Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tinklenberg picks up $450,000 in wake of Bachmann remarks

Elwyn Tinklenberg’s congressional campaign received roughly $450,000 in contributions in the 24 hours following U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s controversial talk show appearance on Friday afternoon, campaign officials said today.

More than 9,000 individual donors contributed to the DFL- and Independence Party-endorsed challenger’s campaign from around the country, mostly through the Internet, said Tinklenberg spokesman John Wodele.

“It’s phenomenal what the Internet has done to politics,” he said. “I don’t think all these contributions are a result of her comments. But she put fuel on the fire. No doubt.”

The one-day haul would exceed what the Tinklenberg campaign raised in the last three months and total nearly half of what it has raised to date.

On Friday, Bachmann, R-Minn., told MSNBC talk show host Chris Matthews she thought Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife Michelle “may have anti-American views” and said the media should investigate whether members of Congress are “pro-America or anti-America.”

A candidate’s personal relationships can tell you what kind of philosophy and decisions they would make if elected, and that’s what Bachmann was saying, said Michelle Marston, Bachmann’s campaign manager.

Marston said the campaign has received donations as well as phone calls in support and opposing Bachmann’s remarks.

“It’s that time of year,” she said. “The spin machine kicks into overdrive.”

Tinklenberg received about $250,000 of the donations directly through the campaign’s Web site, while another $200,000 came through ActBlue, a progressive political action committee that allows people to donate to particular candidates online, Wodele said.

One of those donating to ActBlue was Mark Fullerton, a Minneapolis resident who said he was offended by Bachmann’s statements.

“I just think the kind of dialogue we’ve descended into the last couple weeks is not good for the country,” he said. “Voters should be aware of the comments she’s made and the attitudes she has.”

Fullerton said he had followed Bachmann’s record and statements for the past two years but had only a passing familiarity with Tinklenberg’s campaign before Friday.

The donations will allow the Tinklenberg campaign to run more television advertising in the closing weeks of the campaign than would otherwise have been possible, Wodele said.

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