Michele Bachmann Ethics Investigation: What's the Worst That Could Happen?

Michele Bachmann’s failed 2012 presidential campaign has been rectified from its previous irrelevance by means of an ethics investigation. Allegedly, Iowa Senator Ken Sorenson accepted $7,500 every month as an employee of the Bachmann campaign, transactions that violate Iowa Senate ethics regulations.

There is currently an official investigation underway, Sorenson maintains that he is innocent and that the investigation is a “witch hunt,” and an investigation report is likely months away from being presented to the ethics committee. Ultimately, this scandal does not carry with it much severity or consequences.

Yes, in principle, if Sorenson and the Bachmann campaign are guilty, the involved parties should be reprimanded. However, in light of the myriad issues facing the nation, this investigation will provoke no greater punishment than that which can be provided by the Iowa Senate.

At the very most, Sorenson risks expulsion. He will also undoubtedly face political fallout with his constituents if he is found guilty. That said, the national political dynamic will and ought to stand unchanged from the investigation. The Republican Party need not worry about Iowa’s voters rejecting their candidates in future elections because of these transgressions, even if they are proven to be true.

Americans have too many examples of government corruption on both sides of the aisle for this particular ethics investigation to incite any national conversations or overt public discontentment.

Perhaps Sorenson will not be able to secure his seat in the future and perhaps Michele Bachmann will struggle to win the Iowa caucus in 2016 if she chooses to reignite her presidential bid, but that is about as dramatic fallout will be from this scandal. And I’m sure the people of Iowa would appreciate that their government not play politics with this investigation so that they might focus on more pressing issues.

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Maggie O'Neill

I'm a senior in high school, where I am chair of the Republican Club, am an editor of the newspaper and serve in student government.

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