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Michele Bachmann Being Investigated by Office of Congressional Ethics
Michele Bachmann is at the center of an investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics regarding campaign improprieties, according to The Daily Beast.
“I have been interviewed by investigators,” says Peter Waldron, a former Bachmann staffer “Investigators came [and] interviewed me and are interviewing other staff members across the country.”
William McGinley, the campaign counsel for Bachmann, confirmed the investigation on Monday.
“There are no allegations that the Congresswoman engaged in any wrongdoing,” McGinley said. “We are constructively engaged with the OCE and are confident that at the end of their Review the OCE Board will conclude that Congresswoman Bachmann did not do anything inappropriate.”
One of her longtime staffers said, “She’s the Republican Dennis Kucinich. Politics is like jumping off a diving board. You rise, you plateau, but at the end of the day everyone comes down. Some people make a splash and some people belly flop. She belly flopped. And you don’t get a second chance at the diving board.”
Another former staffer said, “She’s always been one of the most difficult members to work for—very high maintenance, almost demeaning to a point. And that was amplified 10 times over due to the presidential campaign. It was like she was a different person. You didn’t recognize her. All I can tell you is that it was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. It was by far the most bizarre campaign I’ve ever been a part of.”
Bob Heckman also worked with Bachmann. He said, “There was a shift in strategy. She needed to always be the outsider. I felt that we were going on the wrong track the day after the Straw Poll, when I started to hear stories about how we didn’t want her to get off the bus when [Rick] Perry was in the room because she was the front runner.”
Money became a major issue for the Bachmann campaign. Heckman said that even though she raised millions of money online, not much of it went into the campaign.
“It did seem to me that we had a remarkably low net cash available,” he said. “By the end, we couldn’t do TV, radio, or even phones with the big guys.”
The issues with Bachmann became public information in October of 2011 when her entire staff in New Hampshire quit at once in a letter that described the operation as “rude, unprofessional, dishonest and at times cruel.”
“Their assessment was concurrent with our own experience in Iowa,” Waldron said.