Michele Bachmann Campaign Accused Of Stealing Mailing List
Eight months after Michele Bachmann’s 2012 presidential bid ground to a halt in Iowa, her campaign manager there signed a sworn affidavit, pointing his finger at another top staffer in a still-simmering dispute over the misuse of a contact list of home-school family names.
The Sept. 4 affidavit – first reported by the Iowa Republican and obtained Friday by NBC News – was written by Bachmann’s Iowa adviser Eric Woolson, and accuses former State Sen. Kent Sorenson of stealing the list from another Bachmann staffer. Sorenson was the campaign’s state chairman at the time.
“We took it,” Woolson says Sorenson told him.
The list was the at the center of a flap late in Bachmann’s presidential run, when a powerful Iowa home-school network called “NICHE” complained that its collection of contacts for thousands of home-school families had been mined by the campaign and used to expand its fundraising.
At the time, the campaign called the emails a “mistake.” The campaign agreed to pay NICHE, a 501c3 nonprofit, several thousand dollars in order to keep the group compliant with federal elections law.
But in his affidavit, Woolson says he approached Sorenson on the same day the fundraising emails were sent, and was told the list had been stolen.