Happy Hour over: Fundraising firm drops Bachmann

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who can’t seem to hold onto a chief of staff for more than a year at a time, has now lost her fundraising firm as well.

According to a report which first appeared in Roll Call on Wednesday, “The Gula Graham Group, a Republican fundraising and consulting firm, ended their three-year relationship with Bachmann last week.”

The Gula Graham Group arranges fundraising events for a select group of Republican members of Congress, like the “Happy Hour” they put on for Bachmann last spring at the Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar with an admission fee of $500 per attendee.

The firms’s co-founder, Mike Gula, told Roll Call, “I can confirm that the Gula Graham Group no longer works for Congresswoman Bachmann. We chose to go in a different direction.”

Bachmann also lost her chief of staff, Michelle Marston, just last month. “I’m just not talking about it, and frankly I don’t think there’s a story here,” Marston told Politico at the time. A conservative Republican member of the House, however, suggested the real problem was that “when your captain’s crazy, it’s time to find a new ship.”

Marston had joined Bachmann’s staff only last February, replacing Rich Dunn, who hadn’t held the positiion very long either. In April 2008, Think Progress noted of Bachmann, “The Hill reports that ‘ten of the 14 people’ she ‘hired early last year have left’ her office. ‘The casualty list includes two chiefs of staff, a district director, a press secretary, two legislative assistants, a staff assistant, a caseworker, an outreach and grants coordinator and a district scheduler.’ A third chief of staff ‘rescinded his decision to take the position prior’ to being officially placed on the payroll.”

A comparison of the Gula Graham Group’s current client listing with a version in the Google cache, shows that Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA) has recently been dropped from the list as well. Gerlach, however, was a client of Mike Gula’s for many years, and his departure might merely reflect the fact that he is now running for governor of Pennsylvania and not seeking reelection to Congress. In Bachmann’s case there is no such obvious explanation

About the Author
Muriel Kane is an associate editor at Raw Story. She joined Raw Story as a researcher in 2005, with a particular focus on the Jack Abramoff affair and other Bush administration scandals. She worked extensively with former investigative news managing editor Larisa Alexandrovna, with whom she has co-written numerous articles in addition to her own work. Prior to her association with Raw Story, she spent many years as an independent researcher and writer with a particular focus on history, literature, and contemporary social and political attitudes. Follow her on Twitter at @Muriel_Kane

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