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Rep. Michele Bachmann -- Having it Both Ways?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A flurry of blog postings in the last two days have pointed out that the conservative Minnesota congresswoman, who has regularly attacked President Obama’s health care and foreclosure relief proposals as “socialism,” takes full advantage of taxpayer dollars through the dysfunctional federal farm subsidy program – to the tune of $259,332 paid to a family farm between 1995 and 2008.

Strictly speaking, the money went to her late father-in-law, Paul Bachmann, but Rep. Bachmann’s 2008 Financial Disclosure Statement, posted at OpenSecrets.org, lists among her assets an interest in the Independence, Wisc., farm worth between $100,001 and $250,000.

The story went out first on the liberal blog truthdig.com, citing Environmental Working Group’s database of agricultural subsidy recipients. Truthdig’s story was quickly picked up on Huffington Post and elsewhere.

The news that Bachmann’s family has benefited from the farm subsidies is not new; it was reported in 2007, again based on EWG’s database. Truthdig author Yasha Levine decided that the congresswoman’s heated attacks on Obama’s proposals warranted an update. In fairness, we have to note that Bachmann did vote against reauthorizing the Farm Bill in 2008 and then against overriding President Bush’s veto of it.

Asked by telephone whether Bachmann had anything to say about the blog posting, Rachel Horn, deputy press secretary in the congresswoman’s Minnesota office, said, “Not right now.”

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