Bachmann (Charlie Neibergall/AP)
A North Carolina political operative has launched "Keep Conservatives United" to boost Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign.
The committee, which filed late last month with the Federal Election Commission, can raise and spend unlimited amounts of cash to boost Bachmann's bid, so long as it doesn't directly coordinate with the Minnesota lawmaker's campaign.
Bob Harris, who founded the group, tells CNN's Gabriela Schwartz the PAC plans to run ads touting Bachmann's record while also criticizing Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who will jump into the 2012 race this weekend.
"Bachmann has the guts to fight the Washington establishment and Rick Perry is just a spoiler," Harris told CNN. "I think his record is not what people think it is."
But Perry is getting his own help in the race. As the Washington Post's Aaron Blake reports, a pair of leading Texas fundraisers has launched "Make Us Great Again," a conservative super PAC that plans to spend big cash to support Perry's bid for the GOP nomination. Among those working for the group: Cleta Mitchell, a prominent Washington attorney who most recently worked for tea party darlings Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle.
The group, according to the Post, aims to consolidate support from several other PACs that have formed in recent weeks floating Perry's name for the GOP nomination. That includes Americans for Rick Perry, which, as The Ticket previously reported, has already been spending freely in Iowa to boost the governor's bid there.
It remains to be seen if the groups can match the fundraising prowess of Restore Our Future, a pro-Romney PAC that raised $12.2 million between April and June to support the ex-Massachusetts governor's 2012 bid. Most of that cash was raised via big checks, including one from a mysterious company that dissolved shortly after giving $1 million to the PAC. Last week, after campaign watchdogs called for a federal probe into the donation, the donor came forward.
On Thursday, watchdog groups called for the Justice Department and Federal Election Commission to look into two other mysterious contributions to the committee. The PAC reported receiving $1 million apiece from Eli Publishing and F8 LLC, which list the same Provo, Utah, address.
As The Ticket previously reported, the companies appear to be linked to Steven Lund, head of the anti-aging company Nu Skin, but two reform groups--Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center--want Restore Our Future to reveal who is behind the companies and their donations.
- Michele Bachmann
- Rick Perry