SOUTHERN MINNESOTA - Republican Allen Quist is reporting his highest individual contribution fundraising total yet for Thursday's Pre-General Election FEC report for his campaign for Minnesota's 1st Congressional District.
However, his fundraising totals continue to be among the lowest of all Republicans to challenge Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, even with access to U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann's donor list and $128,000 in ad spending this month.
Quist raised $17,906 in contributions from individuals and $3,100 in donations from political committees. Quist also loaned himself $100,000 for his campaign to bring the total funds raised to $121,006 for the month for the reporting period of Oct. 1 to Oct 17.
Quist spent $216,701 over the reporting period, of which at least $128,000 was spent on an ad buy surge. He ended the period with $78,930 in cash on hand.
The most notable development in this report is that Quist's latest loan to himself brings his total self financing to $490,000 for the campaign, which represents 86 percent of all the campaign funds he raised this election. Quist only raised $72,991 from individual contributions this election, $1,200 from local political parties and $4,100 from PACS.
Even with the large scale self funding, Quist has lagged far behind Walz throughout the campaign and barely behind previous Walz challengers. Walz's final FEC was not available for this story, but his fundraising up to the end of September shows his totals for the whole campaign were: $1,074,466 in individual contributions, $6,760 from political parties and $712,462 from PACs with no self-contributions.
The other big story with Quist's FEC report is that he remains barely halfway to his campaign promise goal of raising $1 million dollars to defeat Walz. Quist said that he would personally cover all the portions of the $1 million not generated through fundraising. Currently, Quist has raised $568,591 total for the campaign.
Quist continues to insist big funds from Republican donors and other sources will materialize before election day to cover the remainder. But, Quist said last week that more funds would be contributed for October reporting. Additionally, with less than 10 days before the election, Quist will have effectively no time to spend the roughly $500,000 still needed if the big donors do emerge.
Thursday's FEC report showed how little impact fundraising superstar U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann's assistance has had on Quist's campaign, with her influence barely being able to raised even $10,000 for Quist.
Quist and Bachmann have long been close friend throughout their political careers. Ahead of the 1st District Republican endorsement convention last April, Bachmann gave her endorsement of Quist. But, the convention was ultimately unable to pick a winner after a 14-hour, 23-ballot session.
Later in July, Bachmann participated as guest speaker for a Quist fundraiser. FEC reports show the fundraiser was generated $5,400 at most. Bachmann later provided an in-kind donation of a donor list to Quist's campaign in early October. According to Thursday's FEC report, Quist only raised just over $4,500 in the days after receiving the list and making $128,000 in ad buys.
Bachmann raised $4.5 million for her own campaign over the last three months.
There will be no more FEC fundraising reports before the election. However, the influence of Quist's large ad buys will be able to be tracked through the 48-hour disclosure reports required for donations over $1,000. So far, Quist shows $3,500 raised in this type from Oct. 24 to Oct. 25. Comparatively, Walz's 48-hour reports show him having raised a total of $14,500 from Oct. 18 to Oct. 25.
(Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)