Michele Bachmann

Gender confusion from Bachmann’s office

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

BachmannRelease.JPGRep. Michelle Bachmann’s office sent out a press release this morning announcing that the Club For Growth was honoring her with an award for defending “economic freedom.” The quotation from the club’s president Chris Chocola, however, was quite puzzling.

“With his/her score of 91%, Congresswoman Bachmann is a champion of the pro-growth agenda,” said Chocola.

(emphasis mine)

A good reminder to double-check your work when using the copy-paste function.

Bachmann co-sponsors bill targeting privacy in the Census

Monday, July 13th, 2009

PX00052_9.jpgRep. Michele Bachmann, who has made national headlines in recent weeks for her criticisms of the U.S. Census, is co-sponsoring legislation which would limit The American Community Survey — a mandatory survey sent to 3 million homes every year — to four questions: name, age, date of response and number of people living in one household.

Bachmann, who is sponsoring the bill along with its author, Texas Republican Tim Poe, previously said that she would not answer all of the questions on the Census, drawing criticism from a group of Republicans on the Census Oversight Subcommittee. “Boycotting the constitutionally-mandated census is illogical, illegal and not in the best interest of our country,” wrote Reps. Patrick McHenry, Lynn Westmoreland and John Mica.

In a statement today announcing the legislation, Bachmann wrote that the Census is a necessary tool, especially for determining the number of Representatives per state and directing taxes. “But throughout the years, additional questions of a more personal nature were added so that the federal government could have more detailed information to make and implement its ever-expanding public policy,” Bachmann wrote. “A lot of Americans – myself included, have real concerns about the ultimate protection of our sensitive personal information.”

The bill would eliminate several dozen questions from the ACS, a copy of which can be found here.

It has been referred to the House Judiciary and Oversight committees.

Bachmann’s office is a top spender in the first quarter

Friday, June 19th, 2009

A Politico story and graphic this morning on the budgets of members of Congress revealed that Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is the third-highest spender among her colleagues in the House of Representatives so far this year. Before April, Bachmann spent $380,637, which the story notes is $100,000 more than the average in the House during the first quarter. Her annual budget of 1.4 million, known as the Member’s Representational Allowance, is ranked 12th out of the 441 members of the House (including non-voting members).

The highest expenses have been printing and franked mail, totalling more than $100,000, which Bachmann’s chief of staff told the paper was the result of them sending out their largest mailing early in the year.

Government spending could have consequenses akin to the Titanic, Bachmann says

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Bachmann.JPGSpeaking on the House floor Tuesday evening, Rep Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., said that the drastic increase in government spending and influence over the private markets reminded her of the film “Titanic,” which she and her family watched over the weekend.

“We are in the process of watching the deconstruction of free market economists before our very eyes, something we have never seen,” Bachmann said. “But as the ice ripped that hole in the Titanic, water started being taken on, and the engineer came out and brought the blueprint of the Titanic. Water came into the first chamber, spilled over to the second, spilled over to the third, and by the time it filled up so many chambers, it was over. It was impossible to resurrect that ship. That’s, I think, Mr. Akin, what you have been bringing before this body this evening. You’ve been showing to the American people that at a certain point when we have such excessive levels of spending that in turn leads to such excessive level of taxation that in turn leads us to excessive levels of borrowing that at a certain point we wonder what that tipping point will be if the United States will not be able to recover.”

She added, “If we follow that plan that President Obama has put before us, we know what that outcome will be and a lot of very innocent people may go down with that ship.”

She went on to say that the government takeover of several automotive companies, and the appeals in Washington by dealership owners to keep their businesses open, are akin to a “gangster government.”

“We have gangster government when the Federal Government has set up a new cartel and private businesses now have to go begging with their hand out to their local – hopefully well politically connected – Congressman or their Senator so they can buy a peace offering for that local business. Is that the kind of country we are going to have in the future?” Bachmann said.

The Star Tribune reported this morning about two bills before Congress which will take some of the weight off of ailing auto dealerships.

Bachmann defends derivatives at subcommittee hearing

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

untitled.JPGAt a House Finance Subcommittee hearing today, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., warned fellow lawmakers that they should avoid overregulating over-the-counter derivatives at the risk of disrupting large U.S. companies.

Over-the-counter derivatives refer to a variety of Wall Street agreements which are largely unregulated and usually intended to offset risk. Specific types of OTC derivatives, like credit default swaps, have been credited with contributing to the recent financial meltown.

“As our Committee considers the future of over-the-counter derivatives, we must remember that many U.S. companies responsibly utilize these financial products to manage their risks and limit damage to their balance sheets,” Bachmann said, according to a statement released by her office. “These are America’s job-creators and Congress should be careful not to over-reach and infringe on their ability to hedge risks responsibly.”

Bachmann also introduced Timothy Murphy, the foreign currency risk manager for the Maplewood-based company 3M, who testified that 3M opposes “a mandate to move all derivatives into a clearing or exchange environment.” “Clearing” refers to a proposed process of approving OTC contracts. Murphy’s full comments can be read here.

House Agriculture Committee Chair Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., introduced legislation this winter which would require clearing OTC transactions. Peterson has also publicly debated with House Finance Committee Chair Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., over whose committee should regulate OTC derivatives.

Bachmann introduces new bill aimed at ACORN

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., introduced a bill today which would prevent organizations from receiving funds from the the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) if they have been “indicted for violations of state or federal election laws.”

The announcement follows an attempt by Bachmann several weeks ago to include similar language in the “Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act.” The language was later changed by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who said on CNN that he didn’t “read it carefully” before it was included. Frank, who is the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, altered the bill to only bar funds from organizations that were convicted of illegal activity.

“This is about how Congress spends the people’s money and about setting the bar high,” Bachmann said in a statement. “Accessing federal funding is a privilege, not a right, and it must be earned. Congress should not allow groups, such as ACORN which has been repeatedly investigated and indicted for voter registration fraud, to receive taxpayer dollars. You can’t violate the public trust with one hand and take the taxpayers’ money with the other.”

Bachmann helps simplify credit card math

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

In an effort to crack down on credit card fraud, Congress passed a law in 2003 limiting merchant receipts to five digits of a customer’s credit card number or the expiration date, but not both.

Many companies across America complied. But due to some confusion in the law, a number of businesses started printing receipts with both the truncated numbers and the expiration dates.

Even though experts testified in Congress that that is not enough to steal a card or an identity, the glitch opened hundreds of businesses’ cash registers to lawsuits.

On Tuesday, President Bush signed bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and Tim Mahoney, D-Fla., that removes statutory damages for the mistake, thereby removing the incentive for class action lawsuits.

How does this help consumers? “The consumers,” Bachmann said, “pay the lawyers’ bills in the form of higher prices.”

Guestposter Kevin Diaz: Jewel meets Bachmann, and it’s magic

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

diaz_1.jpgWashington Correspondent Kevin Diaz reports on a capitol odd couple that included a Minnesota pol:

Former foster mom and freshman Rep. Michele Bachmann bonded this week in Washington with formerly homeless singer and recording artist Jewel.

The two appeared together before the House Ways and Means Committee about the educational needs of the nation’s estimated 510,000 foster children.

The Minnesota Republican has been a foster mom to 23 children.bachmann2.jpg Jewel, who remembers playing for Eskimos and Aleuts in the bush of her native Alaska, once lived out of a van.

Bachmann, an evangelical Christian, and Jewel, who sang the Top 10 hit “Who Will Save Your Soul,” both are the products of broken homes.

“If anyone needs a leg up in life, it is foster children,” Bachmann said, according to an account in the St. Cloud Times. “They are great kids. They just want to know that somebody loves them.”

Jewel, who followed Bachmann at the witness table, paid her as jewel.jpgnice a compliment as a lawmaker can expect in Washington:

“Hearing the congresswoman, I wanted to camp out on her lawn and live with her, I liked her so much.”

Kevin Diaz

Tinklenberg won’t challenge Bachmann in ’08

Monday, May 7th, 2007

ebmug.jpgElwyn Tinklenberg, former minister, mayor of Blaine and Minn. transportation commissioner, won’t seek the DFL nomination for the U.S. House in the Sixth District in 2008.

That seat is held by freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann. Tinklenberg sought the DFL endorsement in ’06, losing a close race to Patty Wetterling. Wetterling went on to lose the general election to Bachmann.

Tinklenberg had been mulling another bid, as the cliche has it. One school of DFL thought had held that Tinklenberg’s combination of a ministerial background, transporation expertise and an ability to portray himself as a moderate on social issues (although when you got right down to it, he had mostly the same positions as Wetterling on abortion and gay marriage) made Tinklenberg a good bet in the very socially conservative and transportation-focused district. John Wodele — who worked on Tinklenberg’s ’06 campaign and spoke to Tinklenberg about his plans — confirms the rumor of the non-bid.

Bob Hill, a Stillwater attorney, does plan to run as a DFLer against Bachmann.

Is That a Fact?

Did Bachmann divulge “super-secret” information?

Friday, April 13th, 2007

ebmug.jpgIn an e-mail to reporters this week, acting DFL spokester Nick Kimball wrote that Rep. Michele Bachmann “claimed to receive super-secret information about an Iranian plan to partition Iraq and turn it into their own little terrorist playground.”

That is not a fact. Kimball acknowledges that Bachmann made no such claim.

In fact, Bachmann did claim in a February interview to know about such a plan, has been unable to substantiate the claim, and has released several versions of how she came to say it and what she meant. but she never said it was based on classified information and has specified that it wasn’t.

Kimball is not retracting the statement. Rather, he is claiming that it was a hyperbolic statement made for humorous effect. He also argues that it is not technically inaccurate because the words “super-secret” do not appear in quotes as a statement literally made by Bachmann.

I take Kimball’s word for it that he did not mean his statement literally. But jokes can sometimes be missed, and this post is offered in the interest of keeping the facts on this matter straight.


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