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Former Minnesota Sen. Coleman gives vulnerable Cravaack campaign a fund raising hand

Former Sen. Norm Coleman hosted a fundraiser for Rep. Chip Cravaack on Friday afternoon at the Minneapolis Club, part of Coleman’s increasing support for Cravaack who is seen as vulnerable.

Cravaack has also picked up support from Rep. Michele Bachmann who has given Cravaack thousands from her PAC as well as her email list. Currently, three DFLers are vying for the nomination to take on Cravaack in 2012.

Coleman hosted the fundraiser on Friday along with Rep. Erik Paulsen. “The morning after becoming a Congressman, Chip Cravaack woke up with a target on his back after taking a long time Democratic Congressional District from Jim Oberstar,” the event invite reads.

Coleman’s American Action Network (AAN) PAC has backed Cravaack. In early August, Coleman’s AAN bought ads in the Duluth News Tribune support of Cravaack. AAN had listed Cravaack as vulnerable and is supporting his campaign.

AAN has been a target of government watchdog groups because of its political activity. Earlier this year, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the groups. CREW alleges that AAN spent more money on supporting Republicans and defeating Democrats than is allowed for a 501(c)4 organization.

Coleman isn’t the only high-profile politician to be lending Cravaack a financial helping hand. Michele Bachmann’s MICHELLE PAC has given Cravaack $5,000 so far this cycle and her campaign gave Cravaack its fundraising lists.

Cravaack leads the early race with $268,000 on hand at the end of the second quarter. DFLer Tarryl Clark had $132,000 by the end of June and Jeff Anderson, who had just entered the race in the 2nd quarter, had $3,500. Rick Nolan entered the race early in the third quarter, so no fundraising numbers are yet posted for him, although he’s earned a number of high-profile endorsements.

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