PAC Money Comprises Only 5 Percent of Bachmann’s Q1 2010 Fundraising

Special interest PAC contributions fall for 4th consecutive quarter as percentage of Bachmann’s total fundraising

When it comes to raising money, no member of the Minnesota U.S. House delegation does it quite like Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

Not only did Bachmann make history by shattering the state fundraising record for the 1st Quarter of an election year (by over 60 percent with $819,616), but she did so almost entirely from support by individual donors – with a scant 5.3 percent coming from special interest PAC money.

The 5.3 percent tally is the lowest percentage of PAC money received by Congresswoman Bachmann since she first received the endorsement by Republicans in the 6th Congressional District back in May 2006 – a percentage that has declined for the fourth consecutive quarter.

By contrast, 83.1 percent of DFLer Collin Peterson’s Q1 2010 fundraising came from special interest PAC money, with 54.0 percent for Jim Oberstar, 52.0 percent for Betty McCollum, 39.7 percent for John Kline, 37.0 percent for Erik Paulsen, 27.9 percent for Tim Walz, and 22.5 percent for Keith Ellison.

In the first quarter of 2009, PAC money constituted 19.6 percent of Bachmann’s total fundraising, falling to 18.6 percent in Q2 2009, 9.1 percent in Q3 2009, 7.3 percent in Q4 2009, and 5.3 percent in Q1 2010.

In Bachmann’s reelection campaign two years ago, PAC money comprised 30.8 percent of Bachmann’s total fundraising for the first quarter of 2008 – nearly 2.5 times her Q1 2010 tally in terms of total dollars ($106,624 in Q1 2008 vs. $43,490 in Q1 2010).

Percentage of PAC Contributions to Michele Bachmann’s Campaign Since Receiving the GOP Endorsement in Q2 2006

Period
% Individuals
% PACs
Q2 2006
46.6
53.4
Q3 2006
52.7
44.2
Q4 2006
67.0
32.6
Q1 2007
54.7
45.3
Q2 2007
65.8
34.2
Q3 2007
72.7
27.3
Q4 2007
72.8
27.2
Q1 2008
69.2
30.8
Q2 2008
49.4
50.3
Q3 2008
66.1
33.7
Q4 2008
86.7
12.7
Q1 2009
80.4
19.6
Q2 2009
81.4
18.6
Q3 2009
90.9
9.1
Q4 2009
92.7
7.3
Q1 2010
94.7
5.3

FEC data compiled by Smart Politics.

Of course, so long as she continues to receive contributions from individuals at this record pace, Bachmann has little need for PAC money – and can continue to campaign against the ‘special interests’ in Washington, D.C. with (comparatively) cleaner hands than most members of Congress.

In fact, individual donations to Bachmann’s campaign are now so strong that she nearly outraised every other member of the Minnesota U.S. House delegation combined.

The Congresswoman tallied $776,126 in itemized and unitemized funds from individuals compared to a combined $832,249 for Tim Walz, John Kline, Erik Paulsen, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, Collin Peterson, and Jim Oberstar (seven Representatives with 79 years of combined service in Congress).

By contrast, Bachmann ranked next to last among the Gopher State’s eight U.S. Representatives in terms of PAC receipts received last quarter – ahead of only Keith Ellison. Bachmann also ranks next to last in PAC money contributions for the election cycle to date.

PAC Dollars to Minnesota’s U.S. House Delegation, January 2009 – March 2010

Rank
Representative
PAC Dollars
Percent
1
Jim Oberstar
$576,386
19.5
2
Collin Peterson
$511,800
17.3
3
Erik Paulsen
$504,051
17.1
4
Tim Walz
$375,920
12.7
5
John Kline
$334,893
11.3
6
Betty McCollum
$243,182
8.2
7
Michele Bachmann
$232,275
7.9
8
Keith Ellison
$173,010
5.9

FEC data compiled by Smart Politics.

Bachmann’s two DFL rivals – Maureen Reed and Party-endorsed Tarryl Clark – also both rely largely on non-PAC money in their fundraising campaigns. PAC contributions constituted 7.4 percent of Clark’s Q1 2010 tally ($37,550) and just 1.5 percent of Reed’s ($3,000).

However, since launching their campaigns last year, Clark has received more than 22 times as much money from PACs as her DFL primary opponent: PACs have contributed $138,700 to Clark (12.5 percent of her net receipts) compared to just $6,250 for Reed (0.8 percent).

At this point in her inaugural Congressional campaign in 2006, Bachmann had raised only $6,000 in PAC funds.

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