Michelle Bachmann stiffs her campaign staff, they retaliate by ratting to the feds

Senior campaign staffers who worked for Michelle Bachmann in the 2012 race say that she's refused to pay them unless they sign an NDA promising not to disclose any criminal and unethical activity they witnessed on the campaign. Now it seems that some are fed up with dickering with Bachmann for what they're owed, and are just going to the feds with their tales of corruption and crime:

[Peter Waldron, a widely known evangelist enlisted by the Bachmann campaign for outreach to Christian conservatives], formerly Bachmann's national field coordinator, is accusing the campaign of improperly dipping into money from MichelePAC to pay longtime fundraising consultant Guy Short for presidential campaign work he performed in the critical final weeks ahead of Iowa's caucuses last year.

Waldron also alleges that the campaign concealed payments to Iowa state campaign chairman Kent Sorenson, a state senator who abruptly left the Bachmann camp to join then-U.S. Rep. Ron Paul's insurgent campaign. Under Iowa Senate rules, Waldron maintains, Sorenson could not perform paid work for a presidential campaign.

...One of those involved in the payment dispute is Barbara Heki, who sued the campaign last year over the use of a database listing the names and e-mail addresses of thousands of Christian home-school families. Although the campaign eventually agreed to pay $2,000 for the list, the lawsuit continues, as does a separate criminal investigation.

Ex-Bachmann aide alleges campaign finance violations [Kevin Diaz/Star Tribune]

(via DailyKos)

(Image: Michelle Bachman speaking., a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from n3tel's photostream)


  1. I realize my complaints against client-side in-browser image scaling often fall on deaf ears, but REALLY? An 8.4MB, 5,184 × 3,456 image scaled to 519 × 346? I’d hate to be paying your bandwidth bills.

    Edit: Well, now it’s been replaced by an image with a sensible file size, but I still can’t understand why it’s been scaled to 1,000 × 667, rather than the size at which it will actually be displayed.

    1. It’s especially bad in feed-readers… When I loaded the post in Google Reader my eyes got about as wide as the image.

    2.  Eight whole megabytes of slightly cross-eyed Bachman crazyface. Don’t pretend you don’t love it…

        1. Even a crazy clock may look hot twice a day.
          But I wouldn’t mind wriggling my tongue in her face, flagrantly. But only because I enjoy the thought of making the batshit crazy lady as uncomfortable, if just for a minute, as she makes all of us.

    3. You’re all insane.  Downsample Michelle Bachman?  You barbarians! Why not just crop the Mona Lisa while you’re at it? 

  2. I wonder if the NDA is really relevant anyway

    – A contract to commit crime is automatically invalid – would concealing knowledge of illegal activity not be a crime, rendering any NDA void?

    – How likely is it really that the feds will seriously investigate any tips they receive, and that any investigation they do undertake will amount to anything?

    1. Without seeing the language of the NDA it’s impossible to say for sure what’s what here, but we can assume a few things. I’ve signed quite a few NDAs in my life, and when my lawyer goes through them I see mentions like this some times. As he has explained it to me:

      It’s not there to make you not report a crime since it’s illegal to contractually require someone to not report a crime, like you say. With a proper serverability clause, though, the whole NDA isn’t void, only to offending clause.

      Instead, these clauses are likely here to scare you in to not reporting a crime because, under these kind of clauses, if you report a crime and the report gets dismissed or gets a court acquittal, they can then sue you for having reported them “fraudulently”.  I use fraudulently in quotes, because it doesn’t mean that they didn’t do anything wrong, it just means they weren’t found guilty of doing anything wrong (which are two different things).

      Anyway, one school of thought says it’s there to bully you in to not reporting things because there is a small chance the charge won’t stick and you’ll get sued. So unless you are 101% sure your accusal will carry weight you are opening yourself up for a law suit.

      Of course, the counterpoint to this is that it could also be here so a law-abiding organization has recourse if it gets hit with a legitimately-fraudulent (see what I did there?) accusal, too.

      1. But couldn’t they still sue (and or fire) you for “fraudulently” reporting a crime even without the NDA? Kinda makes the NDA totally mute and pointless doesn’t it? 

        1. True true, I am not a lawyer so I don’t understand their motivations in every case. Wheels within wheels, etc.

          There are a lot of pointless things in such contracts — once I signed one that stated, explicitly, that my term of employment is terminated on the event of my death.  Of course, that could give the term “working stiff” a whole new dimension..

  3. I’m no criminal mastermind but…wouldn’t it make more sense to pay people to keep their mouths shut rather than not pay them unless they keep their mouths shut?

    1. At minimum she could have learned that from how her husband handles his burly “massage” therapist hiring…

    1. Indeed, they never waver from the principle that government regulations get in the way of honest business, 

    1. Ah, but Jesus said it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into Heaven.

      She’s doing them a favor by not paying them.

    2. Seems she cherry-picks her moral choices as much as she does the bible, probably with some BS about “the ends justifies the means”. 

      It would seem that God’s righteous love of guns and for-profit medical systems, as well as his hatred of gays, worker’s rights and Kenyans, is in perilous political ground in one of only two countries (the other is Israel, of course) that have ever mattered in the 5,000 year history of the Universe.

  4. Those people had ONE JOB, to elect a crazy lady to the White House. If they can’t do one simple job, maybe they don’t deserve pay.

    1. I feel like everyone who’s _not_ Michelle Bachman should pick up the tab.  Because by completely failing at that job, they’ve done a greater public service than I am ever likely to do.

      We should be starting a collection now to pay them to work for for Paul Ryan 2016 too

  5. At what point in the proceedings does saving $25,000 by stiffing your employees stop looking like a good idea? And how long ago did we pass that point?

  6. Is it just me or is there a pattern with republican candidates screwing over their own staff? The US economy must be terrible indeed for people to put up with this and continue to believe this party has an interest other than self interest.

  7. Please don’t propagate the original author’s assumption that the 2 (NDA agreement, non-payment) are somehow related.  Yes there might be terms in the NDA that are bad and somehow affect the staffer’s decision, but forcing users not to disclose illegal activities wouldn’t be one of them.  Such terms are not valid and can safely be ignored by the staffers.  If *that* were the problem they should be smart enough to know that (they were presidential campaign staffers for god’s sake) and sign it and move on.  So I’m sure that the motivations were otherwise and this hiding of illegal activity clause is just sensationalistic.

    1. [Edited for brevity.]
      I agree with this. There’s no reason to believe, without support of the original article and in defiance of common sense, that the confidentiality agreement actually prohibits disclosing illegal activities.That’s sensationalistic. Now, it might be a bad agreement, I can’t speak to that….

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