Skip to comments.Bachmann Playing With House Money
Posted on 06/20/2011 10:58:33 PM PDT by jennychase
On Nov. 5, 2009, at the behest of Rep. Michele Bachmann, thousands of tea party activists descended on the Capitol to vent their rage over the health care overhaul bill pending before Congress. The assembled activists chanted, "Kill the bill! Kill the bill!" and waved signs opposing a government takeover of health care but they may not have known that the same government was paying for the event. According to House expense reports, Bachmann and three conservative GOP colleagues Reps. Tom Price (Ga.), Steve King (Iowa) and Todd Akin (Mo.) each paid $3,407.50 that day, a total of $13,630, to a sound and stage company called National Events, apparently for the sound system used at the rally. The money came from the Members' taxpayer-funded office accounts, despite House rules prohibiting the use of these funds for political activities. Bachmann's office insists the expense was a proper use of official funds. Bachmann billed the event as a "press conference," which can be funded from official accounts. But no questions were taken from the press and, unlike most press conferences, it opened with a prayer, the national anthem and a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. .............
Bachmann gave her own response, calling it the tea party response, making many of the same points as Ryan. The speech was streamed online by the Tea Party Express. The following day, Bachmann's campaign paid Oval Office Writers an Arlington, Va., firm a $5,000 fee for "speechwriting." Bachmann has occasionally spent money out of her office account for things closely tied to her political activities. But as with the rally, it is not clear whether she has violated any rules. For instance, in June 2010, Bachmann added to her Congressional payroll a "senior advisor" named Guy Short, whose last Congressional job had been chief of staff to ex-Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.), who lost her re-election bid in 2008. According to Congressional pay records, Bachmann paid Short $5,000 for the month. On June 3, 2010, Short established C&M Strategies in Colorado. Records on file with the Colorado secretary of state list Short as the "registered agent" of the firm; the incorporator was Colorado certified public accountant Barry Arrington. In July, Short dropped off Bachmann's payroll, but Bachmann's campaign began paying C&M Strategies for fundraising consulting services. That month, Arrington filed papers with the Federal Election Commission creating Bachmann's leadership PAC, called Many Individual Conservatives Helping Elect Leaders Everywhere, which by September was also paying C&M Strategies for fundraising consulting services. Since then, MICHELEPAC and the campaign committee have paid C&M Strategies about $150,000 for fundraising consulting, and Short has never again appeared on Bachmann's Congressional payroll. Asked about Short's duties in the Congressional office, Bachmann spokesman Doug Sachtleben said in an email, "With six years of hill experience as a Chief of Staff, Guy Short worked with every member of the Congresswoman's staff to ensure that they worked as effectively as possible to serve the constituents of Minnesota's sixth district." Several other Bachmann staffers, including Communications Director David Dziok, former Chief of Staff Ron Carey, former "constituent service officer" Jack Tomczak and former Chief of Staff Andy Parrish all received regular checks from her campaign while serving on her Congressional payroll as well which is permissible as long as the employees make a clear separation between the time they spend working on the campaign and the hours they are working for the Congressional office. Bachmann also appears to have used her Congressional office account to cover travel costs for television appearances again, an unusual expense but not one barred by House rules.
Two words on this campaign: Ed Rollins.
Read full article, she is misusing funds.
The left wing media never cared about this when it was Obama doing it.
He actually funded Acorn with millions of taxpayer dollars.
Got Michelle an overpaid no-show job with taxpayer funds in Chicago.
Nobody even writes about it.
Very much possible her campaign will collapse. Her vetting process just started. People don’t like, when Politicians do hanky panky with funds.
No she and two other congressmen rented sound systems to address the crowd! This would be similar usage of congressional money for a town hall event! Same thing!
No it will not collapse congress does this all the time. The take money out of their congressional office money to do this kind of stuff like Town Hall meetings same thing! Not a big deal!
What misuse of funds? This Commie Pinko writer goes down a laundry list of silly events and personnel hires trying to show some sort of criminality, and then ends the sentences saying it is legal what she is doing. At no point in this piece does he say that anything is illegal, misused or otherwise. Do you think the press would give her a pass if there were any real discrepancies?
This is just the typical hit piece on a right winger. Through 50 lbs bag of sh!t in the fan and hope it makes a mess.
I was there in that crowd! Hell ya!
This is pretty minor league compared to what the Dems do. If she is to be investigated for this then lets check every Rep., Sen., and the WH for the same thing. People have wised up to the exposé of certain Pols while letting others slide with much dirtier hands.
Compared to who, exactly?
It is the job of a politician to do politics.
Jenny, you seem to be one of those women who can not stand smart, strong, good looking women.
That is my take on you so far.
I read everything you posted.
I don’t think this Member of Congress did ANYTHING wrong.
I have a question and it really doesn’t ave anything to do with this, but I just looked up MICHELEPAC and where donations were given.
There is one I don’t quite get so I am throwing it out there. None of the PAC’s donations to any Republican exceeded $2400, most were $1000. But in Virginia, her PAC contributed $6000 to a democrat who was challenging a Conservative Republican incumbent, Frank Wolf, whose rankings include 100% from National Right to Life, 0% from the Human Rights Coalition, 17% from the National Educational Association, 5% from the League of Conservation Voters, 92% from the United States Border Control.
Is there something about Wolf that isn’t right? What am I missing?
Don’t think for a second that the liberals aren’t all over this, either.
I saw this on Facebook not once but twice in the last hour.
So far all I can find out about it is that the donation was a $1000 dollars. It was the only Rat donated to from the PAC and I can’t find a thing on who the hell Dennis Findley is.
Findley, Dennis (D-VA) $6,000
Flores, William (R-TX) $2,000
Gomez, John (R-NY) $1,000
Gowdy, Trey (R-SC) $1,000
Grimm, Michael (R-NY) $1,000
Guinta, Frank (R-NH) $1,000
Harmer, David Jeffrey (R-CA) $1,000
Harris, Andy (R-MD) $1,000
Hartzler, Vicky (R-MO) $1,000
Findley is disabled architect whose wife recently passed away. He withdrew fom the race. But this says SIX thousand. I am baffled.
I need some toast!
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Check out the MSM staff -
opensecrets isn’t too trustworthy.
She is in bed with the establishment Republicans. If they wanted a crowd at a rally, they couldn’t get 100 people. So call Michele and she’ll get the TEA Party people. That’s why she leads the TEA Party caucus, so the Republican Party can use her to get the TEA Party to be their popular support. Why else did all the RINOs speak at that event? Why did House money pay for it?
She probably asserted herself into TEA Party events at their direction which means she’s been a phoney all along. Now she wants to split the conservative vote and let Romney take the nomination. Had me fooled for a while but no longer.
Every single source I can find says it was $1000 dollar donation, which makes sense since $6K is illegal. I would like to know why this guy got cash over the GOP candidate? There is more to this than meets the eye. All of the other people were Tea Party types. Maybe Findley was a TP challenger to this entrenched 18 term guy.
They'll be throwing knives at every contender with reckless abandon.
Let’s peruse Nancy Pelosi’s and Harry Reid’s e-mails while we’re at it.
Mrs. Bachmann is a media creation. If by some cruel twist of fate she should end up on the Republican ticket, she will be destroyed. She used to whine when it was just Matthews and Press giving her a hard time. She got her little girl panties in a wad when Governor Palin answered a question honestly and sent Rollins out to trash her. (Yes I said it. Rollins is the XO of that organization and no XO opens their trap like he did without the permission of the CO.)
From her very thin legislative accomplishment to the embellishment of the foster children (Yes she told Blitzer the "raised" the children) to her buffoonish statements on the campaign trail as well as the House floor.
By the time the MSM is finished with her she will be done politically. Hope she enjoys the ride.
“She is in bed with the establishment Republicans. If they wanted a crowd at a rally, they couldnt get 100 people. So call Michele and shell get the TEA Party people. Thats why she leads the TEA Party caucus, so the Republican Party can use her to get the TEA Party to be their popular support. Why else did all the RINOs speak at that event? Why did House money pay for it?
She probably asserted herself into TEA Party events at their direction which means shes been a phoney all along. Now she wants to split the conservative vote and let Romney take the nomination. Had me fooled for a while but no longer.”
Sorry, this “Michele is a stalking horse for Romney” meme I’ve been seeing around here is laughable. That dog simply wont hunt. People who’ve been paying attention the past few years know that Michele is one of (if not the most) conservative voice in Congress.
That rally in November 2009 was a prime example. With most of the GOP was hiding in the shadows afraid to be labeled “racist”, she and a few other brave congressman were front and center trying to kill Obamacare before it passed.
She is not, and never has been a big favorite of establishment Republicans. In fact, you may recall (but you probably don’t cause you’d rather not) that when Michele was in a tough re-election race in 2008, there was quite a controversy about the fact that the NRCC was funding other RINO campaigns and didn’t give her any donations.
She’s not my first choice, I prefer Palin or Perry over her, but Michele is anything but a RINO, her conservative bona fides are as strong or stronger than anyone else in the field. If the other 2 choose not to run, I would have no problem at all supporting MB.
So we have another Willard attack, yawn////?????
She isn’t Palin so we get fed whatever BS from lib journos and you are ready to railroad her outta here.
Exposed is that Ms Bachmann is now "wed" to Rollins,
and created her own coverup of what he did,
and her constant pandering to Romney and the RINO agendae.
You have yet to extend the owner of this site the courtesy of a reply to his comment below:
Arithmetic is not your best suit. Neither is conservatism.
13 posted on 06/08/2011 2:15:17 PM PDT by Jim Robinson (Rebellion is brewing!! Impeach the corrupt Marxist bastard!!)
Typical. If Reagan was alive today Palin supporters would be trashing him too.
Well if he hired Ed Rollins I might.
And if this article was about Sarah Palin, you’d be all over it, hypocrite.
Got Michelle an overpaid no-show job with taxpayer funds in Chicago.
Nobody even writes about it.
If she gets the GOP nomination the dems/msm will pounce on it big time. Until them they will keep in the magazines of their political gun until it’s time to shoot.
Bachmann just opened herself up to charges of being a hypocrite. we need a clean candidate one that didn’t use taxpayer money to fund her campaign.
But this says SIX thousand. I am baffled.
It also says (D-VA).
Bachmann and Mitt Romney are the BENEDICT ARNOLDS of 2011.
Check out where FReepers have uncovered something very big.
Rented a stage and speaker system? Put ‘em in leg irons! /s
so know reporting a newsstory is “trashing” someone?
If true this story can and most likely will derail Bachmann’s campaign. As it paints her has a hypocrite and user of the Tea party for her own politcal gain.
I await the bachmann supporters refudiation of this story before i make any decisions on it. Is the story true or not?
Bachmnn’s camp has their work cut out for them today.
Rented a stage and speaker system? Put em in leg irons
With taxpayer funds....to give a politcal speech. expalin the difference between that and say Obama using taxpayer funds for his campaign events.
2) Having said that, if Bachmann is going to talk the Tea Party talk, IMO Bachmann should have come up with some other way to pay for the sound system other than House funds. Knowing that the MSM will be gunning for you, you don't give them the hammer to hit you with. This wasn't a press conference, it was clearly a political Tea Party rally, and pretending otherwise is playing games with taxpayer funds - even if the amounts are relatively trivial, you still set yourself up for the charge of hypocrisy.
Sometimes its the little things that tell you a lot about a candidate. So far Bachmann is not showing the kind of political instincts needed to win the big enchilada, IMO. But her supporters will be all over this story slinging the same kind of slime they accuse Palin supporters of slinging, as we have seen already. Which actually hurts their case. They'd be smart if they stopped at pointing out the MSM hypocrisy, but they only seem to understand being attack dogs - kinda like Ed Rollins - bite first and ask questions later.
This story is not about Palin. It is about Bachmann. Period.
Please! Hypocrite how? The full article points out time-and-again she did not violate House ethics rules and the one outside complaint made was dismissed. The piece uses language to insinuates wrongdoing by claiming she did were "unusual" hoping to get the reaction you have.
They'll just run around name-calling while refusing to acknowledge that this clearly wasn't a press conference -and if Bachmann were smart, she would have found a way to pay for the sound system without using House funds to avoid the appearance of hypocrisy.
It's a trivial offense compared to what a lot of Dems do. But the point is, we should EXPECT behavior a lot better than the Dems. If Bachmann rationalizes using House funds for a political rally, what other Beltway-style rationalizations is she capable of? Like, say, ethanol? Farm subsidies? The pattern is there for those who wish to see it. Unfortunately, her supporters apparently doh't want to see it. As they accuse Palin supporters of behing a cult. Heh.
Yeah, and we all know how stingent the House ethics rules are. /sarc.
If you are looking to the House ethics process for a defense of Bachmann, well, here's Charlie Rangel to ya.
This is shameful. Every damn day, the Palin supporters eagerly await any negative news story in the hopes something will stick to the Bachmann camp and destroy it, clearing the way for Palin’s coronation.
You know, I’m starting to think they are really just a rouse for Romney and that Palin is in cahoots with him to win the nomination. After all, on Fox News Sunday, Palin had the opportuntity to squash Romney, but rather than do that, she apologized to him and said that it wasn’t her intention to step on anyone’s toes. If she was really in opposition to him, she should have told Chris Wallace that it didn’t matter what Romney was doing because he wasn’t right for the party and that it was a good thing she stole some of his thunder. But she didn’t. So it’s obvious Palin is in the tank for Romney. I mean, that’s the logical conclusion if you follow the same reasoning others have linked Bachmann to Romney.
From the article:
CREW did not request an investigation of the rental of the sound system; Executive Director Melanie Sloan said her group did not know that Bachmann and the other lawmakers had used their office accounts to pay for it.
So the issue of using House funds for a political rally did NOT have a complaint and was NOT dismissed.
And yeah, House members pull this kind of crapola with tax dollars all the time. But isn't the point of the Tea Party to STOP the crapola? You are retreating to a Rangel-style defense - the House ethics process didn't find fault with it. But the House ethics process allowed Rangel to keep his seat. Are you satisified with that?
I'm not. The Tea Party rallies I've been to have been paid for with private funds. Bachmann could have written a check from her PAC or found private funds for sponsorship. She didn't. And the fact she labelled it a press conference when it wasn't to me indicates she knew she was playing games with the rules.
There's a bit of misunderstanding on this. The "Michelle" being referred to in this comment is Michelle Obama. She was given a $300,000.00 plus do-nothing job which, after Obama was elected, was curiously eliminated. IOW, that important job which was worth $300 grand was suddenly no longer needed... /sarc