Bachmann and Kent Sorenson at, where else?, a Pizza Ranch in Iowa (
by Steve Timmer
Jul 30, 2013, 6:30 PM

Michele, Michele, Bo-Bell

Banana, fana, fo-fell

House Rule XI, Clause 3(b)(8)(A) will get you every time.

Michele Bachmann, the Congresswoman from seventh grade, today dismissed the upcoming ethics hearing against her as just a political smear. It’s just the mean kids who want to hurt her reputation. But not so fast, Michele; who are the mean kids?

Bachmann’s claim that the investigations are politically motivated doesn’t jibe with the identities of those making some of the complaints against her. Many of the allegations come from a former campaign staffer, Peter Waldron, who shares an evangelical background with Bachmann and has worked as a political operative for other conservative Republicans. A former chief of staff and campaign manager to Bachmann, Andy Parrish, has provided an affidavit suggesting Bachmann was aware of some of the allegedly improper behavior and has been interviewed by the FBI in a related probe of her campaign’s activities. Another accuser was Barbara Heki, who also worked for Bachmann and accused fellow staffers of stealing an email list of potential supporters that belonged to Heki. A civil lawsuit brought by Heki against Bachmann was recently dismissed.

In other words, the first stone throwers are Republicans.

The House Ethics Committee has ten members, five Republicans and five Democrats; its chair is a Republican; the Republicans control the House. The ranking member is a Democrat. They issued this joint statement:

Pursuant to House Rule XI, Clause 3(b)(8)(A) and Committee Rules 17A(b)(1)(A) and 17A(c)(1), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics have jointly decided to extend the matter regarding Representative Michele Bachmann, which was transmitted to the Committee by the Office of Congressional Ethics on June 13, 2013.

The Committee notes that the mere fact of a referral or an extension, and the mandatory disclosure of such an extension and the name of the subject of the matter, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee.

The Committee will announce its course of action in this matter on or before Wednesday, September 11, 2013.

Obviously, Ranking Member Linda Sanchez is behind the whole thing, right Michele?

Just to complete the Dramatis Personae of mean kids, here’s a brief description of the Office of Congressional Ethics which reviewed the complaints and recommended the House hearing:

As its mission, the office strives to “give the public a ‘window’ into ethics enforcement in the United States House of Representatives.”Governed by an eight-person Board of Directors, Members of the OCE Board are private citizens and cannot serve as members of Congress or work for the federal government. The OCE lacks subpoena power and must complete each review in a relatively short period of time—approximately three months at most.

But to the Congresswoman from seventh grade, it smells like a setup.

Who has a fundraising appeal from Bachmann trying to raise money on the smear angle? There must be at least one by now. Leave it in the comments if you have one. You may remain anonymous.

Thanks for your feedback. If we like what you have to say, it may appear in a future post of reader reactions.