Michele Bachmann: Who are the anti-Bachmann bloggers?
Michele Bachmann has been in the cross-hairs of Minnesota Republican women bloggers, who are behind many mainstream media stories today about Michele Bachmann.
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Young, a Minneapolis resident who works in information technology as her day job, began the blog seven years ago, after stints as president of the Minnesota Log Cabin Republicans, the gay GOP group, and on the national board of the Log Cabin Republicans. She cut a quirky figure—an avid cat fancier who spoke her mind, commented up a storm on political sites, and didn’t hesitate to buck party orthodoxy. State GOP leaders don’t know quite what to make of her. “I probably haven’t talked to her in 10 years, but she was always kind of out there even then,” says Tony Sutton, the chair of the Minnesota Republican Party. “She was a liberal Republican—or a liberal; I’m not sure she was really a Republican.”Skip to next paragraph
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Young began fixating on Bachmann as the rising star’s views on gay rights came into view in the early 2000s. The pol’s staunch opposition to gay marriage and comments suggesting homosexuality was akin to "bondage” and “part of Satan” cried out for more scrutiny, in Young’s view. “The mainstream media would cover the things that she wanted them to cover, which is she would say things in one way when she was speaking to the mainstream media and then say something completely different when she was talking to her base or going on Christian radio,” Young says. So she began collecting “Bachmannalia." In the spring of 2004, Dump Bachmann was born.
At times, it has been a lonely road. Allies turned to enemies along the way, decrying what they describe as “obsessive” tendencies in Young and her crew. Mitch Berg, who writes the conservative Shot in the Dark blog and lives in St. Paul, says he used to be a friendly acquaintance. But he’s now an adversary, especially since Berg and Young got into a virtual tiff after Young allegedly posted his personal email to a blog while blasting comments he’d made about the perceived aggressiveness of lesbians.
Berg dismisses Dump Bachmann’s work as sensationalist. “I get the impression that they think their ends justify their means,” he says. “[Young is] probably the least deranged of the bunch—and I don’t mean to throw the ‘crazy’ term around lightly. But they’ve taken leave of the facts and substituted supposition for evidence.” Berg claims that no one really pays attention to the blog at home in Minnesota—its 3,000 visitors are dwarfed by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, which draws 1,000 times that much a day. But even he acknowledges the group’s influence, theorizing that its anti-Bachmann onslaught may have actually helped her in her tight 2006 race for the House.
Young’s compatriots are more traditional bomb throwers. Avidor, an artist, is a liberal New York native and mass-transit enthusiast who was a Green Party member for a time. Karl Bremer, a third contributor who also writes his own Ripple in Stillwater blog—which also doggedly pursues Bachmann-related stories—is a former professional journalist with a graying goatee and a stint at a craft brewery on his résumé.