Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN), former presidential candidate and a leader of the Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives in Washington, has yet to pay some of her Iowa presidential campaign staff after one year and in spite of the fact that over $2,000,000 sits in bank accounts at her disposal.
It is only recently that a few Iowa small business owners, most of whom are heads-of-household, received payment in full for services rendered through the 2012 caucus month.
The remaining staff members were promised payment several times by Michele’s Finance Chairman, James Pollack, but the payment never came.
Dr. Peter Waldron, Bachmann for President National Field Coordinator, explained it this way, “Recently Mr. Pollack demanded that each unpaid staff member sign a non-disclosure agreement that prohibits any discussion of any criminal, moral, and/or unethical behavior witnessed during Mrs. Bachmann’s campaign in Iowa. In fact, Mr. Pollack insists that each staffer not speak to law enforcement and/or lawyers without first speaking with Mrs. Bachmann’s attorneys.”
In a follow-up interview for The Hill, Waldron added that:
Waldron suspects the payments might have been suspended because they cooperated with a criminal investigation over a stolen voter list.
“Michele Bachmann and her senior staff are involved in a lawsuit in Polk County, Iowa, and there’s a criminal investigation under way,” he said. “Many of our staff are involved in either depositions or interviews with the police…”
That article also has a response from Pollack:
“Mr. Waldron’s presentation of the facts and related allegations are false and inaccurate,” he said. “Why Mr. Waldron would be motivated to attempt to disparage the congresswoman, the campaign or fellow campaign members I can’t explain.”
Pollack said only one Iowa consulting firm is still owed $3,000.
Waldron’s association with Bachmann received widespread coverage in 2011; prior to that, he came to attention in 2006 when he was arrested in Uganda. He has a long history as an evangelist and as a US Christian Right activist, and his views accord with Christian Reconstructionism. I discussed the full background here.
Michele Bachmann’s high-profile debate coach, Brett O’Donnell, developed an “unnatural” and “Rasputin-like” relationship with his candidate during her failed 2012 presidential campaign, another former aide told BuzzFeed, a charge O’Donnell denies.
Peter Waldron, an evangelical organizer who served as Iowa field coordinator for Bachmann and helped her win the Ames straw poll said O’Donnell exercised an “unusual power over Mrs. Bachmann.”…
“He prohibited her husband, Dr. Marcus Bachmann, from sleeping in the same room with wife while on the campaign trail,” Waldron said in an email to BuzzFeed. “He prohibited legendary consultants Ed Rollins and Ed Goeas from attending debate prep sessions. He told her when she could get off the bus (Waterloo event with Gov. Perry), he wrote most of the words that came out of her mouth, he wrote all of her speeches.”
Pollack describes this as “outrageous embellishments of the reality of what transpired”, and he warns that “Further defamations by Mr. Waldron will be dealt with accordingly”.
The Hill article also has the detail that
Waldron’s company, Vertical Horizons One, received several payments ranging from $5,000 to $5,500 for campaign management as well as reimbursement for travel and meals during the summer and fall of 2011.
That company is based in Florida, and is concerned with “digital media advertising and SEO”. A company in Ohio of the same name, offering “strategic planning to military and business leaders”, appears to be unrelated.
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