Fearmonger Boosts Campaign ... of Opponent; Noriega on Rise
Donations flood Minnesota race and Texas U.S. Senate contest
By Lee Nichols,
12:20PM, Sun. Oct. 19, 2008
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is learning a hard lesson this week – that hateful, Swift Boat-style attacks can backfire. Bachmann, who represents counties surrounding Minneapolis-St. Paul to the north, went on MSNBC's Hardball With Chris Matthews Friday evening to make yet another trashy attack linking Barack Obama with Sixties radical Bill Ayers.
"I'm very concerned that he may have anti-American views," Bachmann said of Obama. "That's what the American people are concerned about." When Matthews noted that this person she was accusing of having "anti-American" views is a U.S. Senator, she replied, "I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think people would love to see an expose like that."
It's doubtful the attack helped the John McCain campaign, but worse for Bachmann, it damn sure didn't help hers. Within minutes, thousands of donations started flooding into the campaign of her opponent, Elwyn Tinklenberg.
Shortly after the Hardball segment, my wife checked out Tinklenberg's page on ActBlue.com, a Democratic fundraising site, and his totals had shot up from a couple thousand dollars to $70,000. She hit refresh after a couple of seconds, and it was over $71,000. Hit refresh again, it was over $72,000, etc. As of this posting, Tinklenberg's totals on ActBlue alone are $256,183, and a campaign spokesman told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that 9,000 people gave $450,000 within 24 hours of the show. That more than doubles the cash Tinklenberg previously had on hand – his latest Federal Election Commission filings showed $356,721 in his account as of Sept. 30.
Speaking of ActBlue, I just noticed something else on their page: In their listing of currently hot campaigns, Texas U.S. Senate candidate Rick Noriega has suddenly jumped up to No. 5. Are Democrats finally waking up and realizing John Cornyn is vulnerable? A time frame is not listed, but 19,666 total supporters have given him $1,642,970 via the site. That's probably a boost for him – according to his most recent report, he took in barely over a million dollars from July 1 to Sept. 30, and at the end of that period he had just $951,404.