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Michele Bachmann secretly paid off Iowa state chairman, says disgruntled ex-staffer

WED JAN 23, 2013 Previously on As the Batshit Crazy Bachmann Turns: First, we learned that Bachmann is refusing to pay five staffers unless they sign a nondisclosure agreement that prohibits them them from talking to any reporters or police about any "unethical, immoral, or criminal activity" they may have witnessed during the campaign. And it seems they did witness some, um, questionable activities—including stealing an email list from a home-schooling group. Then, because leaking that story did not motivate Bachmann to open the checkbook and just pay her damn staff, her especially bitter former field coordinator, Peter Waldron, started dishing the dirt about how Bachmann was basically mind-controlled by her debate coach, whose "Rasputin-like" relationship was so powerful, he even forbade her own husband from sleeping in the same room with her on the trail. Which, as we all know, must have been just devastating for poor Marcus. The last episode of this must-see show ended with a real cliff hanger: Waldron, 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. And now let's go below the fold for today's episode: In a notarized complaint to the Federal Election Commission, Waldron claims several violations of federal election laws by the campaign. One pertains to Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson, R-Milo, who Waldron claims was paid $7,500 a month for his role as Iowa state chairman for the Bachmann campaign. [...] Waldron claims the payments were funneled through a third party, C&M Strategies of Colorado operated by Guy Short. In essence, Waldron said, the Bachmann campaign would overpay C&M Strategies for its work and C&M Strategies would then cut a check to Sorenson for his work on behalf of the Bachmann campaign. If true, the alleged scheme may violate the Senate ethics rule against state senators being employed by political campaigns. That Bachmann may have violated election laws and state Senate ethics rules is bad enough, of course, and the fact that we're learning about it only because she's a deadbeat who refuses to pay her campaign staff is the comedic cherry on top, but it just wouldn't be a Bachmann tale if it didn't have an extra hypocritical twist. So let's have a flashback: Bachmann on radio now claiming Kent Sorensen "said it was a great deal of money" Paul offered him to switch. For those of you who have not committed the minutia of the 2012 Republican presidential primaries to memory, way back when the S.S. Bachmann For (LOL) President was going down, Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson rather dramatically jumped off that ship and to the far more credible S.S. Ron "Gold, bitchez!" Paul because he totally had a better chance of beating Barack Obama and making it to the White House. For his back-stabbery, Bachmann flippantly accused Sorenson of accepting a bribe to betray her. (No word on whether that bribe was paid in gold.) Bachmann didn't just smear Sorenson on the radio, though; she sent out a press release making that bribery allegation as well. But, according to epically bitter ex-staffer Waldron, the campaign suddenly dropped that whole casual-accusations-of-bribery angle because they "knew that they were doing the same thing." It's damn near Shakespearean, isn't it? Talk about a lady protesting too much! So, did Bachmann secretly and unethically pay off her Iowa state chairman? Did she violate federal election laws? And will she ever just pay her damned staff already? Stay tuned ...


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