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10 Questions Bachmann’s Husband Must Answer About “Christian Counseling”

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Marcus Bachmann, the husband of 2012 Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, operates a “Christian counseling” business, Bachmann and Associates, that reportedly includes so-called “reparative therapy,” or “ex-gay therapy” — counseling that attempts to force someone to become heterosexual. Bachmann and Associates receives tens of thousands of dollars from the State of Minnesota, and hundreds of thousands of dollars from federal government, including from MediCare.

(Michele and Marcus Bachmann reportedly also own a farm that has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funding. Mrs. Bachmann denies she and her husband are the recipients of any federal funding, despite the fact that the farm and counseling businesses are listed on her federal disclosure forms.)

Last year, The Minnesota Independent suggested that the arrangement Bachmann and Associates has with the state government may be unconstitutional, and reported, “All of the clinic’s counselors identify as Christians,” and that Marcus Bachmann told KKMS Radio, “We are distinctly a Christian counseling agency here in the Twin Cities.”

“We have 27 Christian counselors, Christ-centered, very strong in our understanding of who the Almighty Counselor is, and as we rely on God’s word and the Almighty Counselor, we have the opportunity to change people’s lives,” Marcus Bachmann also said, and added, “God heals people and if we give opportunity, if we are a willing vessel and we go according to what God’s word is, it works.”

A statement on the Bachmann and Associated web site attributed to Marcus Bachmann reads, “I believe my call is to minister to the needs of people in a practical, caring and sensitive way.”

Marcus Bachmann delivered a presentation in 2005 titled, “The Truth About the Homosexual Agenda,” which culminated in three people claiming Bachmann had “cured” their homosexuality.

Via Think Progress:

One of the people present for Dr. Bachmann’s talk almost had to leave the room because “there was so much bile.” Curt Prins, a marketing executive who identifies as gay, reported that Bachmann believed homosexuality was a “choice” rather than due to genetics:

The climax of the presentation was when, according to Prins, Bachmann brought up “three ex-gays, like part of a PowerPoint presentation.” The trio, two white men and a black woman, all testified that they had renounced their homosexuality. “One of them said, ‘If I was born gay, then I’ll have to be born again,’” Prins recalls. “The crowd went crazy.”

The Minnesota Independent article also stated that Marcus Bachmann “told Point of View Talk Radio that if a child confides in a parent that they might be gay, that parent should discourage the child from being gay. He also said because of public schools, the number of homosexuals in America is increasing.

“We have to understand that barbarians need to be educated, need to be disciplined,” Bachmann said. “And just because someone thinks [they’re gay] or feels it doesn’t mean we need to go down that road. That’s what is called the sinful nature.”

Given the problematic nature of Marcus Bachmann’s business and the derogatory, anti-gay, and religious nature of his business, coupled with the fact that Marcus Bachmann relies on state and federal funding, there are serious questions Marcus Bachmann must immediately answer. Here are ten, there most likely are others.

  1. Who licenses your clinic? Are they capable of regulating so-called “ex-gay” practices?
  2. Who regulates (supervises) your clinic?
  3. How many federal dollars do your clinic and clients receive annually? How do you reconcile state and federal funds with your wife’s belief that that equates to Socialism?
  4. Does spending federal funds this way violate the separation of church and state? How could it possibly not?
  5. Who insures your clinic in the event that therapy fails, or that clients are harmed?
  6. How many gay-to-straight conversion therapies succeeded vs. failed?
  7. What is the exact nature of the “reparative” therapy your business performs? Is there physical contact involved? Are there medical techniques used?
  8. How many patients suffered? Were any suicides successful, or attempted, or threatened? How many of your patients have died? Your website states you treat patients as young as five, and you have stated parents should discourage children from being gay. What is the earliest age you have “counseled” children in your “reparative” therapy work? What relapse rates are seen via your follow-up program?
  9. You have stated Bachmann and Associates has “27 Christian counselors, Christ-centered, very strong in our understanding of who the Almighty Counselor is, and as we rely on God’s word and the Almighty Counselor.” How do you determine if a prospective counselor applying for work with Bachmann and Associates is Christian, and if you do, doesn’t that violate the law?
  10. How do you reconcile your oath to “first do no harm,” with your statements that gays are “barbarians,” and that “barbarians need to be educated, need to be disciplined?”

Many thanks to The New Civil Rights Movement reader Ned Flaherty for providing the framework of the questions.

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Burn Bags and Use of Personal Email: Justices’ Security Practices Even Worse Than Leak Investigation Showed

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Supreme Court employees raised security concerns that were not made public when an internal investigation was completed following the leak of a draft opinion reversing abortion rights.

Multiple sources familiar with the court’s operations told CNN that justices often used personal email accounts for sensitive communications, employees used printers that didn’t produce logs and “burn bags” to collect sensitive materials for destruction were often left open and unattended in hallways.

“This has been going on for years,” one former employee said.

Some justices were slow to adopt email technology — they were “not masters of information security protocol,” according to one source — and court employees were afraid to confront them over the security risks.

Supreme Court marshal Gail Curley in her investigative report noted that printer logs intended to track document production were insufficient, but a former employee said employees who had VPN access could print documents from any computer, and remote work during COVID-19 shutdowns and otherwise meant draft opinions could have been taken from the building in violation of court guidelines.

Curley’s report noted that court methods for destroying sensitive documents should be improved, but three employees said striped burn bags supplied to chambers were often left sitting out unattended, and each justice had their own protocols for disposing of court documents.

A source familiar with court security practices said some colleagues stapled burn bags shut, while others filled them to capacity and left them near their desks, and others simply left them sitting in hallways where anyone with access to non-public areas could have taken sensitive materials.

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Ethics Complaint Against Sinema Urges Investigation Into Staffers’ Duties and Her Possible ‘Abuse of Taxpayer Dollars’

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If you are hired to work in Senator Kyrsten Sinema‘s office on Capitol Hill there is a 37-page memo you’ll want to read detailing all the responsibilities her staffers are required to perform, from getting her groceries, calling Verizon and going to her D.C. home to wait for a repair person if the internet goes out, scheduling massages, and ensuring her very detailed airplane requirements are met.

“It is your job to make her as comfortable as possible on each flight,” the memo says, as The Daily Beast first reported in December.

But now a group of 13 non-profit organizations have joined to file an ethics complaint against Senator Sinema (I-AZ), a new Daily Beast report reveals Friday, including details from that 37-page memo which the newly-independent lawmaker directed to be drawn up. Dated Thursday, the complaint is titled: “Letter to Senate Ethics Committee Regarding Reports of Sinema Abusing Taxpayer Dollars.”

“Senate Ethics guidelines stipulate that staff should not be asked to perform personal errands for members. This is an unambiguous ethical boundary,” the group’s complaint reads.

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It also points to that 37-page memo, which it says, “indicates that staff are required, as a condition of their jobs, to carry out numerous tasks that are outside the scope of public employment, including doing personal errands for the Senator, carrying out household tasks at her private residence, and advancing their own funds for her personal purchases. It makes unreasonably precise scheduling demands, and former staff have confirmed some of the allegations.”

The allegations continue.

“And, most troubling, it calls on staff members, who are employed and paid by the public and explicitly barred from campaign activity, to schedule and facilitate political fundraisers and meetings with campaign donors, presumably during the workday while they are on the clock and physically on federal property.”

“Senate staff are prohibited under your guidelines from engaging in political activity ‘on Senate time, using Senate equipment or facilities.’ While you have not prohibited campaign activity outside work hours, the plain language of the memo clearly implies that Sen. Sinema expects her staff to carry out these scheduling tasks during the workday. And these tasks may separately violate Senate Rule 41.1, which explicitly prohibits Senate employees from ‘solicit[ing]’ campaign funds.”

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The complaint also alleges that “Sen. Sinema required her staff to schedule three physical therapy and massage sessions a week related to her training for athletic competitions, and to tightly manage her dietary schedule — while allotting only a 30-minute period on Wednesdays for meetings with the constituents she represents.”

The carefully-worded complaint adds, “the allegations paint a picture of a Senator who is not only unresponsive to her constituents, but also disrespectful and even abusive to her employees and wholly unconcerned about her obligations under the law.”

The Daily Beast has posted a copy of the complaint here.

You can read The Beast’s full report here.

 

 

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Santos May Owe Thousands in Unpaid Traffic Violation Fines and Fees Across Two States: Report

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When he left for Washington, D.C., U.S. Rep. George Santos also appears to have left a string of unpaid traffic violation fines and fees in two states, including red light, double parking, and overtime parking citations totaling thousands of dollars.

The embattled serial liar and freshman New York GOP lawmaker “may owe more than $3,400 in unpaid citations, according to records from New York City and Florida,” CBS News reports.

Included in that total is $1,299.10 from Florida for toll violations that “racked up late fees and were ultimately sent to collections agencies.”

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It appears that in November of 2016, as soon as he got his New York driver’s license after having one in Florida, a car previously ticketed via a red light camera whose plates match one registered to Santos “began piling up citations in New York City — 29 in the next two and a half years, according to city government records, which do not identify the drivers of vehicles being ticketed.”

“More than $1,800 in payments were made for 17 citations, but another 12 remain unpaid, with $2,142.61 still due, according to city records.”

CBS News also points to a New York Post report from January revealing “a Nissan Rogue driven frequently by Santos in recent months had been issued speeding tickets at least five times since he was elected on Nov. 8, ‘including four times in school zones.'”

Santos is under numerous state and federal investigations that span the gamut from campaign finance to allegedly stolen charity funds donated to save the life of a veteran’s service dog. The dog died after the vet could not afford to pay for the operation.

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