Bachmann staff shakeup comes despite huge second quarter fundraising total

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The media’s made a big deal of Sarah Palin’s $865,000 in PAC fundraising last quarter, but not everyone’s ignoring the significantly larger sum brought in by the Republican party’s other ‘mama grizzly,’ Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Frum Forum reports:

Michele Bachmann raised $1.7 million in the last quarter, more than the erstwhile Republican vice-presidential candidate, even though she had to balance fundraising with her congressional duties and her campaign for reelection. More importantly, Bachmann’s contributors were limited by FEC regulations to a maximum of $2,400, while Palin’s contributors were each allowed to donate up to $5,000 to her PAC.

But oddly enough, the Bachmann camp doesn’t seem to be popping the champagne over the news. Instead, the congresswoman’s congressional and campaign offices today announced the departures of Ron Carey, her legislative chief of staff,  and Zandra Wolcott, her campaign finance director.

POLITICO spoke to Wolcott today after the news broke:

“I am leaving the campaign,” said Wolcott, a successful Minnesota operative who was a lead consultant for President George W. Bush’s campaign in the state.

“It’s just time to move on,” she told POLITICO. “I have other things to do here in Minnesota.”

Wolcott would not say whether she decided on her own to leave the job or if the campaign asked her to leave.

Staff turnover’s hardly unusual for Bachmann’s congressional office, as POLITICO noted in February:

Bachmann, who was elected in 2006, has had turnover at every major spot in her office, according to news accounts. She has gone through at least three chiefs of staff, with Michelle Marston decamping late last year without providing an explanation.

But even given the frequent shifting of Bachmann’s staff on the legislative side, the campaign’s loss of Wolcott, a fundraiser who had seemingly been doing her job quite well based on the second quarter total, is noteworthy, to say the least.