Parrish: Bachmann Approved Illegal Payments

Things just got worse for Michele Bachmann. Her former chief of staff, Andy Parrish, filed an affidavit with an Iowa Senate ethics committee confirming that not only did the campaign make illegal payments to Sen. Kent Sorensen, Bachmann knew about them and approved them:

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s former chief of staff, GOP operative Andy Parrish, stated in a signed affidavit Monday that the Minnesota Republican approved payments made to a top aide who was barred by Iowa Senate ethics rules from accepting money for his work on her presidential campaign.

The suspected payments to Iowa Sen. Kent Sorenson, first alleged in a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint filed by campaign whistleblower Peter Waldron, are now the subject of an inquiry by the Iowa Senate Ethics Committee.

Sorenson or his company, Grassroots Strategy, allegedly were paid $7,500 a month through C&M Strategies, a Colorado-based company run by Bachmann fundraiser Guy Short, who was serving as the campaign’s national political director.

“Congresswoman Bachmann knew of and approved this arrangement,” Parrish said in his affidavit. “She, like the rest of us, understood from Senator Sorenson that it did not run afoul of any Iowa Senate ethics rules. We relied on his representations in this regard.”

Yeah, because a national presidential campaign should always accept the claims of state legislators when it comes to federal campaign finance law. And it turns out that the campaign itself knew he could not be paid:

Parrish, a close Bachmann aide who worked in her congressional office and on her presidential bid, said he was instrumental in recruiting Sorenson, a Tea Party figure who served as the chairman of Bachmann’s Iowa campaign.

Bachmann’s campaign acknowledged the restrictions Sorenson faced in an October 27, 2011, press release, two months before the Iowa Caucuses, where she finished sixth and dropped out: “Sorenson is serving in a full-time role but state Senate rules preclude lawmakers from being paid by the campaign.”

After acknowledging that, funneling payments through a third party is a rather blatant violation of the law.

About Ed Brayton

After spending several years touring the country as a stand up comedian, Ed Brayton tired of explaining his jokes to small groups of dazed illiterates and turned to writing as the most common outlet for the voices in his head. He has appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show and the Thom Hartmann Show, and is almost certain that he is the only person ever to make fun of Chuck Norris on C-SPAN.

  • busterggi

    No matter. Even if she has to admit doing things illegally Bachmann has only to pretend to weep and say she begs Jesus to forgive her and the Rethug sheeple will applaud even louder for her.

  • cry4turtles

    The fellow who challenged her seat last election barely lost. He’s going to try again. Maybe this will give him a boost. One can hope.

  • tubi

    For those interested, you can donate here to support Jim Graves. As a resident of MN-06, I thank you in advance.

  • noastronomer

    Presumably god told her to approve these payments, so that makes it alright.