Rep. Michele Bachmann's office has insisted that an e-mail auto-reply message from an organization called "Bachmann for Senate" was merely a typo.
But the "Bachmann for Senate" message came from a top-flight Republican campaign consulting group: Targeted Victory, at 66 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 501, Alexandria, Va. The company has issued a Twitter apology for the "typo."
Or was the timing just off? Is Bachmann, already in a tough fight for re-election this year in CD6, seriously gearing up for a shot at Democrat Amy Klobuchar's Senate seat in 2012, or Al Franken's in 2014?
A typo? This is from a company with deep, high-end GOP pedigree that describes itself as "a leader in online advertising, mobile communications, social networking, and integrated data management for political candidates and causes."
Co-founder Michael Beach was the National Victory Director for the Republican National Committee for the 2007-08 election cycles. The other co-founder, Zac Moffett, was part of Freedom's Watch, described on SourceWatch as a front group for White House policy and a neo-con slush fund supporting the war in Iraq.
Both men and their staffers have played a variety of campaign roles for Republican clients in the past including George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg. Current clients include American Action Network, former Sen. Norm Coleman's think tank; Marco Rubio, the GOP candidate for governor in Florida beloved by Tea Party activists; and Rick Lazio, the former New York State GOP congressman now running in that state for governor.
The "typo" first came to light after AP reporter Martigal Lohn signed up for Bachmann campaign e-mail newsletters last week. Lohn tweeted about the slip, and posted a screen grab of the image:
We've left messages with both Targeted Victory and Bachmann's office seeking comment. When, or if, we get a reply, we'll let you know what they say.