More Investigations of Bachmann

It seems the probe of Michele Bachmann’s alleged campaign improprieties is expanding. Sources have told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the Office of Congressional Ethics is now looking into whether she illegally used campaign staff to promote her book.

Federal election and House ethics rules generally bar candidates from using campaign funds or resources to sell or promote their own books, which are considered outside business activities. The two former staffers, speaking confidentially because the matter is under investigation, said they have been questioned about the book tour by the independent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), which has been looking into separate allegations of campaign finance violations.

The new questions about the promotion of Bachmann’s autobiography, “Core of Conviction,” suggest that the ethics review has widened beyond initial allegations that Bachmann improperly mixed funds between her campaign and her independent political organization, MichelePAC. The investigation also could extend Bachmann’s legal troubles, which began with a lawsuit alleging that one of her top Iowa staffers illegally appropriated an e-mail list of Iowa home school families.

I think schadenfreude may be my favorite word in the English, err German, language.

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  • doublereed

    Do these investigations end up mattering at all? There’s already plenty of evidence that she’s corrupt to all hell with money. Can they indict her or something? Can they kick her out of office?

  • paulburnett

    Is this a joke? Does an “Office of Congressional Ethics” really exist? If so, what do they actually do? Does the “Office” have any employees?

  • composer99

    Doubtless she and her apologists are spinning this as Persecution of the Righteous™.

  • TCC

    Schadenfreude is an English word as well (a German loan word), so there’s no need to qualify that statement. After all, even though English has become a sort of lingua franca, there are some non-English words which just have a certain je ne sais quoi about them.

  • azportsider

    Paulburnett: of course there’s an Office of Congressional Ethics. It spends its time trying to determine if any member of Congress has any. No luck so far.

  • Ben P

    Is this a joke? Does an “Office of Congressional Ethics” really exist? If so, what do they actually do? Does the “Office” have any employees?

    It was established in 2008, and does have a paid staff (along with an 8 member board of directors who are private citizens). However, it does not have subpoena power.

    Its primary role is to refer cases to the House Committee on Official Conduct, which of course, is congresspeople investigating themselves.

    More importantly in this situation, it can share information with the FEC. So bachmann might at some point face an election commission lawsuit seeking fines and civil damages if she violated election laws.

  • D. C. Sessions

    my favorite word in the English, err German, language.

    Correct the first time. We actually stole it a much longer time ago, but we took official ownership as part of war reparations for WWI. English has always had sticky fingers regarding other languages’ words, but lately we’ve gotten more formal about it by using civil forfeiture instead of shoplifting.

  • democommie

    If somebody gets pissed off enough to dime Missy out to the Feds (either IRS or FBI) for violations of Interstate Commerce or Tax accounting laws then MAYBE something happens.

    The current governor of TN, one William Haslam (you know who he is if you’re a NASCAR fan:

    or long haul tractor /trailer driver)

    is a principal of that fine enterprise, which has apparently been fucking their customers on rebates for quite some time. And they’re not screwin’ cousin Cletus and his four mismatched fenders fleet. They’re fiddlin’ folks like Werner–bad idea. Anyhoo, BOTH the IRS and FBI are doing a “sit-in” at the company headquarters. To make this whole thing more delicious, Haslam when he took office as governor in 2010, refused to include his holdings in Pilot Oil (now Pilot/Flying J), as discussed here:’s-near-sighted-trust/

    Now, if the feebs and pencilnecks find out that there is a RICO situation here, well, Billyboy might find a gummint telemicroscope up his butt. Such an investigation is the holy grail for ambitious federal prosecutors. Rich people fuckin’ other rich people–it’s better than ReiKKKwing Bum Fightin’! Yeeeeeeeeeeeee–HAWWWWAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

  • janiceintoronto

    Do you actually mean to say that Michelle might have done something illegal?


  • democommie

    So far that investigation is only likely to be embarassing (although, in fairness to her, Missy Bachmann seems to lack any capacity for BEING embarassed).

    If ,however, someone were to leak some information about, say, Marcus Bachmann’s private “Gay Cure” clinic having campaign money churned through its accounts, well… Hey, I am not MAKING an accusation, I’m just ASKING a question, sorta. And, as long as these people refuse to address it, they will find themselves in the same Truthiness Limbo as Glennie Bek who has repeatedly refused to address allegations about himself and a small group of several hundred other rich, white men being involved in the kidnap, rape, murder and ingestion of school buses full of nubile young female orphans (and whatever you call buff, young orphan males) sometime between 1980 and 2000. I’m just ASKING THE QUESTION, goddamnit!

  • eamick

    Its primary role is to refer cases to the House Committee on Official Conduct

    The name was changed to Committee on Ethics in 2011.

  • baal

    I once tried to convince a German person that the word ‘clairvoyant’ counted as American-English. He also thought I shouldn’t view the word ‘omnipotent’ as American-English either.

    As to Bachmann, she can hardly express single ideas coherently so I’m not surprised her direction to her team didn’t keep clear distinctions between the various piles of money (personal accounts, pres. election fund, local election fund, etc).

  • Rip Steakface

    There actually is a Greek-derived word that sounds and looks more like an English word that’s synonymous with schadenfreude: epicaricacy.

  • Moggie

    Rip Steakface:

    There actually is a Greek-derived word that sounds and looks more like an English word that’s synonymous with schadenfreude: epicaricacy.

    I don’t like it. Tell you what, that can be the new German word for schadenfreude, since the latter is ours now.

  • khms

    You don’t actually have the German word. You just have a cheap Chinese reproduction. It’s easy to see: the first letter of the original is in upper case. We still have that original.

    The same is true for a long list of other supposedly-German (or sometimes Jiddish) words – zeitgeist, gedankenexperiment, dreck, mensch, and so on and so forth.