Andy Parrish to throw Bachmann under bus, corroborate allegations of unethical conduct
|Parrish is ready to go on the record about ethics violations allegedly committed during Bachmann's presidential campaign.|
Andy Parrish served as Bachmann's congressional chief of staff, then moved on to work in the same role during her ill-fated presidential campaign. He played a significant role in engineering the shining achievement of that campaign -- Bachmann's August 2011 Ames straw poll victory.
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But in a surprising turn of events, Parrish is now prepared to throw his longtime employer under the bus. Next week, he'll reportedly file an affidavit including campaign emails with the Iowa Senate ethics panel and corroborate allegations of unethical conduct during Bachmann's presidential campaign first made by another ex-staffer, Peter Waldron.
Iowa senators are prohibited from getting paid by presidential campaigns, but Parrish will second Waldron's accusation that Sen. Kent Sorenson received improper payments from the Bachmann campaign amounting to $7,500 a month.
The whole story is fraught with irony. You might remember that in late December 2011, Sorenson stabbed Bachmann in the back just days before the Iowa caucuses and threw his support behind Ron Paul. At the time, Bachmann ascribed Sorenson's treachery to financial motives, alleging he had been "offered a large sum of money to go to work for the Paul campaign."
But why would Parrish do this? According to his lawyer, local conservative blogger John Gilmore, Parrish simply feels obligated to reveal the truth.
Parrish "has no personal or professional animosity toward Congresswoman Bachmann whatsoever," Gilmore told MinnPost. "He does have, he believes, an obligation to tell the truth. There is no motivation other than wanting the true facts to come to light."
The Star Tribune, citing a conversation with Gilmore, reports that Parrish is prepared to offer the ethics panel "documentary evidence" of the payments from the campaign to Sorenson. Those payments were "funneled to [Sorenson] indirectly through C&M Strategies, a Colorado-based company controlled by Bachmann fundraiser Guy Short," the Strib adds.
At this point, it's unclear to what extent Bachmann herself was involved in the alleged under-the-table payments.
Of course, just yesterday, news broke that the feds are investigating whether Bachmann's presidential campaign staffers were paid to promote her autobiography in late 2011, which would amount to a separate violation of campaign rules. With all the negativity surrounding her these days -- much of it traceable to that campaign -- it's fair to wonder whether the very thing that made her more nationally relevant than ever in late 2011 may end up being the undoing of her congressional career. In any event, Jim Graves will have a lot more material to work with than he did last time around as he prepares to make another run for Bachmann's seat.