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Embattled U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann is starting an unusual off-election-year ad campaign in the Twin Cities, according to filings with the Federal Communications Commission.
The ad campaign, first reported in the National Journal, begins Thursday, a full 18 months before voters go to the polls.
Records show that Bachmann’s campaign will run more than two dozen spots on KMSP, the local Fox affiliate, over the next two weeks. The $14,565 purchase is part of a larger campaign that weighs in at closer to $85,000, according to Democratic sources.
A spokesman for Bachmann said he could not discuss the content of the ads.
The ads come as the Minnesota Republican is reportedly in settlement talks in connection with a lawsuit stemming from the alleged theft of a staffer’s e-mail list by the Iowa chairman of Bachmann’s 2012 presidential campaign.
Bachmann also is to take part in a Capitol Hill news conference Thursday on IRS “intimidation” of Tea Party groups, an issue that could highlight her credentials as a Tea Party leader and former IRS attorney.
She also is sponsoring a new bill to repeal Obamacare, an issue that helped thrust her into a national spotlight three years ago. The repeal bill, which is scheduled for a House vote Thursday, will be the 37th time the GOP-led House has voted to defund all or part of the law.
Bachmann has been raising money at a furious pace recently, playing against her status as a top target for the House Majority PAC, the leading House Democratic super PAC. She faces a rematch next year with DFL businessman Jim Graves, who lost to her by little more than 1 percentage point in November.
Of the ads, Graves said: “Candidly, I’m not very interested.” His focus, he said, is employment and the business climate in the district.