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.
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
Gov. Palin is independent of the chronic backstabber Romney.
Bachmann had a great opportunity to DISTINGUISH herself
as NOT a backstabber, but she kept on Rollins.
Rollins = Soros = Romney = Bachmann = Carter
Any more questions?
It is truly amazing how the Bachmann camp has been reduced to blaming the Palin supporters instead of asking why Bachmann felt she could use House funds for a political rally. IT'S NOT HER FAULT!
Bachmann clearly has had higher political ambitions for some time. Did she think that all of her actions would NOT be scrutinized? Did she think that using House funds for a political rally - and trying to spin it by calling it a press conference when it was not - would not eventually draw unwelcome attention?
To quote Dr. Phil - Michelle, what were you thinking?
And it will give weight to other taxpayer funded gets of hers like the farm subsidies etc.
So awaiting the Bachmann’s supporters response to this story but i think you are right and they have no response so we shall see.
they need to either refute this story or explain to us how if true it doesn't make Bachmann a typical slimy politician willing to use taxpayer money to further her career.
I do find their pointing to Bachmann not being found at fault by the House ethics process to be rather comical - given what House members can get away with under House rules.
notice how now they are trying to turn this into a Palin thread to deflect from their candidate's misdeeds they don't even try to defend Bachmann’s actions. Maybe they have come to the conclusion that the story is true and understand their really is no defense if true so they start attacking other candidates like Palin. That is what Mitt supporters have done for the last 3 years.
So far I've asked them to defend:
1. Her Hiring of Rollins and his ensuing nonsense.
2. Her unwillingness to attack Romney care when given the chance on a silver platter.
3. Her support of ethanol subsidies.
They've hid their heads in the sand and declined like good cultists. If you ask them to defend this new revelation, why would they change now?
As one ex-cop to another...is this how you handled things on the job? Speculate without evidence and then extrapolate that speculation to a conclusion of malfeasance?
Okay, I’ll buy that open secrets isn’t too trustworthy. Maybe, like lazlo says, it was only 51000 and not 6. That doesn’t top me from being a little curious as to why her PAC would support a dem over an incumbent conservative. Was there a committee assignmnet that would have opened up if Wolf had gone down? Who makes the decisions on which candidates her PAC money goes to?
From what I found about Findley, he was a hardluck story. Maybe it was compassion. It just struck me odd that on a list of contributions, this one seemed wacky and out of place. That’s all.