It seems the probe of Michele Bachmann’s alleged campaign improprieties is expanding. Sources have told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the Office of Congressional Ethics is now looking into whether she illegally used campaign staff to promote her book.
Federal election and House ethics rules generally bar candidates from using campaign funds or resources to sell or promote their own books, which are considered outside business activities. The two former staffers, speaking confidentially because the matter is under investigation, said they have been questioned about the book tour by the independent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), which has been looking into separate allegations of campaign finance violations.
The new questions about the promotion of Bachmann’s autobiography, “Core of Conviction,” suggest that the ethics review has widened beyond initial allegations that Bachmann improperly mixed funds between her campaign and her independent political organization, MichelePAC. The investigation also could extend Bachmann’s legal troubles, which began with a lawsuit alleging that one of her top Iowa staffers illegally appropriated an e-mail list of Iowa home school families.
I think schadenfreude may be my favorite word in the English, err German, language.