Our People-Powered Campaign To Defeat Bachmann Is Coming To Netroots Nation

Bumped to the front page.

Two years ago, in the final days of the 2008 campaign, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann appeared on Hardball, and said the words that propelled her to the national stage:

Across the country, you rallied to send a message that Bachmann’s unique brand of divisive rhetoric would not be tolerated. You raised almost a million dollars in a matter of hours for her opponent. And while the campaign fell just short of defeating her in 2008, you knew what you had to do.

You’ve kept vigilant watch as Congresswoman Bachmann has gone under the white-hot spotlights of the cable talk show circuit again and again.

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MN-06: A candidate emerges to Dump Bachmann

Could 2010 be the year we finally Dump Bachmann?

Political Muse of Liberal in the Land of Conservative is reporting (and I have been able to independently confirm) that 2006 Independence Party Lt. Governor Nominee Dr. Maureen Reed spoke to a meeting of the 6th District DFL last night and announced that she will be running against Rep. Michelle Bachmann as a DFL candidate in 2010.

This is a very interesting development. Reed would be a very strong candidate. First. Who is she?

Dr. Maureen Reed currently serves as a diplomate in internal medicine with the American Board of Internal Medicine and a fellow of the American College of Physicians. She formerly served as medical director for HealthParners and as a member and chair of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents. In 2006 she ran for Lt. Governor on the Independence Party ticket with Peter Hutchinson. If she does indeed run she would be the first candidate to announce a run against Bachmann so far this cycle. 2006 and 2008 DFL candidate El Tinklenberg is also rumored to be mulling a run.

However I don't believe a Democrat is likely to beat Bachmann unless one of three things happens: Minnesota passes fusion voting in time for the 2010 election, Minnesota passes Instant Runoff Voting in time for the 2010 election or only two major parties run candidates on the ballot in 2010.

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The MYDD hot 100 (funding)

Desmoinesdem and his argument in Next cycle, donate strategically--not emotionally got me thinking.

It is not the case of either or, but rather harnessing the emotion to further strategic goals. The emotional money is most likely in addition to any rational donation strategy. NormDollar.com shows that emotion can be harnessed.

A possibility below.

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Next cycle, donate strategically--not emotionally

Last October, Representative Michele "Crazy as Steve King" Bachmann (MN-06) disgraced herself on "Hardball" and sparked a ridiculously successful fundraising drive for her Democratic opponent, El Tinklenberg. I was impressed by the enthusiasm and kicked in a few bucks for Tinklenberg myself, but I was dismayed to see bloggers continue to help him raise money even after he'd raised more than $750,000 and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had promised to spend an additional $1 million in his district. Within a few days of Bachmann's notorious comments, Tinklenberg had more money than he needed to run a solid media and GOTV campaign during the final two weeks before the election.

Since most Congressional races against incumbents are longshots, I wanted to see the netroots expand the field by raising $50,000 or more for a large number of unheralded challengers.

A fellow Iowa blogger sent me this piece from CQ Politics about how Tinklenberg's campaign committee was the largest donor to the DCCC in March, giving a total of $250,000:

You may recall that his Republican opponent was Rep. Michele Bachmann, whose mid-October comment that Obama "may have anti-American views" angered Democrats nationwide and spawned an avalanche of contributions to Tinklenberg in the waning days of a campaign that Bachmann won by 46 percent to 43 percent, with a third-party candidate taking 10 percent.

Apparently the money was coming in too fast for Tinklenberg to spend completely: he raised $3 million for his campaign, of which $1.9 million came in after October 15, and had $453,000 in leftover campaign funds at the end of 2008 and $184,000 at the end of March.

I'm not saying it wasn't worth getting behind Tinklenberg. Bachmann is among the worst Republicans in Congress, and this district rightly seemed winnable. However, the netroots clearly funneled way more money to Tinklenberg than he could spend effectively.

What if a million of the dollars we sent to the MN-06 race had been spread around 15 or 20 other districts? A bunch of the candidates I wanted to support as part of an expanded field got blown out by large margins, but an extra $50,000 could have made the difference for Josh Segall in AL-03, or for several candidates who weren't on my radar, such as Bill Hedrick in CA-44.

The netroots rally for Tinklenberg started out as a good cause but took on a momentum of its own. It didn't help that Tinklenberg sent out fundraising e-mails to his new donors every day or two during the home stretch, even after he had more than enough money to close out the campaign.

Maybe the majority of blog readers who gave $10 or $20 or $50 to Tinklenberg wouldn't have given to some other longshot Congressional challenger. Maybe people need an emotional trigger before they are willing to open their wallets. But in future election cycles, we need to be smarter about how we focus our energy and our fundraising efforts during the final weeks of a campaign. There's no shortage of wingnuts worth targeting. Also, a fair number of good incumbent Democrats will probably need our help in 2010, depending on how the economy looks 18 months from now.

Any ideas or suggestions on how to raise money effectively during the next cycle would be welcome in this thread.

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So, No Apology Then?

Wow. Here is Michele Bachman's so-called apology ad in which the closest she comes to apologizing is when she says "I may not always get my words right but I know my heart is right." Yeah, the same heart that questioned and demanded an investigation into the patriotism of her colleagues. What a joke.

Watch it:

There was no way she could actually come out and apologize because A. she's not sorry, she meant every word and B. her base would turn on her because they believe every word as well. It's just too bad for her that her base is made up of an increasingly marginalized fringe right wing freakshow crowd. It's the same crowd she's appealing to when she says "We could embrace government as the answer to our problems or we could choose freedom and liberty." They literally believe government is the opposite of freedom. How sad.

If we've learned one thing this year, it's that the American people more and more do see government as having a crucial role in our lives and as a force of good. They actually want a competent, well-run government for a change. But this revelation is lost on Bachmann and all her fellow ideologues. This idea that government restricts freedom is the at the heart of their worldview; it's central to the right-wing meme that "big government" is evil that has been propagated by 30 years of conservative intellectuals, think tanks and a complicit media saying it is so. Reversing this meme is one of our biggest priorities as we embark on what could turn out to be a new progressive era.

As for Bachmann...well you know what to do. Give to El Tinklenberg today.

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