MINNEAPOLIS – An attorney for congresswoman Michele Bachmann is calling media coverage of a recent Iowa ethics flap “wrong, reckless and outrageous.”
The allegations stem back to 2011 when Bachmann was running for president and Iowa was a hotly contested battleground.
Bachmann needed conservative credibility on the ground and found it in Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson, but Before Sorenson would sign onto the campaign, Bachmann’s then chief of staff Andy Parrish says Sorenson wanted to be paid. He outlines how it went down in an affidavit filed Monday.
Iowa ethics rules bar state senators from receiving payment from presidential campaigns.
Instead, the affidavit says payments were made through a Colorado-based company called C&M Strategies, run by Bachmann fundraiser Guy Short.
C&M Strategies allegedly paid Sorenson $7,500 a month to be Bachmann’s Iowa campaign manager.
The affidavit says Sorenson assured Bachmann’s people this was legal. It’s an agreement Bachmann herself apparently signed off on.
“They don’t feel like they did anything wrong,” says Des Moines political reporter Dave Price.
Sorenson is now the subject of an Iowa senate ethics investigation and while he could lose his seat for accepting the cash, Price says Bachmann is beyond the committee’s reach.
“She may have been the candidate in this case, but it’s Kent Sorenson, at least according to the accusations, who received the money here. So he is the one they’d have to investigate,” says Price.
Bachmann attorney William McGinley takes issue with the media coverage making this about Bachmann.
“This dispute is between the Iowa Senate and an Iowa Senator. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Congresswoman Bachmann or her political committees,” says McGinley. “For anyone to suggest otherwise is both dishonest and reprehensible.”