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November 19, 2012

When candidates spam

End of election will bring relief to Americans' email inboxes

WASHINGTON — Wednesday morning will bring blessed relief to all Americans in — or even near — the battleground states, who have suffered most in the endless barrage of a billion-dollar television ad war.

And another group — the unfortunate folks, including non-battleground-state residents — deluged by e-mails from the candidates incessantly badgering them for money — will be able to log on in peace.

All lawmakers in competitive races have been clogging America's inboxes, begging for cash. One of our favorites was from Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., the former presidential candidate whose fundraising machine may have been one of the most persistent. And she wouldn't be ignored.

Bachmann's in a competitive race, though she's favored to win. (The Washington Post has it leaning Republican.) Still, she got just 53 percent of the vote in 2010 — and that was without President Obama at the top of the ticket. So here's how she's raised huge amounts of cash to hold on to her seat.

A July 16 e-mail said she knew "our time was extremely valuable," so she wanted "$25, $50, $100 or more" to defeat her opponent, wealthy businessman Jim Graves, and "fight leftist Democrats like Nancy Pelosi."

Two days later she e-mailed that she was "very concerned you haven't responded" to that e-mail.

On Aug. 17 we got an e-mail noting a headline that morning raising a frightening possibility: "Could Bachmann lose?"

"The answer," she said, "is without your immediate support, yes." So she wanted another $25, $50, $100 or more.

On Sept. 25, we received a "Confidential Campaign Update," since she said we were "one of my best supporters."

Then outgoing Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., showed up in Minnesota on Oct. 3, sparking another request for money. The next day, came another e-mail: "As I wrote you yesterday . . . "

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