Current Weather
The Spy FM

Police Release Batch Of Complaints From Michele Bachmann, Staff

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
July 12, 2011

Rep. Michele Bachmann is the Republican front-runner in Iowa, and she’s drawing the kind of wide coverage to prove it. Politico compares her to Howard Dean; ABC reports that her husband’s counseling firm may have urged gay patients to pray their way straight.

And now, police reports detail episodes in which Bachmann and her staff asked police to investigate possible crimes, or to provide protection.

The reports are from two Minnesota agencies: the Stillwater Police Dept. and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

After sifting through the documents (and posting them online), Marc Caputo of The Miami Herald gave a quick rundown of what prompted Bachmann to call the police: “when her house was egged; when protesters threw glitter on her or held up critical signs; when her campaign yard signs were stolen; when a man wrote an email perceived as a threat; and when she screamed that two women were holding her hostage ‘against my will’ in a city hall restroom.”

Perhaps the most unusual report involves a former nun, a bathroom, and a potential charge of false imprisonment. The incident came to light last month, when the Daily Beast’s Michelle Goldberg wrote about it.

The police report dates from 2005, when Bachmann addressed constituents of her state senate district. But the event came to an abrupt end when questions arose about gay marriage.

Here’s how the Herald describes it:

Two Minnesota voters, Pamela Arnold and Nancy Cosgriff, wanted the congresswoman to answer their questions.

Cosgriff, a former nun, said she wanted to know about the ‘theological underpinnings’ of Bachmann’s stance on gay marriage. While trying to get a response, Cosgriff said she followed Bachmann into the restroom, where the congresswoman washed her hands but wouldn’t respond. Palmer then came in and asked about education, as well.

‘You have to get away from the door because I have to go,’ Bachmann said she asked repeatedly, according to a police report.

When Arnold tried to get an answer, Bachmann yelled ‘Help me! Someone get me out of here!’ Bachmann told police. Arnold and Cosgriff told police Bachmann said something like ‘Help, help you’re holding me against my will!’

Said Cosgriff: ‘I was amazed and concerned when she erupted in this emotional outburst without provocation… I tried to apologize for any misunderstanding.’

After the incident, Bachmann inquired about “possible false imprisonment” charges. But no charges were filed against Arnold and Cosgriff.

The threat report stemmed from an email sent by Lakeland, Minn., resident Brad Trandem, a day after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was nearly killed in a shooting spree in Arizona. Trandem was questioned about his email, and the police found no evidence of a threat against the congresswoman.

In contrast to the tragic attack on Giffords, it seems almost quaint to hear of old-fashioned pranks like throwing glitter, or egging houses.

Still, that doesn’t mean it’s not annoying when you’re the target, especially when the attack is particularly vicious. Perhaps that’s why Bachmann called Stillwater police officers to her house in 2007, after “her house was “substantially egged” for the second time,” the Herald reports.

Stillwater police have also investigated the theft of Bachmann’s campaign yard signs, back in 2002. And she called them to her house in 2007, when she complained her home was “substantially egged” for the second time.

It seems that none of the calls from Bachmann or her staff resulted in anyone being arrested.

Minnesota Republican Party chairman Tony Sutton told the Herald that the reports didn’t tell him anything new about Bachmann.

“Michele Bachmann is someone who tells it like it is with the courage of her convictions,” he said. And sometimes, that makes people who don’t agree with Bachmann “react in an inappropriate” manner, Sutton said. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

12AM to 5AM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

Listen Live Now!

5AM to 9AM Morning Edition

Morning Edition

For more than two decades, NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports.

View the program guide!

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center