Michele Bachmann has become a media darling of the conservative movement. From appearances at right wing organizations at the expense of appearing before her own constituents to championing unrealistic plans in the hopes she can convince people that it will bring $2 a gallon gasoline. Yet, for all of this attention and media coverage (most of which is with outlets far away from her district) her latest FEC report reflects a candidate being propped up, not by those in her district or even those in the corporate world but rather, by the helping hand of over 40 leadership PACS and campaign committees of ultra-conservative candidates across the country. These groups typically seek to help candidates in vulnerable districts and not candidates in areas deemed safe. Perhaps this swell of support from her "friends" in Congress is less indicative of friendship and more indicative of a campaign afraid of just how vulnerable it actually has become.

So, how vulnerable is Michele Bachmann? Well, if these contributions are any indicator, she is nearly $100,000 worth of vulnerable. In addition to this indicator, a write up on RealClear Politics describes Bachmann as "endangered".

Minnesota 06: Few Republican freshmen are as endangered as Michele Bachmann

Bachmann was only able to raise $280,000 as an incumbent without the help of her conservative colleagues in Congress. So, in order to make her seem more viable, these leadership PACS have been padding her coffers with cash.

Who are these leadership PACS? With over 40 of them giving money ranging from $500 to $10,000, I do not have time to cover them all. However, there are some notables:

American Success PAC
A PAC created by David Dreier of California. Interestingly, Mr. Dreier has been questioned in recent years about his anti-gay record when reports have come in that he is actually gay.

Conservative Opportunities for a New America PAC $2000
Created by Republican, Mike Conaway of Texas. Conway was able to come to Congress as part of the shady redistricting plan of indicted Republican, Tom Delay.

Conaway is one of several new Texas Republicans added to the House during the 2004 elections as a result of Tom DeLay's Texas gerrymandering.[1]

DeLay was indicted by a grand jury in the fall of 2005 for "alleged crimes during the 2002 Statehouse races that gave Republicans the majority, allowing them to redraw the map. With the new map, Republicans picked up five seats last year."[2]

Every Republican Is Crucial PAC $10000
Eric Cantor of Virginia created ERICPAC. Cantor is one of several Republican Congressmen linked to Jack Abramoff.

And what about Cantor's ties to Abramoff? In 2003, Abramoff held a fundraiser for Cantor at his deli Stacks and named a sandwich for the Virginia Congressman. Cantor did not pay Abramoff for the food served at the fundraiser until the newspaper Jewish Forward raised questions about whether campaign finance reporting rules had been violated when Cantor didn't report the debt. After being called on it by the press, Cantor’s office finally paid the tab, a total of $1,732. Cantor has also held no fewer eight fundraisers at Abramoff's restaurantSignatures.

Last week, Cantor, like many other Republicans and a few Democrats, tried to rid himself of tainted Abramof money. In Cantor's case, this involved donating $10,000 to a local Virginia charity. The $10,000 that Cantor donated was less than a third of the $31,500 that Cantor is known to have received from Abramoff and his allies.

Friends of John Boehner $4000
Guy pal John Boehner has given Bachmann $4000 this election cycle. You remember John Boehner, the guy who assisted in the Mark Foley coverup and was an ardent supporter of failed Secretary of Defense, Don Rumsfeld.

"I think Donald Rumsfeld is the best thing that's happened to the Pentagon in 25 years." (Source: AP, Oct. 30, 2006)

Friends of Sam Johnson $1000
Republican, Sam Johnson of Texas who apparently still holds to the belief that we may find WMD in Iraq. He even volunteered to drop nuclear bombs on Syria.

Geoff Davis For Congress $1000
Davis, a Republican from Kentucky was caught up in a little controversy earlier this year when he decided to refer to Barack Obama as "boy". The term has long been used in the South as a way to assert racial inferiority. He was forced to apologize:

Dear Senator Obama:

On Saturday night I gave a speech in which I used a poor choice of words when discussing the national security policy positions of the Presidential candidates. I was quoted as saying "That boy's finger does not need to be on the button."

My poor choice of words is regrettable and was in no way meant to impugn you or your integrity. I offer my sincere apology to you and ask for your forgiveness.

Though we may disagree on many issues, I know that we share the goal of a prosperous, secure future for our nation. My comment has detracted from the dialogue that we should all be having on legitimate policy differences and in no way reflects the personal and professional respect I have for you.

Geoff Davis

Gingrey For Congress $1000
Phil Gingrey of Georgia, during the Walter Reed Scandal, decided that rather than laying blame at the feet of the Bush Administration and those who operated the hospital, he would lay the blame at the feet of the soldiers.

“And, of course, if you leave food around in a motel room or a dorm room at a college, you’re going to get some mice show up at some point in time.”

HALPAC $1000
Hal Rogers of Kentucky has been described by National Review as a "National Disgrace" and Rolling Stone nominated him as one of the "Ten Worst Congressmen".

Since the 9/11 attacks, Rogers has abused his position to steer production of a system designed to enhance airport security to a factory in Corbin, Kentucky. The trouble is, the factory wasn't equipped to produce the tamperproof biometric ID cards favored by security experts. So Rogers forced the government to spend $4 million to test the factory's technology -- steering some of the work to a tiny company that hired his son. When the factory flunked the test, Rogers delayed the process again, demanding that prototypes for new cards be built in Kentucky.
This is but a small taste of the folks we can affectionately call, Friends of Bachmann. We will have more on these friends as this series of posts continues to explore the groups and individuals supporting Michele Bachmann. However, as the old saying goes: "With friends like these, who needs enemies!"

Cross Posted on Dump Bachmann


1 Response to "Better Know A Contributor: With Friends Like These..."

  1. Gary Gross On July 21, 2008 at 7:02 PM

    Eric, Just keep believing that she's in trouble. Keep contributing to Tink's campaign.

    How's he gonna win when he's having trouble getting his base fired up?