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Ear to the Ground

Michele Bachmann Subject of Congressional Ethics Probe

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Posted on Mar 25, 2013
Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

It’s been more than a year since she stopped her White House run, but the disastrous, slow-moving train wreck that constitutes Michele Bachmann’s 2012 presidential bid is still going. According to The Daily Beast, the Minnesota congresswoman is being investigated by the Office of Congressional Ethics on possible violations related to the campaign. 

“Former staffers tell The Daily Beast that investigators have allegedly asked about allegations of improper transfer of funds and under-the-table payments actions by Bachmann’s presidential campaign, specifically in relation to the campaign’s national political director, Guy Short, and Bachmann’s onetime Iowa campaign chairman, state Sen. Kent Sorenson,” John Avlon writes. “Questions directly about Bachmann, they said, have been primarily focused on what she knew about those men’s actions and when she knew it.”

The newly reported investigation into potential campaign improprieties is only the latest footnote to the mess the Republican left behind: Bachmann also faces a litany of legal action stemming from her failed presidential run.

Little wonder then that Avlon compared Bachmann’s campaign to other disasters, including the Titanic and the Hindenburg.

The Daily Beast:

In October 2011, the troubles in Bachmann Land went public, when her New Hampshire staff quit en masse with a stinging letter that described the campaign’s operation as “rude, unprofessional, dishonest and at times cruel.”

...By the time the Iowa caucus occurred, Bachmann was an afterthought. Despite bold and baseless claims of a come-from-behind win, she received roughly the same number of votes statewide as she did four months before in the far smaller Ames Straw poll. Even in her home county, she collected less than 10% of the vote.

In the end, it seems the only people who profited from Bachmann’s face-plant of a presidential campaign were the consultants. The only lasting legacy has been the lawsuits. While junior staffers say they still haven’t been paid, Guy Short’s C&M strategies received a total of $157,000 from MichelePAC between January 2011 and July 2012, when Bachmann was primarily pre-occupied with presidential pursuits, according to FEC filings.

Now, the prospect of a House Ethics Committee investigation into Bachmann’s presidential campaign adds an additional indignity to the self-inflicted disasters of her political career. Demagoguery eventually brings dishonor. And her most passionate supporters ought to consider what it means when the people who know Bachmann best, respect her the least.

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—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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