Michele Bachmann's biggest donors

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

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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

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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.

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