Michele Bachmann in her presidential campaign viewed herself as "the candidate" and took a largely hands-off approach to the daily management and decision-making of the campaign – including who was hired and what they were paid, the Star Tribune reports in a new look into what went wrong in her failed bid, which is now the focus of House Ethics Committee and Justice Department probes.
The newspaper reports that Bachmann in April told congressional investigators that she couldn't recall who was on her campaign team, noting, “It was a big group."
The Star Tribune examines newly released congressional records and interviews with Bachmann and top advisers, and notes that while it's not unusual for political candidates to lean heavily on professional campaign managers, Bachmann might have leaned more heavily than most.
Facing a half-dozen investigations, she has consistently said she had little to do with her campaign's financial transactions and trusted others to handle the money.
One investigation is focused on two $20,000 payments from Michele PAC to Bachmann's fundraiser Guy Short, who was also acting as national political director for Bachmann’s presidential campaign, the Star Tribune notes. Last week, the Office of Congressional Ethics found "substantial reason to believe" a violation may have occurred.
In its report, the OCE found that Bachmann may have violated federal campaign finance laws and House rules by using funds from her leadership PAC to support her presidential campaign.
MPR last week also examined the latest document dump in the Bachmann investigations, and noted five important details to emerge, including the fact that her campaign was incredibly ad hoc.
Bachmann is also fending off accusations that a tour she used to promote her book, “Core of Conviction,” often morphed into campaign-style events.