WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Michele Bachmann has pulled out of the Tea Party Nation Convention in Nashville, her office confirmed today, leaving the movement’s first organizing convention without one of its biggest stars.
Said Bachmann spokesman Dave Dziok in an e-mail to MinnPost:
“Due to conflicting advice on whether Representative Bachmann’s participation in the upcoming Tea Party Nation Convention would be in line with the Committee on Standards, Congresswoman Bachmann has decided not to participate in the event. There is uncertainty about how any proceeds from the event may be used, and we must err on the side of caution. Some will want to portray her withdrawal as a repudiation of the Tea Party Movement, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Congresswoman Bachmann remains encouraged by all Americans, regardless of political party, who are concerned about this nation’s future and dwindling prosperity, and continues to be inspired their passion.”
Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn told POLITICO today that she too was pulling out of the event, citing similar reasons.
As we reported yesterday, Bachmann said her questions center around the fact that the Tea Party convention is a for-profit venture, and that the event organizer, Tennessee lawyer Judson Phillips, may also be running a 527 group – meaning her participation could be considered a breach of congressional ethics.
This is the latest – and probably the largest – setback for a convention that has taken fire from some on the right for paying former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin $100,000 to speak to them, and for charging a $549 registration fee for what has been billed as a grassroots organizing convention.