- - Wednesday, January 5, 2011

PRESIDENCY

Bachmann ‘not ruling out’ bid for president

MINNEAPOLIS | U.S.Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is the keynote speaker at a GOP event in the early presidential caucus state of Iowa later this month, and a spokesman said Wednesday that the tea party favorite has “not ruled out” a bid for president.

“Nothing’s off the table for her,” said Andy Parrish, Mrs. Bachmann’s chief of staff. “She’s looking forward to traveling to Iowa for the fundraiser, and you know, she’s looking forward over the next year to traveling and sharing the story of why we can’t re-elect Barack Obama as president.”


Mr. Parrish wouldn’t say when Mrs. Bachmann would decide. But he said she won’t be affected by the decisions of fellow Minnesota Republican Tim Pawlenty, the state’s former two-term governor, or former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, whom Mrs. Bachmann has previously called a good 2012 prospect.

Mrs. Bachmann did not immediately respond to a request for comment made to her office.

Mrs. Bachmann, who has drawn a national following with frequent guest appearances on cable and network news shows, broke fundraising records with an $11 million haul en route to winning her third term in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District. She also founded the congressional Tea Party Caucus.

Mrs. Bachmann, 54, is a native of Waterloo, Iowa, but as a child moved with her family to Minnesota. On Jan. 21, she will deliver the keynote speech at the Iowans for Tax Relief PACs Taxpayers Watchdog Reception in Des Moines - an event co-hosted by Rep. Steve King and other prominent Iowa Republicans.

CAMPAIGN FINANCE

O’Donnell lawyer: Campaign reviewing spending

An attorney for former Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell has told federal regulators the campaign could not afford finance professionals to oversee its early spending and is now trying to reconcile bank records with its federal spending reports.

In a letter to the Federal Election Commission posted to the agency’s website Wednesday, lawyer Cleta Mitchell says the Delaware Republican’s campaign is reviewing all reports filed over the two-year election cycle and hopes to submit necessary amendments by the end of the month.

Ms. O’Donnell - a tea party favorite who lost to Democrat Chris Coons in November - has faced scrutiny over her campaign practices, including allegations that she used political donations to pay personal expenses. The Associated Press reported last week that the Justice Department is investigating her spending, assigning two FBI agents and two federal prosecutors to the case.

The FEC also has sent the campaign five letters since the election questioning the candidate’s financial reporting and requesting additional information.

Ms. Mitchell’s letter essentially asks the agency for patience, and hints that major amendments could be coming.

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