Affidavit: Bachmann Approved Indirect Payments to Iowa Politician

Shane Goldmacher
National Journal

The problems for Rep. Michele Bachmann are piling up.

On Monday, her former chief of staff, Andy Parrish, stated in an affidavit that the Minnesota Republican and former presidential candidate had approved payments to an Iowa state senator despite state rules barring legislators from being paid by presidential campaigns.

The allegations center around Kent Sorenson, an Iowa state senator and former Bachmann backer, who Parrish said was indirectly paid by Bachmann’s campaign. Sorenson has denied being paid, but Parrish said that Sorenson received payments from an outside vendor, C&M Strategies, at the campaign’s suggestion.

“Congresswoman Bachmann knew of and approved this arrangement,” Parrish said in the affidavit, which includes emails to support his claims that Sorenson had been paid. 


Parrish indicated that he believed he and the campaign were working within the laws. “She consistently instructed all who worked on her behalf to follow the law…insinuations that somehow she cut corners or played fast and loose with respect to compensating Senator Sorenson are untrue to the best of my knowledge,” he said.

The affidavit was first posted online by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

William McGinley, a Bachmann attorney, said the story's portray in the media "is wrong, reckless, and outrageous."

"The affidavit by a former employee in fact confirms that Congresswoman Bachmann followed all applicable laws and ethical rules and instructed those working for her to do the same," McGinley said. He said to suggest otherwise "is both dishonest and reprehensible."

The Iowa Senate Ethics Committee is probing the payments after a complaint was filed by another ex-Bachmann aide, Peter Waldron. The Office of Congressional Ethics has also initiated a preliminary inquiry, as has the Federal Election Commission, according to reports.

“Much to the disappointment of many in the media,” Parrish said in his affidavit, his coming forward was “not in any way a rebuke to or betrayal of” Bachmann, whom he calls a “personal friend.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story, misidentified Andy Parrish as Andy Griffin in later references.