitch sets a goal of $112,000. Bachmann has a huge financial lead in the race with more than $3.2 million in the bank as of mid-October compared to the $471,000 available to Graves.
WASHINGTON - Michele Bachmann is wielding her mighty email list of donors on behalf of fellow Minnesota Republican Chip Cravaack, who's locked in a highly competitive race with former DFL U.S. Rep. RicK Nolan in the 8th Congressional District.
In a message sent to supporters Tuesday, Bachmann said she rarely sends fundraising emails on behalf of other candidates but she made an exception for Cravaack because "the stakes are so high" that Democrats could retake the U.S. House. Actually, many political forecasters, such as Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia, believe Democrats will gain fewer than 10 of the 25 total seats they'd need to take a majority in the House.
Still, the district is one of the Democrats' strongest opportunities to reclaim a seat lost in the 2010 election, when Cravaack defeated long-serving DFLer Jim Oberstar. Outside groups aligned with both parties are spending millions in the race and one recent analysis suggested the 8th District contest is among the five most expensive House races in the nation.
Bachmann's fundraising list could potentially generate a windfall for Cravaack. In the most recent quarter, Bachmann raised $4.5 million, mostly from small donations solicited through her list. While Cravaack has raised approximately $1.8 million since entering office in 2011, donors giving less than $200 count for a relatively small portion of his fundraising base, about 22 percent according to the latest Federal Election Commission filings.
In her message, Bachmann called Cravaack "a solid conservative" and "one of us." While Cravaack was elected with tea party support in 2010, he has generally eschewed the label and has not joined the House Tea Party Caucus that Bachmann chairs.
WASHINGTON - With just over three weeks to go before Election Day, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will get more involved in Jim Graves' attempt to unseat Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.
The DCCC announced Monday that it has added Graves and Minnesota's 6th District to its "Red to Blue" list of competitive U.S. House races. That means the group will provide Graves with additional logistical and fundraising support while also airing ads against Bachmann.
Polling paid for by the Graves campaign suggests a tight race between the hotel entrepreneur and the tea party Republican incumbent. Still, Graves faces an uphill battle as the 6th District is the biggest stronghold for Minnesota Republicans and became more conservative after redistricting earlier this year.
Graves is also following a well-worn path that previous Bachmann competitors have trod. Former state Sen. Tarryl Clark and Elwyn Tinkelberg also joined the DCCC "Red to Blue" program for their unsuccessful tries against Bachmann.
Last week, Bachmann announced that she had raised $4.5 million for her re-election in the third quarter, a sum that has dwarfed every other Minnesota congressional candidate who's reported their fundraising so far. The Graves campaign has not yet announced how much it brought in. The deadline for reporting fundraising is midnight Monday.(1 Comments)
The AFL-CIO is including three of Minnesota's congressional races in a nationwide direct mail campaign aimed at supporting Democratic candidates.
The districts include Minnesota's 8th, 6th and 2nd. The mailers, which are not coordinated with the campaigns, target the Republican incumbents there for their records on jobs, education and social security.
Here's one going out in the 8th Congressional District, a tight and closely watched race between Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack and his DFL opponent Rick Nolan.
More than 26,000 of these fliers will be mailed in the 8th. About 22,000 residents in the 6th and about 19,000 in the 2nd district will get similar mailers.
WASHINGTON - Michelle Bachmann's re-election campaign raised more than $4.5 million in the three months ending Sept. 30, more evidence that the three-term Republican Congresswoman remains among the most prolific fundraisers in Congress.
No other congressional candidate in Minnesota has raised a comparable sum. In the hotly contested 8th District race, both incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack and his DFL opponent Rick Nolan each raised less than $500,000 in the third quarter.
According to a press release from the Bachmann campaign, the average donation to Bachmann was $45, a sign that Bachmann's Internet-driven fundraising base of small donors continues to provide the majority of her campaign's cash.
Bachmann's fundraising this quarter is her biggest haul this election cycle but in 2010 Bachmann actually raised even more, about $5 million, at the same point in her campaign.
According to campaign manager Chase Kroll, Bachmann's campaign had $3.5 million in the bank on Sept. 30, an increase of $1.5 million since her last fundraising report on July 25.
While capable of raising enormous sums of money, Bachmann's fundraising apparatus is expensive to maintain. As MPR reported last month, Bachmann's campaign has spent on average about 16 cents of every dollar raised on bringing in more cash.
Her DFL opponent, hotel owner Jim Graves, has been aggressively raising money for the general election in the past weeks but has not yet disclosed his fundraising. As of July 25, Graves had $350,000 cash on hand.
The Graves campaign says it will release its fundraising figures on Monday but blasted Bachmann in a short statement attributed to campaign manager Adam Graves.
"These fundraising figures are further proof Rep. Bachmann's misguided priorities. She's spent her time fundraising out of state, catering to special interests and promoting her celebrity--all at the expense of Minnesota families. But no amount of money will cover up her six years of putting her own interests above those of the people she is supposed to serve," said Graves.
Posted at 3:23 PM on October 8, 2012
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Campaign 2012, Campaign 2012: U.S. House, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD1, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD2, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD3, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD4, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD5, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD6, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD8, Campaign 2012: U.S. Senate
So far this campaign season MPR News has aired debates in the 1st, 4th and 5th Congressional Districts.
Now MPR's The Daily Circuit will host debates in the 2nd, 3rd and 6th Congressional Districts.
In Minnesota's 2nd District, GOP Rep. John Kline and Democrat Mike Obermueller will square off in studio on Monday, Oct. 29.
In Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District, GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen will face Democrat Brian Barnes in studio on Tuesday, Oct. 30.
In Minnesota's 6th Congressional District, GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann and Democrat Jim Graves will debate the issues on Thursday, Nov. 1.
All the debates will be from 11 a.m. to noon.
MPR is also hosting a debate between DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Republican Kurt Bills on Sunday, Nov. 4 at the Fizgerald Theater in St. Paul at 7 p.m.
Also this week MPR News will air tomorrow's 8th District debate in Duluth between GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack and DFLer Rick Nolan at noon. That's tape-delayed by a couple hours. And Wednesday at noon we will air another 1st District debate recorded Tuesday night in Mankato (and moderated by some guy named Gary Eichten).
And at noon on Oct. 16 MPR News will air an 8th District debate live from Cambridge.
Click here if you're interested in listening to the debate in Minnesota's 1st Congressional District between DFL Rep. Tim Walz and Republican Allen Quist.
Click here if you want to listen to the 5th Congressional District debate between DFL Rep. Keith Ellison and Republican Chris Fields.
Click here if you want to listen to 4th District candidates DFL Rep. Betty McCollum, Republican Tony Hernandez and Independence Party candidate Steve Carlson debate the issues.
A day after her Democratic opponent Jim Graves put two television spots on the air, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann is striking back with an ad of her own.
The 30-second "No Room for Us" ad paints Graves as a big spender.
"Graves' time in Congress would be an expensive stay for Minnesota taxpayers," the ad states. "Big spending Jim supported the wasteful trillion dollar stimulus, and the $700 billion bailout."
Graves "fancies himself a moderate," but "there is simply no evidence to back up that claim," said Bachmann spokesman Chase Kroll in a press release. "Jim Graves has already given his support to big-spending policies that are driving the federal budget deeper into debt."
Bachmann is also running a radio ad that promotes some of her bipartisan accomplishments including the construction of the St. Croix bridge.
Yesterday, Graves launched two TV spots, one highlighting his biography and another that focuses on Bachmann's response to the destruction of the Verso Paper Mill in Startell, Minn.
The ad accuses Bachmann of not being responsive to the mill workers. Bachmann did meet with Sartell city officials to discuss the mill site, but it was after the mill closed.
We'll update this post when we get comment from the Graves campaign.
Here's a statement from Jim Graves:
"Rep. Bachmann is using falsehoods to distract voters from her record of reckless spending in Congress and her failure to represent the people of her district. On Rep. Bachmann's watch--during her three straight terms in office--our nation suffered unprecedented government growth and a deepening national debt, under both democratic and republican leadership. Unlike career politicians, such as Rep. Bachmann, Jim Graves is a businessman with real-life experience balancing budgets and creating private sector jobs. And that's why the people of Minnesota's 6th District are coming out in support of Jim Graves."
The two candidates running for Congress in Minnesota's 6th District are battling over the number of debates that should be held this election year.
A spokesman for Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann's campaign says she has agreed to three debates. They are: a St. Cloud Chamber debate on Oct. 30 at the St. Cloud Convention Center, an MPR News debate on The Daily Circuit on Nov.1 and a KSTP-TV debate on Nov. 4.
But Democrat Jim Graves wants more debates. Adam Graves, campaign manager for Graves, says his campaign is requesting a total of seven debates over the next 47 days. He said they want a debate held in each county of the 6th Congressional District, which includes St. Cloud and several northern and western Twin Cities suburbs.
"She did 15 debates when she was running for president, and we think that the constituents who pay her salary are certainly worthy of the same amount of attention," Adam Graves said.
Graves said they have not yet agreed to the number of debates or specific debates.
Bachmann's campaign manager Chase Kroll says it's his understanding that Graves committed to the three debates the Bachmann campaign did.
"We've set up three debates and invited Graves - one live, one radio, and one TV. We were told he'd do all of them. Now he's saying maybe he won't," Kroll wrote in an e-mail. "Why won't Graves keep his word?"
Kroll didn't say whether Bachmann would agree to any more debates.
Tussling over the number and location of debates is not unusual in campaigns.
Incumbents typically prefer a smaller number of debates while challengers call for more as they try to raise their political profile heading into Election Day.
Democrat Jim Graves has started running TV ads promoting his campaign in Minnesota's 6th District. Graves released two ads on his YouTube page today. The first ad touts his personal and professional background.
The second ad criticizes Republican Michele Bachmann for failing to "contact workers" after the Verso Paper Mill closed as a result of a fire.
The ad features a montage of several workers (some wearing United Steelworkers shirts) criticizing Bachman for not reaching out to workers who lost their jobs as a result of the fire.
Bachmann did meet with city officials from Sartell in August to discuss the future of the site, but it was after company officials announced that the mill would close. The appearance was a part of a jobs tour of the district. She also released a statement when company officials announced that the mill would close.
Gov. Dayton, DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar and several GOP state lawmakers visited with company officials and workers in the weeks after the fire in the hope of convincing company officials to rebuild in Sartell. The company eventually decided against that option.
Bachmann's campaign hasn't responded to Graves criticism.
Update: Bachmann's campaign manager Chase Kroll issued a statement calling the ad a "character smear." He said Bachmann's office was on the scene within an hour of the fire. Kroll also said Bachmann was in direct contact with Verso's president, Sartell city officials and other members of the delegation.
"Bachmann has publicly committed to helping work through any regulatory burdens that may prevent the sale of the plant and the replacement of much-needed jobs in the Sartell area.
In Washington, Congresswoman Bachmann's office contacted Senator Klobuchar's office to coordinate efforts on behalf of the Verso employees and make certain there would be an exchange of information among the Minnesota delegation.
Additionally, Congresswoman Bachmann sent letters to Sartell area residents sharing her concern, encouraging them, and providing her contact information to anyone who may need help following the explosion. In honor of Mr. Maus, who tragically died in the Verso explosion, Congresswoman Bachmann had a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol, which she then donated to the Maus family.
For Jim Graves to politicize this tragic disaster with dishonest, false, irresponsible claims is reprehensible.
We can't trust Jim Graves to keep his promises. We certainly can't trust Jim Graves to accurately portray the needs of the people in this district."
Officials with Graves' campaign didn't respond to questions as to where the ads are running and how much the campaign intends to spend on the ad buy.
Update: Adam Graves, campaign manager for Graves, says they bought 1,000 points over the next week and a half.
Trying to determine what the equates to in dollars. AP says the total ad buy is $300,000.
He said it's part of their overall strategy to run ads between now and election day.
Adam Graves also said the campaign is basing their claim on Bachmann's activity on the issue on a meeting held by some workers. He said the meeting was held after the fire but before it was announced that the mill would be closed.
"One worker took the floor and recounted, to nods and shouts of agreement, how every one of their elected officials had responded and reached out to them except for Rep. Bachmann. The workers expressed outrage, and this fact was reiterated to us by their leaders who represent the mill workers union," Adam Graves wrote.
I'll update the post if/when they respond.
Here's the ad:
A new poll commissioned by Jim Graves, the DFL challenger to Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, shows the two candidates effectively tied in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District.
The poll, which surveyed 401 likely voters and was conducted between August 29-30, shows that 48 percent are planning to vote for Bachmann while 46 percent are planning to vote for Graves, a local hotelier. That's within the survey's 4.9 percentage point margin of error.
Six percent of those surveyed said they don't know who they'll vote for.
The poll was paid for by the Graves campaign and conducted by a Democratic polling firm.
Bachmann spokesman Chase Kroll said that's not something that should be ignored, but did not respond to questions about the Bachmann campaign's own internal poll numbers.
"Jim Graves can buy a lot of polls from Democrat pollsters," Kroll said. "What he can't buy is votes. Minnesotans know Congresswoman Bachmann's record as a strong independent voice fighting against wasteful spending in Washington. When people learn about Graves, they'll see that he is just another big-spending liberal that we simply can't afford."
Nevertheless, the survey does show that Graves is catching up with Bachmann. In June, the same firm polled 505 likely voters, and found that Graves had only 43 percent of the vote while Bachmann had 48 percent and 9 percent were undecided.
The latest poll also shows that Graves is doing better among independents. In June, Graves had only 41 percent support among that voting bloc while Bachmann had 45 percent support.
Today, the survey shows Graves leads Bachmann 57 to 37 percent.
Kay Wolsborn, a political science professor with the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University in Collegeville, said the numbers show that there's more of a contest in the 6th district than there has been in the past.
Wolsborn points to Bachmann's presidential campaign as a potential factor.
"There were lots of other things that happened during that campaign that made [Bachmann] a little bit more vulnerable than she would normally be in District 6," Wolsborn said, though she pointed out that Bachmann is still running strong even by the Graves numbers and her ability to raise campaign cash hasn't seemed to diminish.
Wolsborn also said that the shift among independent voters may be a reflection of the fact that there is no third-party candidate in this year's race. For instance, in 2008 Bob Anderson got 10 percent of the vote.
"They don't have anywhere else to go this time," Wolsborn said. "They can always stay home. But in a presidential election year, they're less likely to stay home and if they see something interesting in terms of a local or statewide race - or district race in this case. They're likely to turn out, especially if it's a contest."
Wolsborn pointed out that it's impossible to say whether independent voters in previous 6th district races would have ultimately supported a Democrat or a Republican absent a third-party candidate.
Bachmann's vulnerability has become part of Graves' pitch for support. For instance, an infographic on his Facebook page touts statistics about Bachmann's recent showing in the 6th district primary and directs users to a page on his website where they can sign up to support the Graves campaign.
Still, the Rothenberg Political Report still lists the 6th as safe for Bachmann.
An organization dedicated to defeating conservative U.S. House members is targeting 6th Congressional District Rep. Michele Bachmann.
CREDO super PAC, a fund created by San Francisco-based CREDO Mobile cell phone company, has added Bachmann to its "Take Down the Tea Party Ten" campaign.
The group doesn't plan to spend its money on advertisements. Rather, it will rally volunteers to man phone banks and canvass door-to-door to talk to 6th District voters about Bachmann's record, said CREDO spokeswoman Sarah Lane.
CREDO doesn't plan to help Bachmann's DFL opponent Jim Graves either.
"This is about holding Rep. Bachmann accountable for her extremist record in Congress," Land said. "We are just focused on telling voters in the district about her record - about her record on seniors, and women, and the environment, and letting them know about her tea party record in Congress."
By most accounts, Bachmann's seat is safe. But Lane said that CREDO's members have asked the group to campaign against Bachmann. Lane also pointed out that turnout in Bachmann's district for last week's primary was quite low, though turn-out was low throughout Minnesota.
Bachmann campaign spokesman Chase Kroll said, "It's no surprise a group of radical San Francisco liberals are coming to the aid of another radical liberal Jim Graves."
"I'm sure Jim Graves will continue to write himself big checks, but at the end of the day, Minnesotans support Michele Bachmann because they know she's an independent voice, fighting for them to bring about a smaller government and a more affordable way of life," Kroll wrote in an e-mail.
CREDO's 6th district effort mirrors one already in place in the 8th Congressional District. There, CREDO is mobilizing voters to defeat Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack, who is also on the group's "Take Down the Tea Party" list.(1 Comments)
Jim Graves, the hotelier looking to unseat 6th Congressional District Rep. Michele Bachmann this fall, has earned a spot on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's list of competitive races.
The DCCC raises and spends money to help Democrats get elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and has identified Minnesota's 6th as a race that's increasingly competitive.
That means Graves' campaign has met certain infrastructure and organizational goals to merit national funds and attention.
"We are honored to have the support of the DCCC," Graves said in a press release. "Their decision to target our race confirms what recent polling clearly shows: the voters of Minnesota's 6th District are eager to elect a businessman who has created thousands of goodpaying private sector jobs and who knows what it will take to get our economy back on track."
But while the DCCC may identify the 6th as a competitive race, politicos don't. For instance, the Rothenberg Political Report rates Bachmann's seat as "Safe Republican."
Posted at 11:06 AM on August 3, 2012
by Brett Neely
Filed under: Campaign 2012, Campaign 2012: U.S. House, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD1, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD2, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD3, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD4, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD5, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD6, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD7, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD8, Campaign 2012: U.S. Senate
WASHINGTON - Although candidates for federal office were required to file campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission just a few weeks ago to cover their 2nd quarter fundraising, they're filing more paperwork now ahead of next month's primary elections. This reporting period covers just the 25 days between the close of the old period on June 30 and July 25.
Here's where things stand:
- Incumbent U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar brought in $131,996 in July, bringing her total fundraising to date to just a shade under $8 million. The Democrat's campaign spent about $215,000 in the same period, eating slightly into her cash but leaving Klobuchar with a still-large war chest of nearly $5.4 million. About $90,000 of Klobuchar's donations came from donors who have more than $200 and from political action committees.
While the FEC deadline for posting campaign finance reports was midnight on Aug. 2, as of noon on Aug. 3, Klobuchar's likely Republican rival state Rep. Kurt Bills had not posted his fundraising figures. In an email, a campaign spokesman said he was looking into the matter.
CD 1 - Rep. Tim Walz, the DFL incumbent in this district, continues to outraise his two GOP opponents. Walz brought in $27,845 compared to $18,800 by Allan Quist and $8,890 by state Sen. Mike Parry. Walz kept his campaign spending to a modest $28,611 in July and his war chest has more $807,000 compared to nearly $118,000 for Quist and nearly $28,000 for Parry. Almost all of Walz's contributions came from donors who gave more than $200 and political action committees.
CD 2 - Incumbent Republican Rep. John Kline brought in $109,780, bringing his total raised this cycle to just over $1.8 million. Of those contributions, more than $96,000 came from donors giving more than $200 and political action committees. Kline's campaign spent more than $91,000 in the 25 days recorded in July and has more than $1.3 million in the bank for the contest this fall.
His DFL challenger, Mike Obermueller, raised $54,505 in July and has thus far brought in $275,000 since entering the race. Obermueller has $227,283 cash on hand and his campaign's operating expenses hit $41,391 during the reporting period. The Obermueller campaign has also taken on $32,500 worth of debt so far. More than $45,000 of Obermueller's contributions campaign from donors giving more than $200 and PACs.
CD 3 - Erik Paulsen, the Republican who represents western suburbs of Minneapolis, is the delegation's biggest fundraiser not named Bachmann. But Paulsen's campaign raised $54,309 in July, a relatively small total for him, bringing his total fundraising this term to more than $2.2 million. Paulsen's campaign spent a little more than $51,000 and his cash on hand is nearly $1.6 million. Almost $43,000 of Paulsen's fundraising came from large donors and PACs.
Paulsen's DFL challenger, Brian Barnes, raised $26,735, bringing his total to date to $217,000. Barnes' campaign spent more than $33,000 in July and has about $50,000 in the bank.
CD 4 - Incumbent DFLer Betty McCollum raised the least of any sitting member from Minnesota, bringing in $12,270 in July for a total to date of $658,123. Still, that's more than double what Republican-endorsed challenger Anthony Hernandez brought in, $5,700. McCollum has $170,199 cash in the bank, compared to $5,370 for Hernandez. McCollum's campaign spent more than $48,000 in July while Hernandez spent $2,506.
CD 5 - Rep. Keith Ellison, the DFL incumbent representing Minneapolis and the inner suburbs, brought in $103,890 in July and has raised more than $1.4 million since January 2011. However, Ellison's campaign spent even more, $111,370, during July, and Ellison ended the reporting period with $126,481 in the bank and no debt. Nearly $69,000 of Ellison's current fundraising came from large donors and PACs.
Republican challenger Chris Fields raised $31,126 bringing his fundraising to date to $113,886. Fields' campaign spent $13,299 and sits on $51,609 in the bank. Large donors contributed $10,600 to his campaign and no PACs gave him money.
CD 6 - Expect to see huge sums spent on this race. Incumbent Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann has a huge fundraising and cash advantage over DFL challenger Jim Graves. Two thirds of her contributions came from small donors who gave less than $200. She raised nearly $1.1 million in 25 days compared to Graves' $64,482. Bachmann also spent big, dropping nearly $700,000 in the same period compared to the $116,000 spent by Graves. Bachmann has more than $2 million in the bank while Graves has about $350,000 on hand but also has $250,000 in debt due to loans he's made his campaign.
CD 7 - Veteran DFL Rep. Collin Peterson pulled in $67,438 in July and has now raised more than $821,000 since his term started in January 2011. His campaign spent almost as much as he raised in July -- $68,057 -- and ends the period with almost exactly $800,000 in the bank. More than $57,000 of Peterson's donations came from large donors and PACs.
Lee Byberg, the Republican who hopes to replace Peterson, raised $25,677. But his campaign's $50,320 worth of spending far outstripped his fundraising and Byberg ends the period with $91,920 in the bank.
CD 8 - This is likely to be Minnesota's most contested race in the fall with Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack defending his seat for the first time after a long DFL lock on the district. Cravaack brought in $59,005 in July, bringing his total fundraising to a hair under $1.5 million. His campaign spent $39,000 and has $916,000 on hand. About $37,000 of Cravaack's fundraising came from large donors and PACs.
Former state Sen. Tarryl Clark, one of three DFLers running in a primary for the chance to compete against Cravaack, was the strongest fundraiser in the district in July. Her campaign raised $65,509 and has raised more than $1.1 million overall. But ahead of the primary, Clark's campaign is spending heavily -- $225,821 -- and she has a little less than $99,000 on hand. Thanks to Democratic grassroots funding networks, Clark raised about two thirds of her fundraising in July from small donors.
Former U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, who received the DFL endorsement in the 8th District, brought in $27,618 and has raised $357,655 since entering the race. Nolan's campaign spent about $33,000 in July and has a little less than $88,000 on hand. Most of Nolan's funds came from large donors.
Former Duluth City Council President Jeff Anderson lags the other two DFL challengers, bringing in $8,031 in July for a total so far of $172,359. His campaign spent more than twice as much -- $19,285 -- in the same period, and Anderson has just $7,238 in the bank.
WASHINGTON - Even as Republican leaders were criticizing Michele Bachmann's recent statements about alleged Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the U.S. government earlier this month, the 6th District Congresswoman's campaign kept pulling in dollars. Bachmann's campaign announced Tuesday that it raised more than $1 million between July 1 and July 25.
Candidates for Congress in Minnesota are required to release their fundraising for that period by Thursday ahead of a Federal Election Commission deadline tied to the state's Aug. 14 primary.
Bachmann has been one of the strongest fundraisers in the U.S. House, bringing in $1.9 million in the three months ending June 30, mostly from a nationwide base of small donors who respond to frequent email and direct mail pitches for cash.
In a statement, Bachmann campaign manager Chase Kroll mentioned Bachmann's DFL opponent, hotel owner Jim Graves, calling Graves a, "radical, liberal, self-funding opponent who has demonstrated his willingness to pour huge sums into this race." But so far, Bachmann's fundraising has far outstripped Graves'. As of June 30, Graves had raised about $500,000, which includes $250,000 he has lent his campaign.
In an email, Kroll said Bachmann's campaign received 22,174 contributions that averaged $48.48 apiece. That implies Bachmann raised $1,074,995.52 over the 25 day period, or about $43,000 a day.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison says GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann should apologize for suggesting that members of President Obama's administration have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Ellison said he won't ask for a personal apology even though Bachmann said yesterday that Ellison has "a long record of being associated with CAIR [The Council on American-Islamic Relations] and with the Muslim Brotherhood." Ellison said he has no ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and said her claims have no factual basis. He said Bachmann should change course.
"Instead of doubling down and claiming to be distorted, just admit that you're wrong," Ellison said.
Ellison has criticized Bachmann and four other Republican members of the U.S. House for suggesting Secretary of State's Hillary Clinton's top aide has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. GOP House Speaker John Boehner, Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, and others have denounced the allegations without mentioning Bachmann by name.
Through her office Bachmann declined a request for an interview.
Ellison said this isn't the first time Bachmann has made specious claims.
"She has a pattern of making allegations and then being called upon to prove them. She either switches the subject or says she didn't say that or claims to having been distorted," he said.
Ellison said he hasn't reflected on whether Bachmann should face disciplinary charges for her comments.
The other Republican members of Minnesota's Congressional delegation have been quiet about Bachmann's comments. GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen declined comment through a spokesperson. GOP Rep. John Kline and GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack could not be reached for comment.
Posted at 10:52 PM on July 19, 2012
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Campaign 2012, Campaign 2012: U.S. House, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD5, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD6, Michele Bachmann, U.S. House
With MPR's Jon Collins...
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann intensified her claims on assertions that federal officials have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. On a talk show tonight, she zeroed in on DFL Rep. Keith Ellison, a fellow member of Congress who represents a district adjacent to hers.
Bachmann hasn't backed down from claims that a top administration aide has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, even after GOP House Speaker John Boehner and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle condemnedher for making the suggestion. Bachmann instead has turned her fire on Ellison.
Bachmann also told Beck that Ellison wanted to "shut down" her proposed investigation into the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood on the federal government.
Ellison said on Anderson Cooper 360 tonight that he had no ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
"I don't have any Muslim Brotherhood connections as she's talking about," Ellison said. He also said he's not trying to shut down any investigation but is working to raise concerns that Bachmann is making unfounded allegations against Muslims who work for the federal government.
Ellison is the first Muslim elected to Congress and has widely criticized Bachmann for making the allegations that a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. He has repeatedly criticized Bachmann for "fear mongering" by suggesting Muslims working in the federal government are linked to extremist groups. He said he hopes people stand up to Bachmann's claims.
He told MPR News recently that Bachmann's claims were "the very stuff of McCarthyism, charges of disloyalty or subversion based on thin or attenuated evidence or prejudice."
Bachmann has been the main source of criticism after she and four other lawmakers sent letters in mid-June to federal agencies asking that Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, be investigated for ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
In the past week, her statements about Abedin have been condemned by Boehner, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ). Ed Rollins, who ran Bachmann's campaign for president, also criticized Bachmann's actions as "extreme" and "dishonest." Bachmann's comments have also reportedly upset House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers (R-Mich.). She sits on the House Intelligence Committee.
Bachmann and Ellison were both elected to Congress in 2006. They are both running for reelection.
TCF Bank's employee political action fund has donated $25,000 to the conservative non-profit Americans for Prosperity.
The donation, which amounts to about a fourth of the $105,000 the fund has given away so far this election cycle, was made on May 31, 2012, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission.
Many companies have political action committees. Employees give money to these special funds, and the money is typically given to individual candidates or parties. Many employee funds spread their money equally between Republicans and Democrats.
That's what makes TFC Bank PAC's donation so unusual, says Viveca Novak, a spokeswoman for OpenSecrets.org, a non-profit that tracks political spending and that initially identified the contribution.
Americans for Prosperity is technically a non-profit that can engage in some political activity, but doesn't have to disclose its donors.
"Normal, regular company PACs can be used to give money to candidates. There aren't a whole lot of other ways that you can give money to candidates unless you give as an individual," Novak siad. "There are a lot of other ways to give money to a [non-profit]. You can give some money out of the corporate treasury, which is not something you can do to a candidate."
"It's unclear whether employees who give to the company PAC might be unhappy with the PAC giving such a large percentage of the money that's been donated by employees to a partisan group," Novak said.
It appears the TCF Bank PAC hasn't given to other such non-profits, OpenSecrets.org reports.
Americans for Prosperity is a conservative organization that promotes small government and lower taxes, among other things. It was founded by David Koch, a major Republican donor who, with his brother Charles, owns Koch Industries, a conglomerate that operates oil refineries and owns several household goods brands.
TCF's donation was to the national arm of Americans for Prosperity, but the group has a local branch in Minnesota that's been weighing in this election cycle on the Vikings stadium and the health care law.
TCF Bank PAC has also given thousands to other candidates all over the country who represent both parties. Republican Reps. Chip Cravaack, Michele Bachmann and John Kline are among the recipients.
Read more from OpenSecrets.org.
WASHINGTON - The remaining candidates for U.S. House seats this fall have filed their fundraising paperwork for the second quarter with the Federal Election Commission hours before a midnight deadline. The reporting period covers all donations between April 1 and June 30.
In the 8th Congressional District, former Democratic Congressman Rick Nolan reported raising $127,721 for his primary bid to take on Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack. Since entering the race, Nolan has brought in $330,0037. Nolan's campaign bank account has $93,435 cash on hand. Political action committees, including PACs affiliated with U.S. Sens. Al Franken, Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, were responsible for $37,184 of those donations. His campaign also touts the statistic that 91 percent of its contributions come from within Minnesota, a likely dig at Cravaack, whose family now lives in New Hampshire and at fellow DFL candidate Tarryl Clark, who has access to national Democratic fundraising circles such as EMILY's List thanks to her previous campaign against Michele Bachmann.
Jeff Anderson, the other DFL candidate hoping to take on Cravaack, raised $50,095 and has $18,352 cash in the bank. Including this quarter, his campaign has raised a total of $164,327. None of Anderson's fundraising haul came from PACs.
In the 3rd District, DFL challenger Brian Barnes brought in $107,012 for his bid to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen. Barnes has $56,552 in the bank. PACs, including Al Franken's PAC and several union PACs, donated $10,000 his campaign.
Republican Mike Parry raised $51,961 for his campaign to take the 1st District away from incumbent Democrat U.S. Rep. Tim Walz. Parry has $30,608 in the bank. No political action committees contributed to his campaign.(1 Comments)
WASHINGTON - The money race for Congress is heating up. Hours after her DFL opponent Jim Graves reported raising more than $400,000 for his election bid, Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's announced a massive $1.7 million haul for the three months ending on June 30th.
Bachmann made the announcement on Twitter, saying, "Thank you to my supporters! You gave more than 40,000 contributions, averaging <$45. More than $1.7 million from so many is humbling."
Her official report with the Federal Election Commission won't be available until this weekend but Bachmann's fundraising was likely energized by the Supreme Court's June 28th decision upholding the health care law that Bachmann has staked her career on opposing. In the hours after the ruling, Bachmann's campaign issued fundraising appeals to conservatives who are eager to see the law repealed.
Unlike many other campaigns that are issuing their fundraising numbers ahead of this Sunday's FEC deadline, Bachmann's didn't disclose how much cash it's sitting on - a possible sign of heavy spending. Bachmann's rump presidential campaign committee continues to be saddled with more than a million dollars in debt since she ended her bid for the White House in January.(5 Comments)
WASHINGTON - While this year's campaign for the 6th Congressional District isn't on track to draw the record fundraising of 2010's contest between incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and DFLer Tarryl Clark, all signs do point to an expensive race.
DFL candidate and hotel owner Jim Graves reports raising $412,000 this past quarter from nearly 1,000 new contributors. But one contributor dwarfed the rest: Graves himself, who loaned his campaign $150,000 this quarter. Last quarter, Graves contributed $100,000 to his campaign, bringing his total investment in unseating Bachmann up to $250,000.
"What is clear is that momentum is building around the Jim Graves campaign," said Graves' spokesman Donald McFarland.
If elected, Graves would be one of the wealthiest members of Congress according to financial disclosure forms he filed with the U.S. House. Bachmann has pointed to Graves' wealth in fundraising emails to supporters.
"We will not be able to match his personal campaign war chest," Bachmann wrote on June 27th, "I need your immediate donation to ensure we have the resources necessary to run a winning campaign."
Still, Bachmann's campaign is hardly hurting for funds. She raised $579,000 last quarter and has $642,000 in the bank.
Posted at 6:15 PM on June 25, 2012
by Brett Neely
Filed under: Campaign 2012, Campaign 2012: U.S. House, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD3, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD4, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD5, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD6, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD8
WASHINGTON - It's not just members of Congress who are required to file public disclosures of their personal finances. Those who want to replace them in Washington also have to file. MPR News took a visit to the basement of the Cannon House Office building where those forms are available to the public to get a peek.
Some candidates filed these forms last year while others filed them within the past weeks. The forms ask for candidates' year to date and last year's earnings. In this post, I have used full year figures unless otherwise noted, so as to give readers a better sense of a candidate's financial status. Candidates are required to list assets in broad categories, making a precise calculation of net worth difficult. They are not required to list the value of their personal residence but are required to disclose any debts, including mortgages, exceeding $10,000.
Here's the rundown of candidates who have filed forms by congressional district:
CD3 - Brian Barnes is the DFL candidate running against incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen. Barnes works for Cummins in Minneapolis and reports making $111,000 in salary and bonuses. He lists assets worth as much as $145,000 invested in 401(k) and individual retirement accounts and has no reported debts.
CD4 - Republican Anthony Hernandez is challenging DFL incumbent Betty McCollum in the St. Paul-based 4th District. He lists his full year salary from MRL Company at $17,000, has no reported assets and lists debts in the range of $115,000 to $300,000 which include a mortgage and a student loans.
CD5 - Chris Fields is the Republican challenging DFL U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison. Fields and his spouse earned $171,000 from a law firm they run together. Their assets could be worth as much as $1 million or as little as $466,000. They also earn between $5,000 and $15,000 from a rental property.
CD6 - Hotel owner and 6th District DFL challenger Jim Graves is the wealthiest candidate or incumbent running for federal office in Minnesota this cycle and his wealth would likely be enough to put him among the top 10 wealthiest members of Congress were he to defeat Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann.
His net worth is between $22 and $111 million and Graves's campaign says the actual number lies somewhere in the middle. Graves's assets include a number of partnerships and companies he owns, mostly concentrated in the hotel and real estate businesses. Graves reports debts worth as much as $36 million, all mortgages on properties related to his businesses.
Bachmann has attempted to use Graves's wealth as a political issue against him. In fundraising appeals to supporters, Bachmann has called Graves a "self-funding multi-millionaire." So far, Graves has lent his campaign $100,000 and says he expects donations to make up the bulk of the campaign's funds.
CD8 - The Democrats, Jeff Anderson, Tarryl Clark and Rick Nolan are competing in a primary to run against first-term Republican Chip Cravaack. Anderson, a former Duluth City Member and an ad salesman for REO River Broadcasting, reported assets between negative $46,000 and positive $45,000. In 2010 he earned $85,000 from his sales job and an additional $10,000 from the city of Duluth. His assets are invested in mutual funds, and he has a car loan that is between $15,000 and $50,000.
Clark, a former state senator, could have a net worth as low as negative $66,000 or as much as $265,000. Clark's assets are invested in a variety of mutual funds while her debts include credit cards and student loans belonging to herself and her children.
Rick Nolan served in the U.S. House between 1975 and 1981 before going on to a business career in Minnesota. He receives a $24,000 a year pension from the state of Minnesota and earned $27,000 in real estate commissions from Sotheby's brokerage. His assets, which include a stake in the firm Emily Forest Products and a condo in Florida, are worth between $717,000 and $1.5 million. Nolan reports no debts.(3 Comments)
Posted at 4:07 PM on May 31, 2012
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD6
Jim Graves filed paperwork today to run for Congress in Minnesota's 6th District.
The DFL-endorsed candidate is challenging incumbent Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Graves had been living outside the district when he launched his campaign, but he told reporters today that he recently bought a house in St. Cloud and is now living there full time.
"I did that for practical purposes," Graves said. "I want to be with the people. I want to be among the people. I'm from St. Cloud. I wanted to get back in St. Cloud."
Graves said his campaign will focus on jobs and economic issues. He said his background in business gives him a skill set that previous DFL candidates for the seat did not have. Graves said he is also courting independent voters, as well as the Independence Party of Minnesota.
"Tom Horner, Peter Hutchinson, these people are very supportive of our campaign, are involved in actually the inner circle on a lot of policy that we're working out," he said. "We don't think we're going to have any significant Independence Party people running against us."
Rep. Bachmann is seeking re-election to a fourth term. She has not yet filed her campaign paperwork. Bachmann sent out a fundraising appeal today that linked her re-election bid with her youngest child's pending graduation from high school.
"As President Obama spends our country into oblivion, Sophia is in danger of inheriting an economy and job prospects worse than when I was her age, a phenomenon that is unprecedented in American history," Bachmann wrote. "For Sophia and young people around America, we must stop President Obama and the Democrats from doing any more damage to our fragile economy and endangering our futures."
From MPR's Conrad Wilson...
Businessman Jim Graves won the DFL endorsement today in the Minnesota's 6th Congressional District. The hotel company chief executive will run against GOP Rep. Michele. Bachmann in the November.
Graves told delegates in Blaine he'll deliver a win on November 6th.
"I want you to know that I take your endorsement to heart," he said.
Graves defeated employment consultant and activist Anne Nolan and real estate developer and small business owner Brian McGoldrick.
All the candidates say they'll abide by the party's endorsement.
Bachmann also won the Republican endorsement in the 6th District Saturday.
"I am honored and excited to have the Republican endorsement for Minnesota's Sixth District," she wrote in on her Twitter feed/ "Let's turn MN red in 2012! Will you join me?"
Neither Graves nor Bachmann currently live in the 6th District but candidates don't have to live in the district that they represent.
WASHINGTON - After dropping out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination in early January with her campaign in deep in debt, 6th District Congresswoman Michele Bachmann raised more than $550,000 toward her re-election effort in the first quarter of the year, the campaign reported Friday.
After exiting the presidential race, Bachmann announced on Jan. 25th that she would run again for her 6th District seat.
The campaign also says the three-term legislator has almost $650,000 in the bank. A glance at Bachmann's campaign finance reports from the same period in 2010 shows that she raised nearly $820,000 and had more than $1.5 million in her war chest.
"This is highly encouraging - nearly 600 thousand raised in under sixty days," said campaign manager Chase Kroll in a statement. "That puts us on a very strong trajectory."
One of Bachmann's DFL rivals, hotel owner Jim Graves, reported lending his campaign $100,000 and receiving an additional $1,026 in contributions. Graves entered the race this week.
From MPR's Conrad Wilson...
A Minnesota businessman has entered the race to challenge Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Jim Graves told supporters today in St. Cloud that he plans to seek the DFL endorsement in the state's 6th Congressional District.
Graves lives in Minneapolis, but grew up in the St. Cloud area and says he'll establish residency there. He started Graves Hospitality, a hotel management company with hotels in Minneapolis, Chicago and New York. He says 6th District residents need more jobs and higher wages.
"This is a very serious job and I think the 6th District deserves someone full-time that can roll up their sleeves. And believe me, we will," Graves said. "I will stand toe to toe, face to face, bring out the facts and debate with Michele Bachmann what's best for the 6th District."
St. Cloud attorney Anne Nolan and Twin Cities businessman Brian McGoldrick are also seeking the DFL endorsement. Graves says he hasn't decided whether he'll seek the nomination in the primary if he doesn't get the endorsement.
You can listen to Graves announcement here: Listen(2 Comments)