Michele Bachmann: Tea Party favorite, GOP stalwart, deadbeat, possible thief.
Over a year after she dropped out, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann has refused to pay five staffers from her failed presidential bid, according to a former top campaign official. Peter Waldron, her controversial former national field coordinator, told Salon the dispute started when former Iowa straw poll staffers refused to sign a nondisclosure agreement that would bar them from discussing any “unethical, immoral, or criminal activity” they witnessed on the campaign with police or reporters.
Waldron said the staffers are owed a mere $5,000, and that Bachmann has more than $2 million in her campaign account, but has refused to pay unless the staffers sign the agreement. Negotiations over payment with Bachmann Finance Chairman James Pollack eventually broke down and Waldron decided to go public with the news, posting a press release on Christian Newswire this evening.
“I feel a moral obligation to see that my Christian brothers and sisters are paid for worked performed in good faith. I’ve continually communicated by telephone and email with Mr. Pollack for 1 year but he broke every promise made to me to pay the staff. I appealed to Dr. [Marcus] Bachmann for help. I appealed to Representative Bachmann’s Chief of Staff Robert Boland to intercede with Mrs. Bachmann on behalf of her loyal Iowa staff — all of whom are married, all have children,” Waldron said in the press release.
“It is sobering to think that a Christian member of Congress would betray her testimony to the Lord and the public by withholding earned wages from deserving staff,” Waldron added.
Wait a second; a nondisclosure agreement gagging staffers from discussing “unethical, immoral, or criminal activity?” What’s that all about?
“Reached by phone, Waldron confirmed the details and said the nondisclosure agreement stems from the campaign’s alleged misuse of an email list;” Salon’s Alex Seitz-Wald reports. “A home-schooling group accused the Bachmann campaign of stealing the list, which was contained on a volunteer’s laptop, and then using it to fundraise for the campaign. The home-schooling group has sued the campaign and Waldron said there is also a criminal investigation pending, explaining that he spoke with police about the incident ‘several times.’”
The problem here is that Bachmann is a member of the religious right and, as such, literally believes she’s engaged in battle with Satan. All of us lefties, feminists, atheists, gays and gay-friendly folks, pro-choice people, etc. are the devil’s minions. When you’re locked in battle over the fate of humanity, nothing is out of bounds and every dirty, criminal trick is moral. When you think your adversary is literally the devil, you have no real incentive to fight fair — it’s not immoral to cheat Satan. In fact, it’s required. You can even — as is the case here — cheat allies. The end, being automatically Just and Holy, justifies the means.
Of course, this is the same psychology that terrorists use to justify murder. The difference really is only a matter of degree.