So Bachmann was playing with House money, huh? I’m sure the same fine media organizations that saw Rep. Weiner punished for his sins will jump right on this. Right?
On Nov. 5, 2009, at the behest of Rep. Michele Bachmann, thousands of tea party activists descended on the Capitol to vent their rage over the health care overhaul bill pending before Congress.
The assembled activists chanted, “Kill the bill! Kill the bill!” and waved signs opposing a government takeover of health care — but they may not have known that the same government was paying for the event.
According to House expense reports, Bachmann and three conservative GOP colleagues — Reps. Tom Price (Ga.), Steve King (Iowa) and Todd Akin (Mo.) — each paid $3,407.50 that day, a total of $13,630, to a sound and stage company called National Events, apparently for the sound system used at the rally.
The money came from the Members’ taxpayer-funded office accounts, despite House rules prohibiting the use of these funds for political activities. Bachmann’s office insists the expense was a proper use of official funds.
Bachmann billed the event as a “press conference,” which can be funded from official accounts. But no questions were taken from the press and, unlike most press conferences, it opened with a prayer, the national anthem and a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
A few days earlier, the Minnesota Republican had appeared on a Fox News talk show and made an appeal for activists to come to D.C. for the event, promising to help them lobby Congress against the bill.