Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, who has raised more money from individual donors this election cycle than the rest of MinnesotaÕs congressional delegation combined, didn't bring the same fundraising magic to Allen Quist.
Bachmann's July 20 fundraiser for Quist was less lucrative than the Quist campaign previously reported, according to a campaign finance report filed this week.
The man Quist hopes to knock off on Nov. 6 -- Democratic Congressman Tim Walz -- had a relatively quiet fundraising month in July, raising about a third of the $81,000 per month he's averaged in contributions in the past 19 months. But the $27,878 Walz raised from July 1 to July 25 nearly matched the $32,000 Quist has generated from supporters in his entire campaign.
Quist, however, has contributed $205,000 of his own money and made a personal loan of $25,000 -- bringing his total receipts to $262,000.
Walz had just less than $808,000 in his campaign treasury as of July 25 compared to $117,878 for Quist. State Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, who is running against Quist in the Aug. 14 primary election for the right to take on Walz, has $27,797 on hand.
Parry raised $90 more than his primary opponent in contributions from supporters but finished with $9,100 less in receipts because of Quist's latest self-financing.
A retired farmer from rural St. Peter, Quist contributed more from his own pocket in July -- $10,000 -- than the Bachmann event generated. Quist told various Minnesota media the event raised $9,000.
But the campaign's filing with the Federal Elections Commission showed that nine contributions of $250 were made to the Quist campaign July 20, the day the event was held at the home of a Rochester physician. That was the size of the donation required to get into the private reception with Bachmann, a former Republican presidential candidate, a tea party favorite and a supporter of Quist and his wife/campaign manager Julie.
There were also two $250 donations in the days before and after the fundraiser, so there may have been another pair of donors who attended and paid in advance or after the fact -- bringing the total garnered from the private reception to $2,750.
In addition to the private reception, Bachmann held a larger "general reception" that night for people who made $50 contributions. Donations of that size aren't itemized on reports to the Federal Elections Commission, so the total haul from the combined Bachmann events isn't spelled out by the filing.
Even if all of the money Quist raised in July from small donors -- $2,635 -- came via the Bachmann "general reception," the combined receptions would have brought in just less than $5,400 -- 40 percent less than the $9,000 Quist quoted to the media.
Quist's total fundraising from July 1 to July 25 was $8,800, not counting the $10,000 he contributed from his own pocket. The $8,800 also includes a $2,000 donation on July 23 by Maria Quist (a St. Peter resident who also paid $250 on July 20) and a $1,000 donation on July 3 by Karl Elshoff of Winona.
Heading to $2 million?
The Walz campaign might have reached a fundraising milestone if the sofa cushions had been searched and the coffee jar emptied at campaign headquarters on July 25. Along with the $27,878 Walz raised through July 25, $5,500 in large donations arrived in the final six days of the month -- leaving the campaign just $202 short of $1.5 million in contributions for the 2012 campaign.
Walz, a three-term incumbent, has already surpassed the $1.22 million he raised for the 2006 campaign when he toppled six-term Republican Congressman Gil Gutknecht of Rochester. Walz's top fundraising total came in his 2008 re-election bid, when he raised $2.82 million. His 2010 total was just more than $2.13 million.
The spending side
Parry has demonstrated more ability than Quist in persuading others to financially back his campaign, generating more than $111,000 in contributions since last fall compared to just less than $32,000 from Quist. But that might provide little consolation when Parry sees Quist running television ads across the 1st District, something he can afford because of his self-financing.
Quist spent more than $66,000 in the first 25 days of July alone, compared to less than $12,000 for Parry. Overall, Parry has been outspent $145,000 to $83,000 and appears destined to see that margin grow substantially in the final 11 days of the campaign considering Quist's $90,000 advantage in cash on hand.
Walz spent $28,612 in July and has spent $796,026 in total on the 2012 campaign.