Campaign 2010

May 24, 2013

Four Questions Michele Bachmann is Ducking

Following media reports in the last week that the FBI has joined the investigation surrounding Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s failed presidential campaign in Iowa, the number of unanswered questions are mounting. Below are just of few of the unanswered questions Congresswoman Bachmann should address as she conducts events in the district this weekend:

·         It has been reported that the FBI has expressed interest in the FEC allegations. Has the FBI reached out to you or any of your other staff?

·         In his affidavit, your former campaign manager says you were aware of payments made to Iowa State Senator Kent Sorensen for his support in the Iowa caucuses. What motive does he have for lying?

·         You suggested that Iowa Senator Kent Sorenson abandoned your campaign in favor of Ron Paul because you allege that he said “everyone sells out in Iowa.” Were you trying to distract from payments made on your behalf to him?

·         Despite previously denying wrongdoing, you are reported to be in talks to settle a lawsuit over allegations your campaign stole an email list. Where does that stand? Do you plan to settle any other cases?

BACKGROUND

FBI Allegedly Now Investigating Bachmann. According to the Star Tribune, “One source familiar with the FBI inquiry said an agent from the bureau’s public integrity section expressed interest in campaign finance allegations contained in a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint brought by whistleblower Peter Waldron, a Florida pastor who worked on the Bachmann presidential campaign in Iowa.” [Star Tribune, 5/19/13]

A Member Of Bachmann’s Iowa Campaign Staff Filed A Complaint With The Federal Election Commission. In 2013, ABC News reported that Peter Waldron, a member of Bachmann’s Iowa Campaign staff, “complained both to the FEC and to the media that he was never fully compensated by the Bachmann campaign, but said today he could not discuss the specifics of his interview, although he said the questions pertained to the allegations made in his FEC complaint.” [ABC News, 3/25/13]

Waldron Alleged Bachmann’s Campaign Illegally Paid An Iowa Representative Under The Table For Support.  In 2013, ABC News reported that Peter Waldron alleged that Bachmann's onetime Iowa campaign chair, state Sen. Kent Sorenson, “received money under the table for his support. Sorenson's position in the Legislature prohibits him from receiving payments from the campaign.”  [ABC News, 3/25/13]

Bachmann’s  Former Chief Of Staff Swore She “Knew Of And Approved” Paying Iowa State Sen. Kent Sorenson. In 2013, MPR News reported, “Andy Parrish, Bachmann's former chief of staff and longtime aide, swore in an affidavit that Bachmann ‘knew of and approved’ paying Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson via another political action committee controlled by Bachmann. Iowa Senate ethics rules forbid lawmakers from accepting employment from political campaigns.”  [MPR News, 4/22/13]

Emails Indicated Officials With Bachmann’s Fundraising Firm Offered Sorenson Payment. In 2013, MinnPost reported that Parrish “provided emails that indicated officials with C&M Strategies,” a firm doing fundraising work for the Bachmann campaign, offered Senator Kent Sorenson payment.    [MinnPost, 4/22/13]

Slate Notes Hypocrisy in Accusing Senator you Paid of Being Bought Off. In 2013, Slate reported, “If Sorenson's name rings a bell, it's because he bolted the Bachmann campaign at the end of December 2011, showing up at a rally for Ron Paul, who nearly won the caucuses. At the time, Bachmann attacked Sorenson on the grounds that -- yes -- Paul must have bought him off! I was gawking from the sidelines when Bachmann went live on CNN and claimed that Paul's team had offered Sorenson "big money" to switch sides. "Kent said to me yesterday that ‘everyone sells out in Iowa, why shouldn’t I,'" Bachmann told a local paper. Sorenson denied it, and when I found him at Paul's election night party, the state senator refused to do an interview. Fifteen months later, the finance records from Paul's campaign have revealed no donation to Sorenson. Was the whole frenzy just a Bachmann CYA for the national press, a completely misleading diversion? [Slate, 4/18/13]

Bachmann in Settlement Talks. The Star Tribune reported: “U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann is engaged in settlement negotiations in a lawsuit alleging that senior members of her presidential campaign stole a proprietary e-mail list of home-school families from the computer of an Iowa campaign staffer, according to sources close to the case…. The circumstances surrounding the use of the e-mail list in November 2011 also are being investigated by police in Urbandale, a Des Moines suburb where Bachmann’s campaign office was located.” [Star Tribune, 5/8/13]