WASHINGTON — Rep. Michele Bachmann, who had more than $2 million in her congressional campaign account at the end of November, is embroiled in a dispute with a former presidential campaign aide over back pay of $916.
In what had been a private matter that has now become a nasty public squabble, Peter Waldron, who served as Bachmann for President national field coordinator, contends he is among five former Iowa staffers whom Bachmann has refused to pay unless they sign a non-disclosure agreement regarding campaign activity in Iowa.
Waldron, an evangelical activist, exposed the dispute in a Jan. 10 press release issued from his Tampa office. He said while Bachmann’s campaign finance chairman James Pollack had promised payment several times, no payment ever came. He said he appealed to Bachmann and congressional staff to no avail.
Bachmann, R-Stillwater, is a defendant in a lawsuit filed last summer alleging that Bachmann’s Iowa campaign chairman stole an email database belonging to The Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators.
On Wednesday, Waldron said he had filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission, accusing Bachmann for President of campaign violations and extortion. The complaint alleges the Bachmann campaign attempted to hide payments of $7,500 a month to its Iowa campaign chairman and that there was illegal coordination between a Bachmann campaign staffer and an independent political action committee.”Bachmann for President denies the allegations contained in the complaint filed with the FEC and intends to file an appropriate response,” said William McGinley, a lawyer with Patton Boggs LLP. “We are confident this matter will be resolved in the campaign’s favor.”
Here’s the most hilarious part, kids: from CITY PAGES:
In an interview with BuzzFeed Politics, Peter Waldron, Michele Bachmann’s National Field Coordinator during her ill-fated presidential campaign, says that Michele developed an “unnatural” and “Rasputin-like” relationship with her former debate coach, Brett O’Donnell.
Here are direct quotes from Waldron’s email to BuzzFeed:
[Bachmann's former debate coach, Brett O'Donnell] prohibited her husband, Dr. Marcus Bachmann, from sleeping in the same room with wife while on the campaign trail. He prohibited legendary consultants Ed Rollins and Ed Goeas from attending debate prep sessions. He told her when she could get off the bus, he wrote most of the words that came out of her mouth, he wrote all of her speeches…
Frankly, Brett exercised ‘Rasputin-like control over Michele [sic]. More than one staffer was grateful to God that she didn’t win the nomination because of the influence that Brett had over her…
He attempted to re-shape Mrs. Bachmann’s personality from her popular 2010 to spring 2011 into his own image. Pastors in IA and SC complained to me privately that Mrs. Bachmann spent too much time alone with Brett, they even criticized the times the two of them held hands to pray apart from others.