At today’s Iowa Straw Poll land auction, participating campaigns were surprised by a mystery participant who would not state which campaign she was representing.
Kellie Paschke, a lobbyist whose clients include Iowans for Tax Relief, arrived at the scheduled Straw Poll auction intending to bid on a parcel of the Iowa State Center for an undisclosed candidate.
Before the meeting started, representatives of Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, and Rick Santorum were seen outside the building discussing the situation of the mystery bidder.
The representatives went inside and began the meeting, but a short time later, campaign representatives and party staff were seen outside the back door of the RPI headquarters, presumably discussing how to handle the situation.
All of these individuals then went back in the building, but soon came out yet again for more discussion. At this point all of the campaigns were ready to walk away from the auction. Pawlenty’s Iowa Campaign Manager, Erik Helland, then arrived to provide reinforcements for the Pawlenty staff already present. Eventually, everyone went inside again, and it was disclosed that Paschke was at the Straw Poll Auction to bid on a lot for Rep. Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan.
Before McCotter’s involvement was revealed, sources linked to Rick Perry confirmed to TIR that Paschke was not there on his behalf.
With all of these unusual happenings, it was unclear whether the auction would actually occur today. Eventually, bidding did take place. Here are the details TIR has been able to uncover so far.
-Ron Paul was the highest bidder for a lot for $31,000.00
-McCotter bought a lot for $18,000.00, he was the second highest bidder
-Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain where the next highest bidders, with each getting a lot for $17,000.00.
-Rick Santorum spent $15,000.00 for his lot.
-Pawlenty ended up spending $15,000.00 for a less desirable lot.
-Newt Gingrich was represented at the meeting but did not bid.
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