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Bachmann announces GOP presidential bid

Minnesota Republican rails against government she's benefited from

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann announced her entry into the GOP presidential race Monday with a fiery anti-government speech in Iowa.

“Government keeps trying to erase that spirit because government thinks it knows better how to spend our money, how to make a better life for us, they think they create jobs, they even think they can make us healthier,” Bachmann told the crowd. “But that’s not the case.”

Despite Bachmann’s stance as a foe of government spending, she has been willing in the past to accept government spending. As initially reported last fall by the iWatch News report “Stimulating Hypocrisy,” Bachmann sent at least six letters to the federal government requesting stimulus funds for pet projects in her home state.

Bachmann has stated that the stimulus law was a “failure” and that it did not create any jobs, but wrote Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that a project to replace a bridge in St. Croix would create nearly 3,000 jobs. And last weekend, the Los Angeles Times reported that a clinic owned by her husband and a family farm have both received federal subsidiaries.

And in this election season, fiery speeches and early showing in the polls may not be enough. Campaigns need money and support structures to be successful. In January, iWatch reported on lobbyists who were bundling money. Bachmann listed just $23,825.10 in bundled contributions. In May, we reported that Bachmann had yet to raise any money via state level PACs, a key tool for pesidential contenders. If this trend continues, Bachmann may not make it much further than her Iowa hometown of Waterloo.

Reprinted by permission of The Center for Public Integrity.

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Michele Bachmann speaking at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, June 17.