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HUGO - During a carefully coordinated bus tour of her district Wednesday, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., said she hopes to use her fundraising power this fall to propel "constitutional conservatives" into Congress.
Bachmann told reporters aboard her campaign bus that she is modeling her new political action committee, MichelePAC, after South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund. DeMint's organization gained attention during the primary season for propping up conservative candidates while sometimes bucking the Republican establishment.
In particular, Bachmann pointed to DeMint's backing of Colorado Senate candidate Ken Buck, a Tea Party favorite who won his long-shot primary race against a candidate who had the support of several prominent Republicans.
"You saw how [DeMint] was able to have an impact with Ken Buck, and I'm hoping to be able to do that this fall," Bachmann said.
She added that her leadership PAC will target "constitutional conservatives who want to roll back spending, who want to roll back tax increases and who want to create a more job-friendly climate economically in our country."
Campaign spokesman Sergio Gor said MichelePAC will not be involved in any of the handful of congressional primaries left this year, though it will likely have a presence in the general election and 2012 primaries.
Aside from a brief exchange with reporters aboard the bus, the first leg of Bachmann's tour of the district stuck to a tight script. Reporters were briefly brought in to watch Bachmann make cookies in Woodbury and speak with manufacturing plant workers in Hugo.
In an e-mail pitch to supporters Wednesday, Bachmann noted that "fueling this bus tour will be expensive" and asked them to help her raise $48,000 in the next two days.
The tour came a day after her campaign launched its first television ad against her opponent, Sen. Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, targeting her votes on taxes. The ad buy -- estimated to cost $200,000 this week alone -- is the first in an expected series of spots hitting Clark.
Eric Roper • 612-673-1732