Supporters of Representative Michele Bachmann have set up a political action committee to take unlimited corporate, union and individual donations in support of her presidential campaign.
Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican who won the Iowa Straw Poll last weekend, became the latest presidential candidate to benefit from a so-called super PAC, which must report its donors to the U.S. Federal Election Commission. The PACs can fund advertising in support of or opposition to a particular candidate, though they cannot contribute directly to a campaign or coordinate their activities with the candidate.
“President Obama’s record makes him vulnerable,” the PAC, Keep Conservatives United, says on its Website. “But who can make the case -- a cautious, split the difference politician with a mixed message like Governors Rick Perry or Mitt Romney? No. Only a gutsy true conservative like Michele Bachmann.”
The Bachmann-linked PAC is run by Bob Harris and Luther Snyder, former campaign aides to Republican Representative Renee Ellmers of North Carolina. Harris donated $250 to Bachmann’s presidential campaign, FEC records show.
The PAC is primarily focusing its fire on Perry, announcing it will run an online ad attacking him for his spending as governor of Texas. “As a spoiler, Perry can allow Romney to beat a divided conservative field,” the group said. So far, the PACs supporting Romney and Perry aren’t going after their favored candidates’ Republican rivals.
Super PACs also have been established by supporters of President Barack Obama and former Republican Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Perry of Texas.
The pro-Romney PAC, Restore Our Future, reported raising $12.3 million in the first six months of 2011, while Priorities USA Action, which supports Obama, raised $3.1 million.
Americans for Rick Perry took in $193,000, including $100,000 from Harold Simmons, chairman of Dallas-based Contran Corp., who has given more than $1 million to Perry’s gubernatorial campaigns.
A pro-Republican super PAC, American Crossroads, raised $3.9 million through June 30. The group is advised by two former aides to President George W. Bush, Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie and has said that it and an affiliated nonprofit that doesn’t disclose its donors, Crossroads GPS, will spend at least $120 million against Obama.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan D. Salant in Washington at email@example.com.