375 Days Later, Michele Bachmann's Failed Presidential Campaign Still Hasn't Paid Her Staff in Full
Staffers from Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) failed presidential campaign last year have not received the full amount of money they’re owed, according to a former campaign staffer.
Salon’s Alex Seitz-Wald reports that “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 told Salon that the staff members are only owed $5,000, and that Bachmann has upwards of $2 million in her campaign account. But she is refusing to pay because the staffers have not signed the non disclosure agreement.
The demand for an nondisclosure agreement stems from a dispute over the Bachmann’s campaign alleged misuse of an e-mail list during the 2012 presidential campaign. “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,” Seitz-Wald explains. “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.’”
After negotiations broke down between Waldron and the Bachmann campaign over the money, he took the news public with a press release. “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 [Bachmann campaign finance chairman] Mr. Pollack for 1 year but he broke every promise made to me to pay the staff,” said Waldron in the statement. “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.”
But the campaign finance chairman, James Pollack, denies Waldron’s claims about staffers not being paid in full. “Mr Waldren’s presentation of the facts and related allegations are false and inaccurate,” said Pollack. “Why Mr Waldren would be motivated to attempt to disparage the Congresswoman, the campaign, or fellow campaign members I can’t explain.”