Americans should be asking themselves this weekend why Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who won re-election this past November as a member of the House of Representatives, is refusing to pay five of her staffers for the work they did helping her try to win the presidential nomination.
Salon reported Thursday,
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.
What kind of employer, save perhaps for the mob, asks an employee to sign a statement barring them from discussing “unethical, immoral, or criminal activity’? Just what kind of activities was Michele Bachmann engaged in during her failed presidential run?
It will be remembered that Bachmann’s campaign was a shoddy and poorly run affair. God apparently wanted her to be president but did not provide her with the requisite skills to see his will done. We can assume God did not tell her to lie, cheat, and steal, to accomplish that goal, though one does have to question the Almighty’s judgment if he picked Bachmann.
And it’s not simply her politics or her devotion to an aberrant form of Christianity. She did not pay her campaign workers. As Salon reminds us, in October, 2011, her New Hamphire organization deserted her and lack of pay was one of the reasons.
It’s not that Bachmann lacked the money. She has plenty of that – more than $2 million in her warchest and her last Personal Financial Disclosure puts her net worth between $1,300,000 and $2,800,000. So it’s not about the money.
Apparently, Bachmann thinks it’s a Christian virtue to pay those who do work on your behalf – unless they agree not to reveal what a thoroughly rotten person you are.
“Recently Mr. Pollack demanded that each unpaid staff member sign a non-disclosure agreement that prohibits any discussion of any criminal, moral, and/or unethical behavior witnessed during Mrs. Bachmann’s campaign in Iowa. In fact, Mr. Pollack insists that each staffer not speak to law enforcement and/or lawyers without first speaking with Mrs. Bachmann’s attorneys.”
Hard as it is to believe that any fundamentalist Christian would behave in an unethical manner, Americans, and Minnesotans in particular, should wonder what Bachmann feels she has to hide. One would think that Bachmann’s much-vaunted “Christian” ethics would require, even insist upon those in her employ reporting illegal activities wherever they saw them.
Afterall, we are assured: without the Bible and Ten Commandments, human morality is an impossibility.
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. 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.
Moral obligation. Heard of that, Rep. Bachmann?
Apparently not, as Christian Newswire goes on to report that “Rep. Bachmann currently is a defendant in a lawsuit filed in Polk County, Iowa. And, the Urbandale, Iowa, police department is investigating the theft of confidential data from a staff member’s personal laptop computer and cover-up of the theft by her staff.”
Oh dear, oh dear.
As Waldron said, “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.”
What the hell was going on in Iowa? She didn’t trust God to get it done for her and decided to tip the odds in her favor through less than savory means?
Salon updated their story to report that Pollack disputes Waldron’s charges, saying they are “false and inaccurate” though he does not refer to the non-disclosure agreement. It would probably violate his own to talk about it, given how unsavory the very idea of such an agreement is and all that it suggests.
Pollack, in true Republican fashion, blames the victim, saying, “Why Mr Waldren would be motivated to attempt to disparage the Congresswoman, the campaign, or fellow campaign members I can’t explain.”
Oh, I don’t know…I have a couple of ideas though: maybe 1) he thinks people should be fairly compensated for the work they do, an admittedly anti-Republican concept, and 2) thinks people should not be bound to lie for their employer when their employer is engaged in illegal and unethical activities.
Pollack’s claim that Bachmann has paid off 90 percent of her campaign debt hardly excuses her from paying all of it. Imagine telling a police officer, “Well, officer, I did stop at nine out of ten of those stop signs.”
Somehow, I think neither the police officer nor the courts would be impressed by your logic.
MSNBC points out that “Whether or not this particularly allegation is true, Bachmann certainly has a history of refusing to pay bills, having voting against raising the debt ceiling in 2011.”
Something is rotten in the state of Iowa, and in the state of Minnesota. It is time to demand of Michele Bachmann what that might be, and what she intends to do about it besides screwing honest people out of their fair and just compensation.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.