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U.S. Republican presidential candidate and Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) speaks during a news conference in Des Moines, Iowa December 29, 2011. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
Michele Bachmann (R-Deadbeat)
Rep. Michele Bachmann is more than just co-chair of the Congressional Batshit Crazy Conspiracy Theory Caucus. More than just Miss Failed Runner-up for GOP Nominee 2012. More than just a welfare queen who's addicted to the sweet, sweet milk of taxpayer dollars for her family farm, her family business and her house on a golf course.  

She's also, as Alex Seitz-Wald reports, a deadbeat employer who doesn't pay her staff:

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.

Uh ... what? Sorry, I mean WHAT? Bachmann is refusing to pay her staffers because they refused to agree to aid and abet any crimes they might witness while working for her? WHAT?

Surely this must be some kind of miscommunication or mistake or something. Maybe Bachmann simply lacks the funds to pay her staff?

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.

Huh. So this really is about Bachmann trying to force her staff to be her accomplices in any "criminal activity" they might have witnessed. But surely, a woman who loves God so much—as she's always insisting whenever she explains why she hates this or that group—would never be involved with anything immoral or unethical, let alone illegal. Right?

A home-schooling group accused the Bachmann campaign of stealing the [group's email] 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.”
Good thing there's nothing in the Bible she loves so much about not stealing stuff. Oh wait.

Do you think the nondisclosure agreement forbid staffers from also talking about Michele Bachmann kicking puppies for fun? You know, just in case that happened too?

Of course, it's a little hard to feel sorry for Bachmann's unpaid staffers. Despite their utter shock and horror at being screwed over by Rep. Cheapskate, Bachmann has a long history of treating her staff badly. Back when she was practically measuring the drapes in the White House, her entire New Hampshire campaign staff quit on her after a dispute over ... oh, what was the reason? Ah, right. Getting paid:

After much "soul-searching," the entire staff realized that while they "collectively felt loyalty to the candidate, they no longer have faith in the national team."
And why did they no longer have faith in the national team?
Regarding pay, there also seems to be some misunderstanding. The five departing members were full-time contract employees until September 11, 2011, when they were asked by the national team to temporarily “go offpayroll”, possibly until the middle of October (2011), due to financial concerns within the campaign.
Oh, right. Because the national team was no longer paying them. Of course, the staffers who quit insisted at the time that "pay was not a primary motivation." No, the real problem was that "[t]he manner in which some in the national team conducted themselves towards Team-NH was rude, unprofessional, dishonest, and at times cruel." Right. In other words, Bachmann's top advisers were dicks. Who wouldn't pay the staff. And that was in 2011.

Despite that incident, Bachmann screwing over her campaign staff now is apparently quite a shock:

“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.
Yeah, hard to believe that such a godly woman with a history of screwing over her staff would, you know, screw over her staff.

Tell the FEC to investigate the alleged crimes of Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign.

Originally posted to Kaili Joy Gray on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:14 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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