It has been more than a year since Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann dropped out of her presidential bid and she still refuses to pay five staffers, according to a former top campaign official.
According to reports by Salon, Peter Waldron, Bachmann’s former national field coordinator, said that the dispute started when former Iowa poll staffers refused to sign a nondisclosure agreement that would prevent them from discussing any “unethical, immoral, or criminal activity” they witnessed on the campaign.
Although Bachmann has more than $2 million in her campaign account, Waldron says the staffers are owed nearly $5,000 each and Bachman refuses to pay them unless they sign the agreement. Payment negotiations with Bachmann’s finance chairman, James Pollack, fell through and Waldron decided to go public with the issue on Thursday evening. He posted a press release on Christian Newswire.
In the press release, Waldron said, “I feel a moral obligation to see that my Christian brothers and sisters are paid for work performed in good faith. I’ve continually communicated by telephone and email with Mr. Pollack for 1 year but he broke every promise made to me to pay the staff. I appealed to Dr. [Marcus] Bachmann for help. I appealed to Representative Bachmann’s Chief of Staff Robert Boland to intercede with Mrs. Bachmann on behalf of her loyal Iowa staff — all of whom are married, all have children.”
Salon also reports that Waldron confirmed the details via phone and said the nondisclosure agreement stems from the campaign’s alleged misuse of an email list. The Bachmann campaign was accused of stealing the list from a home-schooling group. The list was allegedly stolen from a volunteer’s laptop and used to fundraise for the campaign. Subsequently, the home-schooling group sued the campaign.
Waldron went on to tell Salon that “It’s just immoral what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to shut us up. You want to get paid? You gotta sign this agreement and not talk to either the police or lawyers.”
Although he never specifically addresses the non-disclosure agreement, in a recent email to Salon, Pollack called Waldron’s charges about the non-payment “false and inaccurate.”