Michele Bachmann's biggest donors

Bachmann got lots of small contributions, and a handful of big ones.

Bachmann got lots of small contributions, and a handful of big ones.

As of June 30, Michele Bachmann's campaign warchest had about $3.7 million in it, $2 million of which she rolled over from her own political action committee. That still means Bachmann for President raised about $1.7 million in a red-hot two weeks in June.

As has been the case for the last two years, most of the money -- this time, about $1.1 million -- comes from a huge number of small donations. Small amounts leave the donors' identities hidden, as donations under $200 don't have to be listed for the Federal Election Commission.

But that still leaves $564,804 from 1,042 donors as evidence that yes, some real people are paying for Michele Bachmann to run for president. So who are they?


In her July quarterly report, six donors had already maxed-out their legal donations to Bachmann for President with $5,000. Here's who they are and, in one case, why they gave.

Cary Katz


Las Vegas, NV

C.E.O., College Loan Corporation

Jacqueline Katz

Las Vegas, NV


As a couple, the Katz's wham-bang max-out donations on June 28 brought in a quick, easy $10,000 to Bachmann for President. Cary runs the College Loan Corporation, one of the nation's largest private originators of student loans. Cary and Jacqueline Katz are prolific donors to Republican candidates, and Cary has also given several thousand dollars to Bachmann's and Sarah Palin's political action committees.

Katz has a pretty lucrative side gig as a successful professional poker player. So far this year, he's won over $100,000 on the professional circuit. Katz also runs a small nonprofit lobbying group called "Stop Child Predators." Jacqueline Katz is listed on the board of directors at Stop Child Predators.

Clifford Heinz

Newport Beach, CA


An heir to the H.J. Heinz ketchup fortune, Heinz is on the conservative branch of the Heinz family tree. The liberal side produced Teresa Heinz Kerry, the filthy rich wife of Sen. John Kerry. That's got to be hard for Clifford, who once bankrolled a failed Senate campaign for Lt. Col. Oliver North, the right-wing fall guy for Iran-Contra.

Famously reclusive, Clifford Heinz prefers to let his money do the talking. But a 2004 Los Angeles Times profile revealed one gem: When the Dalai Lama got the phone call telling him he'd won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, he was staying at Clifford Heinz's house. If anyone's trying to make a backdoor money connection between Michele Bachmann and the Dalai Lama, there it is.

On page 2, meet a comfortable local couple, and a rookie donor who was the only person willing to explain to City Pages why he gave money to her campaign.

Kenneth Larson

St. Paul, MN

CEO, Slumberland, Inc.


Barbara Larson

St. Paul, MN


Kenneth Larson is the CEO of Slumberland Furniture, the mattress and furniture store that's based out of Little Canada and has outlets in 11 Midwestern states. Larson is also a committed Evangelical Christian. In March he joined the board of directors for the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, a nonprofit that encourages responsible accounting among "Christ-centered organizations," and audits its member organizations to catch dishonesty.

Larson is almost a perfect Bachmann donor, combining Evangelical Christianity, frugal spending and tax documents. His wife Barbara, a homemaker, probably gets to sit and sleep on pretty comfortable stuff at home.

Arnold Felix

Elicott City, Maryland

Solutions Consultant for Keeper Technology, Llc


Felix gave two $2,500 donations to Bachmann on June 27. Felix goes against the grain in more ways than one: Coming from a technology job, and the strongly Democratic state of Maryland, he hardly fits the profile of a typical Michele Bachmann supporter. He's also the only person on this list who hasn't run his own company or married someone with his own company.

According to the Federal Election Commission record, the two $2,500 checks Felix gave Bachmann for President on June 27 were the first two political donations he's ever made. Felix told City Pages he donated to Bachmann for multiple reasons, and really couldn't find anything he didn't like about her or her background.

Why he gave: "I think it is time again for a change, again. I think she will bring a unique, strong, but feminine view to the office that has never happened before. I like her personal biography -- you know, mother of five, foster mother of 23 -- her husband is a licensed psychologist runnning a pastoral practice. I think she is very well qualified with her legal background. I just liked everything I saw."

Previous coverage: