The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

June 29, 2013

Iowa woman resolves lawsuit against Bachmann

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The lawsuit against U.S. Rep Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign over allegedly stealing home-school supporters' email information was resolved Friday.

Jeffrey Wright, a lawyer for Barbara Heki, of Johnston, says the case against the Minnesota Republican and her senior Iowa campaign aides was dismissed in Polk County District Court.

"There's a dismissal," Wright said, but declined to say whether Heki had agreed to settle the case. "I signed it and filed it."

The development ends one — but certainly not all — of the lingering disputes that surfaced in the wake of Bachmann's fast-starting but unsuccessful campaign during Iowa's 2012 caucuses.

Heki had been a longtime board member of the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators and volunteered for Bachmann's 2012 Iowa caucus campaign. Home-school advocates are an influential bloc in the GOP caucuses.

Heki claimed the campaign's Iowa chairman, Sen. Kent Sorenson of Indianola, took her personal computer without permission to access home-school information. Sorenson was also named in the lawsuit, but had called the accusations as false. No criminal charges were filed.

Attempts to reach Bachmann representatives Friday were unsuccessful.

Bachmann entered the race in June 2011 as a favorite of tea party and social conservatives. She harnessed evangelical conservatives, including influential pastors, to win the Iowa Republican straw poll two months later. But her campaign, marked by staff infighting and complaints about her commitment to its rigors, struggled in the final months before the January caucuses.

Bachmann finished a disappointing sixth in the caucuses and abandoned her White House bid a day later.

Questions remain over whether Bachmann paid Sorenson for his campaign help, which would violate state Senate rules. An Iowa Senate ethics panel has voted to seek a special investigator to review charges that Sorenson broke those rules by receiving indirect payments from Bachmann sources.

Sorenson has also denied breaking Senate rules.

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