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Michele Bachmann ( 1956 - )  Category ( Politicians ) [suggest a correction]

Michele Bachmann Michele Marie Bachmann was born on 6 April 1956 in Anoka, Minnesota. She graduated from Winona State University and recieved her J.D. degree from Oral Roberts University and an LL.M. degree in tax law from the College of William and Mary's Marshall-Wythe School of Law.

Bachmann is noted for opening the first K-12 charter school in the nation in Stillwater, Minnesota in 1993. However, conflicts soon arose when parents and the school district questioned whether public tax dollars were supporting a creationist curriculum at this school. Minnesota charter schools receive public tax money as tax-exempt nonprofits and are overseen by a public school district. In this environment, tax money cannot be utilized to support a Christian curriculum.

Bachmann, in a rebuttal that initially characterized her current public demeanor, defied the criticisms and stated that the critics were launching a personal attack that questioned her integrity. She immediately resigned her seat on the charter school board with the complaint that the public was intent on anti-Christian discrimination. She later denied any involvement with this controversy.

With this stance, however, Bachmann began to attract a socially conservative support system, especially when she began to attack the state's "School-to-Work" program and the "Profile of Learning" program of graduation standards. In both cases, Bachmann stated that the programs were based upon standards that did not allow education to take the forefront.

Bachmann's attacks on the public school system led to an early political alliance with the Maple River Education Coalition (now called EdWatch) and the Minnesota Family Institute (MFI). With their support, Bachmann introduced the idea of teaching Intelligent Design in the Stillwater Public School system. However, she dropped this mission when she began to focus on a seat in the State Senate and ran for the Stillwater school board. She lost this election, but it was her only electoral defeat to date.

In 2000, Bachmann defeated Gary Laidig and secured the GOP endoresment for State Senator for Minnesota's District 56. She then defeated Ted Thompson of the DFL and Lyno Sullivan from the Independence Pary int he general election and claimed the Minnesota State Senate seat. In 2002, Bachmann went on to defeat Jane Krentz of the DFL for the newly re-drawn District 52.

Over the next three years, Bachmann proved to be one of the most socially conservative members of the State Senate, leading many rallies, protests and challenges to the Constitution on subjects such as same-sex marriage and the addition of religion to public school environments. Although she was appointed as Assistant Minority Leader in charge of Policy for the Senate Rpublican Caucus in November 2004, she was removed from this post in July 2005. Bachmann recites "philosophical differences" in her removal.

Later in 2005, Bachmann began to state some opinions that not only provided her with a spotlight, but that secured the backing of evangicals and other far-right leaders. Her first statement that not all cultures are created equal. She also was outed as a member of a church, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, that believes the papacy is the Anti-Christ identified in Scripture. She has stated that she believes that God has called her to run for the United States Congress.

Over her tenure in Washington, D.C., Bachmann continued to parlay media attention with outlandish statements and by positioning herself to be in advantageous situations. With this strategy, Bachmann raced ahead of Democratic opponent Elwyn Tinklenberg in the 2008 election. However, a statement she made in an appearance on Hardball with Chris Matthews tightened that race. She questioned presidential candidate Barack Obama's patriotism, and called for an investigation in to the patriotism of Democratic members of Congress. This accusation, to many, was reminiscent of the McCarthy 'witch hunts.' Within three days after these comments, her opponent raised more than $810,00 and a campaign urging Congress to officially censure Bachmann was launched with over 35,000 signatures in the first 24 hours.

But, she still won by three percent, and many observers state that the Independent third-party candidate, who took ten percent of the vote, would have voted against Bachmann in that election.

Still in power, Bachmann recently urged her constiuency on to being "armed and dangerous" over President Obama's energy tax. With these seemingly off-the-cuff statements, Bachmann has defined a niche as an ultra-conservative politician and, to some - such as Eva Young, founder of the Web site, Dump Bachmann - she is a "nut, she's a liar and she's a bigot"

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