U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann is giving away her $4,800 share of a donation from the missing leader of a charitable veterans’ group that's under investigation in at least five states.
The money comes from a fundraiser the Minnesota Republican held in Minneapolis this year with former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. It will be divided between two charities: the Minnesota Military Appreciation Fund, and the Disabled Veterans Rest Camp.
The funds are part of a $10,000 donation made by Bobby Thompson on behalf of the now-defunct Minnesota Chapter of the United States Navy Veterans Association. The group has attracted the attention of state officials around the nation, including U.S. Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, a former secretary of the Navy who has asked the IRS to investigate.
The rest of Thompson’s contribution went to the Minnesota Republican Party. (Update: a MN GOP spokesman said Thursday the party's portion also will be donated to charity).
Thompson, who has been reported by St. Petersburg Times to be in hiding, has given money to a number of Minnesota Republicans over the years.
The Minnesota DFL Party has urged candidates who received the donations to give the money to a reputable veteran organization.
Bachmann campaign spokeswoman Gina Countryman said on Thursday that “it was important to keep the campaign above reproach.”
(Second Update: Hat Tip to Karl Bremer, who writes to say he has been writing about the Thompson story in Minnesota for weeks now on the DumpBachmann blog).
More from Star Tribune
More From Hot Dish Politics
Gov. Mark Dayton said that if the Legislature passes a 'satisfactory' transportation budget bill without a gas tax, he would be inclined to sign it into law.
Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly criticized GOP budget proposals from the House and Senate, which aim to cut millions from her department.
Lawmakers from minority groups try to unify, focus their message.
Hire indicates Nolan may be serious.
The Legacy funding bill was passed unanimously this week by the Minnesota House.