Bachmann speaks in St. Cloud (St. Cloud Times, March 17, 2012) – Michele Bachmann speaks during a stop at the District 14 Republican Convention in St. Cloud on Saturday, March 17, 2012. (02:31)
By Mark Sommerhauser
St. Cloud Times
March 17, 2012
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann on Saturday urged St. Cloud Republicans to help her return to Congress this November, vowing to “continue to be an absolute fighter from the word ‘go.’”
Bachmann, R-Stillwater, stressed points that underpinned her former bid for the GOP presidential nomination. She said she wants to keep working to erase two of President Obama’s biggest lawmaking accomplishments: the health care act of 2010 and the Dodd-Frank financial act.
Bachmann’s remarks came at the Senate District 14 Republican convention at South Junior High School in St. Cloud. …
Bachmann spoke before votes to select delegates to the 6th Congressional District GOP convention and to the state Republican convention. The latter event will be held at the River’s Edge Convention Center [St. Cloud] in May. …
Bachmann has said she’ll seek a fourth term in the 6th District. Its new boundaries will retain the district’s core turf: the St. Cloud area, Sherburne and Wright counties and most of Anoka County, as well as new territory in western Carver County.
But the district will no longer include Bachmann’s home near Stillwater. Bachmann has emphasized her long-standing ties to the 6th District in explaining why she’ll run again there.
Bachmann told those at the Senate District 14 convention that it’s crucial to prevent President Obama from earning a second term, in part because the health care act and Dodd-Frank act — both of which he signed — must be repealed.
“He’s taken over the banking industry and he’s going to put half the banks out of business,” Bachmann said of Obama. “We’ve seen one industry after another now under the thumb and the control of government. That’s got to end.”
“He’s taken over the banking industry and he’s going to put half the banks out of business” — can this woman discuss any issue without lying?
Bachmann bashers can deride and insult to their hearts’ content — and it will all be for naught in November.
It will take a defeat in a Republican primary to undo Bachmann. …
Michele Bachmann’s March of Folly (2009-2010)
Michele Bachmann Up-Close (2010-2011)
Rep. Michele Bachmann’s Campaign for President (2011-2012)
By Mark Sommerhauser
St. Cloud Times
March 23, 2012
ST. PAUL — Two more Democrats moved Thursday to challenge U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, adding to a suddenly crowded field interested in trying to unseat the state’s highest-profile Republican.
Stillwater-area businessman Brian McGoldrick and Minneapolis hotelier Jim Graves joined previously announced candidate Anne Nolan as hopefuls in the race. McGoldrick and Nolan, a nonpracticing attorney and workplace consultant from St. Cloud, both plan to seek the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s endorsement at the April 14 district convention in Blaine. …
McGoldrick, who lives in Washington County’s May Township, launched a series of photography-related businesses starting in his early 20s and sold them in the 1990s. He’s since worked in real estate development and also owns a marina and restaurant on White Bear Lake. He’s never run for office or been active in politics, and said he’s likely to use at least part of his own finances for his campaign.
“I can see that the most important issue for our residents right now is jobs,” McGoldrick said. He accused Bachmann of doing nothing to bring jobs to the district and also swiped at her Republican presidential bid: “I know Minnesota’s 6th District isn’t located somewhere down in Iowa.” …
Nolan said an economic message about jobs and home foreclosures would be central to her campaign as well.
“We’ve got so many people underwater in their mortgages in this district,” said Nolan, who has lost two previous state House races. “The real estate crash has hit this district terribly. It’s a great opportunity to talk about economic issues.”
Graves is chief executive of Graves Global Hospitality, a company with holdings that include the Graves 601 Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. Graves, also a political novice, lives outside the district in south Minneapolis. He isn’t required to live in the district, but a statement announcing his campaign stressed his St. Cloud roots.
Graves was born and raised there, and serves as a trustee at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph. His statement said he had “created hundreds of jobs” beginning with his roots as an entrepreneur in St. Cloud. …
Whoever ends up as the Democratic candidate faces a tough challenge with Bachmann. First elected to Congress in 2006, she’s a proven fundraiser and polarizing figure who, while incurring the wrath of Democrats and liberals, has cultivated strong devotion from many Republicans and conservatives. …
The 6th District stretches from suburbs north of the Twin Cities and reaches northwest to St. Cloud.
The district’s voters are seen above all as socially conservative. It could prove a challenge for McGoldrick, who supports abortion rights and said he thinks gay marriage should be legal. Nolan, in contrast, opposes legalized abortion but said she would first support steps to reduce it. Nolan said she opposes the amendment on Minnesota’s November ballot to outlaw gay marriage in the state constitution.
No matter how you slice it, Sixth District voters will not elect a DFL candidate; moreover, after redistricting, the 6th is even more conservative now than in 2010, when Bachmann won by a landslide.
Here’s a macropolitical analysis of MN-06 political demographics, followed by an asymmetrical strategy for defeating Michele Bachmann:
The truth of the matter is that Bachmann’s fate will be decided on Aug. 14, in the open primary in which Democrats are free to vote — not in the Nov. 6 general election.
That’s a cold, concrete fact.
The Republican Party will make sure Bachmann has no creditable challenge in a primary.
Both parties exert considerable pressure on non-endorsed candidates to stay out of primaries. It is rotten, I hate it personally, but that’s the way both play the game (in the name of “unity”). I prefer that party nominees be selected in primary elections — by a broader base of voters instead of a handful of party insiders.
Opinion column by John Bodette
St. Cloud Times
April 1, 2012
This section of today’s column is an invitation to Rep. Michele Bachmann.
I’m making this invitation as a member of the Times Editorial Board. It is a serious statement and I mean no disrespect.
The last time Rep. Bachmann met with the board in person was 2008. We have extended invitations privately several times. No meetings have been scheduled. The result is today’s public invitation.
I’m puzzled as to why our Congress member won’t meet with us. …
When it comes to issues in Congress that affect the 6th District, who better to brief the board than the elected member of Congress who represents the district?
Respectfully, that person is you, Rep. Bachmann.
Regretfully, the board’s invitations to visit with us when you are in the St. Cloud area go unfulfilled.
Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken have met with the board. Between the two, both have come to talk about issues several times in meetings not focused on deciding an election endorsement. Their predecessors and yours did so, too.
We aren’t asking for special treatment. Recently, you had at least two local visits to meet with citizens in St. Cloud. Again, how about 30 minutes or an hour with the Editorial Board next time you are in the St. Cloud area?
A civil conversation with an update from you on the status of legislation affecting the people of your district would be a good thing.
By Bill Prendergast
December 27, 2009
I set out these four reasons on February 20th of 2009, in a Kos diary entitled “Over at Dump Michele Bachmann.” But that wasn’t the first time I listed the reasons; I’d been posting them in response to inquiries ever since Bachmann was first elected to Congress in 2006. All of the following conditions still obtain on the ground here in the Sixth Congressional District of Minnesota.
1. The Sixth District of Minnesota was gerrymandered to be a very conservative district. Since it was redistricted about ten years ago, the congressional seat has always been won by a Republican — regardless of the local and national economy, regardless of Michele’s opponent. (She beat liberal Patty Wetterling to win her first term in Congress; and she beat Blue Dog Democrat Elwyn Tinklenberg to win her second term.)
2. There is a white-hot core of angry, paranoid, conservative potato heads living in this district. It’s the most conservative district in this liberal state, and those guys are proud of it. Michele is the darling of the local Rush Limbaugh knockoffs. If Olbermann or Sanchez do a piece on national TV that shows her in the actual act of lying — they vote for her harder.
3. She’s an evangelical darling; that’s how she got started and took away the nomination from a more “secular” conservative Republican to win her first elective office. She doesn’t talk much these days about “how gay marriage means the end of Western civilization” and “how wacky the theory of evolution is” — but the conservative evangelicals up here know that’s where she came from and what she stands for — so they’re in her pocket, every election. (She’s also got the national evangelical political movement on her side; the Council for National Policy, the Dobsons of this world.)
4. Our local press. We send stuff to the press, letter, calls for corrections, documented evidence of her craziest statements and lies — the professional press and the big papers don’t run it. We’ve been putting it on the Web (at the Dump Bachmann blog and at thebachmannrecord.com) for years; they won’t go near it. Not one journalist in a big local newspaper is willing to report the crazy [expletive deleted] that she’s said over the years on local conservative and evangelical radio. (The local “alternative” newsweekly in Minneapolis/St. Paul — the City Pages — is doing stuff on her now, but the older folks don’t read that. I’m not sure the younger folks are reading it much, either, except for the movie and record reviews.)
5. About ten per cent of the voters in Bachmann’s Sixth District can be identified as more-or-less “libertarian” independents – Ross Perot/Jesse Ventura types. They say they hate the Republicans as well as the Democrats, but it’s a certainty that these voters hate Democrats more. They are opposed to “special interests” and big government. (But yes, I’m sure that those of them that qualify take their federal farm and ag subsidies, just like the Bachmann family.) This bloc of voters is so independent that it doesnt even respect the endorsement of Minnesota’s Independence Party (which endorsed Bachmann’s Dem opponent [in 2008] last time around). Their presence acts to limit the effectiveness of any Dem challenger.
So there’s five reasons “why this kook and liar can get elected.” But why the uptick in Bachmann’s numbers?
Well, in the past two years there have been at least three new developments.
6. Her national fame. Never in their lifetimes have the conservative Minnesotans who live in her district seen their congressional representative get this much attention. The district is a backwater, unimportant in national politics – but Bachmann’s successful attempt to build a national base has put them on the map. Bachmann is a nut, bigot, and liar – but if conservative rhetoric is all you care about, she’s a phenomenally successful one: and that makes local conservatives somehow “feel successful.”
It does not bother local conservatives in the least that Bachmann has delivered no significant legislation or reforms at any time during her nine-year career in office. It does not bother them that the district has suffered economically during her entire tenure of office; that she has delivered practically nothing for the district in the way of returning their federal taxes to it. It does not bother them that the Sixth District continues to lead Minnesota in home foreclosures.
What matters to the Republican conservatives and independent conservatives of this district is that “one of them” finally has a spot on the national stage.
7. Over the last year or so, Bachmann has “reached out” with photo-ops about issues like “women’s health care” and such. A la Ronald Reagan, she creates the media event to show “she’s listening, she’s aware” – and this apparently pays off, even though she’s the enemy of any real effort to fund improvements in women’s health care (or anyone’s health care).
8. Over the last year or so, Bachmann has made a sustained attempt to “crack” the local Ron Paul vote. She regularly attended Paul’s “seminars” in D.C. and was talking him up whenever she got the chance. That (I think) has helped her numbers back here in Minnesota. As you might suspect from reading the above, Paul has a significant number of acolytes here in the district. (This year they staged a sort of “coup” in the local Republican Party and captured some of the important posts in the local GOP.) The reach-out to Paul voters was a canny way to cut into that “independent vote” that was keeping Bachmann’s previous numbers to just under 50%.
So, no, its not the jibes from the “lefties” that are improving her numbers. It’s voting demographics here on the ground, the national notoriety, cowardly local corporate media. And the Bachmann campaign’s effective courting of Ron Paul’s John Birch-type “yes, it really is a conspiracy” libertarians here in the district.
That what’s paying off for her, here in her district.
UPDATES: MICHELE BACHMANN ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Swiss Miss: Michele Bachmann’s Foreign Citizenship (May 10, 2012)
What Embarrassed a Bachmann Constituent (May 18, 2012)
Bachmann Misleads Campaign Donors on Redistricting (May 31, 2012)
Bachmann Lies to Campaign Donors about Redistricting (June 15, 2012)
ObamaCare: Michele Bachmann’s SCOTUS Bust (June 28, 2012)
“I am going to be present in the courtroom when SCOTUS announces their ruling on Obamacare.” (Michele Bachmann via Twitter, June 28, 2012)
Michele Bachmann’s Muslim Brotherhood Conspiracy (July 18, 2012)
Michele Bachmann’s Record of Reckless Conspiracy Theories (July 24, 2012)
Catholic Bishops, Lutheran Church Condemn Bachmann (July 27, 2012)
Video courtesy of Jim Graves for Congress
Michele Bachmann’s Obama Birthday Bash (Aug. 4, 2012)
Michele Bachmann and Jim Graves (Photo credit: Getty Images/Facebook via WJON)
Bachmann Now Sees al-Qaida Influence in U.S. Government (Aug. 11, 2012)
10 Reasons Republicans Should Repudiate Michele Bachmann (Aug. 13, 2012)
Bachmann Scores Worst Incumbent Primary Win in 50 Years (Aug. 14, 2012)
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