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Bachmann railed against stimulus but sought the funds

The Huffington Post filed Freedom of Information Act requests and learned that even though Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has long belittled President Obama's stimulus package and other government spending programs, she's not been shy about seeking a piece of the pie.

The HuffPo piece last week said the FOI requests show:

that on at least 16 separate occasions, Bachmann petitioned the federal government for direct financial help or aid. A large chunk of those requests were for funds set aside through President Obama's stimulus program, which Bachmann once labeled "fantasy economics." Bachmann made two more of those requests to the Environmental Protection Agency, an institution that she has suggested she would eliminate if she were in the White House.

Taken as a whole, the letters underscore what Bachmann's critics describe as a glaring distance between her campaign oratory and her actual conduct as a lawmaker. Combined with previous revelations that Bachmann personally relied on a federally subsidized home loan while her husband's business benefited from Medicaid payments, it appears that one of the Tea Party's most cherished members has demonstrated that the government does, in fact, play a constructive role — at least in her life and district.

The story shows that she was "incredibly unsuccessful in her efforts." And it concludes:

In the end, Bachmann's ineffectiveness in securing federal help for constituents doesn't mitigate the fact that she sought federal help in the first place. And for Republican primary voters, who have been fed a healthy diet of anti-government rhetoric during this election cycle, that may prove to be a blot on her record.

"This will come up in the context of the battle for the Republican nomination and it will be up to Mrs. Bachmann to explain these things adequately," said Craig Shirley, a longtime Republican operative. "The task for any good candidate is to explain why they did such and such which might not conform with party orthodoxy, and then pivot very quickly to convince enough primary voters why it is they who should be the nominee and not the other contenders."

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