The Minneapolis Star Tribune's pattern of covering Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) now seems to have a pattern. They will cover anything about her ethics investigations but rarely cover what she says and does. When they do cover what she says and does, it rarely makes the dead tree edition and if it does, it's on the inside of the Metro section.
Today, the Strib have an article on the top of the front page of the Metro section about Bachmann's latest ethics troubles. This time is revolves around using presidential campaign staff on her book tour.
Congressional ethics investigators are examining whether top staffers in Rep. Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign played an improper role in the 2011 tour to promote her personal memoir, two former Bachmann aides have told the Star Tribune.Everyone knows that her book was part of her presidential campaign, but nudge nudge wink wink and all that. But this is the kicker for me:
Federal election and House ethics rules generally bar candidates from using campaign funds or resources to sell or promote their own books, which are considered outside business activities. The two former staffers, speaking confidentially because the matter is under investigation, said they have been questioned about the book tour by the independent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), which has been looking into separate allegations of campaign finance violations.
Bachmann’s book, which reportedly sold poorly, has not made her any money. Industry estimates place sales at about 3,000 copies. In her most recent personal financial reports to Congress, Bachmann reported no income from the book.Here's the crux of what the OCE will be investigating:
Detailed book tour schedules obtained by the Star Tribune show that various top campaign staffers accompanied Bachmann to more than two dozen book signings and interviews over a 10-day period, starting at the Mall of America and extending into Iowa and South Carolina.They go on to elaborate that they discovered emails that presidential campaign staff were "intimately involved" in all aspects of the book tour.
Among them were national campaign manager Keith Nahigian, press secretary Alice Stewart, and Bachmann’s personal assistant, Tera Dahl, a congressional staffer on loan to the presidential campaign. Also along at different times were debate coach Brett O’Donnell and Will Weisser, a vice president and marketing director for Penguin.
Here's an incriminating snippet:
But a video taken at a Bachmann book signing in Iowa demonstrates the fine line between campaigning and book promotion. The video, produced by freelancer Dave Davidson, shows Nahigian and Stewart at a table with Bachmann, who is signing books. In one frame, a smiling Nahigian was holding up a large placard for the “Core of Conviction” book, with Bachmann on the cover.Bachmann now faces the following investigations:
- Iowa State Police into theft of evangelical home schoolers email list
- Iowa Senate Ethics panel investigation into the email list theft
- Federal Election Commission investigation into email list theft and paying high-ranking staffers with money from MichelePAC
- OCE investigation into paying high-ranking staffers with money from MichelePAC
- OCE investigation into using presidential staffers for her book tour.
Do we start using the word embattled before her name now?