Bachmann’s Ethic Troubles Get Worse

Ken AshfordCampaign Finance Reform, Congress, Tea PartyLeave a Comment

Last week, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) participated in a press conference about Medicaid reimbursement, but reporters had some questions about the right-wing congresswoman's ethics troubles. Instead of responding, Bachmann literally ran away, while some aides "physically blocked reporters" to keep them at bay, and other aides were seen "pushing reporters out of the way as Bachmann left the room."

It would seem that Bachmann and her team are concerned about something. Or in this case, perhaps more than one thing.

Yesterday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that congressional ethics investigators continue to examine whether Bachmann improperly used campaign funds. What's more, two former staffers for the Republican lawmaker suggested that the ethics review "has widened beyond initial allegations that Bachmann improperly mixed funds between her campaign and her independent political organization."

Today, another Minneapolis Star Tribune report highlights a separate ethics issue for Bachmann.

GOP operative Andy Parrish, a former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, is expected to tell an Iowa Senate ethics panel that her 2012 presidential campaign made improper payments to its state chairman.

Having maintained a public silence so far, Parrish referred questions Wednesday to his attorney, John Gilmore, who said his client will corroborate allegations from another former Bachmann aide, Peter Waldron.

Waldron, a Florida pastor, claims that the campaign hid payments to Iowa Sen. Kent Sorenson, in violation of Iowa Senate ethics rules that bar members from receiving pay from presidential campaigns.

Parrish, who had not previously been identified, will reportedly provide an affidavit bolstering Waldron's accusations.

The story can get a little convoluted — Bachmann allegedly paid a Republican state lawmaker $7,500 a month, funneling the money through a business owned by a Bachmann fundraiser — but it's serious enough to do lasting damage to the congresswoman's career.