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Michele Bachmann disclosure includes farm receiving government subsidies [updated]

August 15, 2011|By Kim Geiger
  • Michele Bachmann arrives at a Blackhawk County Republican dinner Monday in Waterloo, Iowa.
Michele Bachmann arrives at a Blackhawk County Republican dinner Monday… (Chip Somodevilla / Getty…)

Despite repeatedly asserting that she has never received income from a family farm that drew federal subsidies in the past, Rep. Michele Bachmann again listed the farm as a source of income when she filed her 2010 personal financial disclosures late last week.

Bachmann also reported that the farm had more than doubled in value since 2009. 

The Independence, Wis., farm, Bachmann Farm Family LP, received nearly $260,000 in federal subsidies between 1995 and 2008. At the time, the farm was owned by Bachmann’s father-in-law, Paul Bachmann, who died in May 2009. 

Michele Bachmann, her husband, Marcus, and their children are "limited, minority partners" in the farm, according to Bachmann spokeswoman Alice Stewart.

Bachmann, a Republican presidential candidate running on a platform of lower taxes and smaller government, has been an outspoken critic of agriculture subsidies.   

"It's not my husband and my farm," Bachmann said in a June interview on "Fox News Sunday," responding to a Los Angeles Times report about the farm subsidies and other government aid that the Bachmann family has received over the years.  "And my husband and I have never gotten a penny of money from the farm."

Bachmann's financial disclosures paint a different picture: Since 2006, she has reported receiving between $37,504 and $120,000 in income from the farm, including between $5,001 and $15,000 that she recently disclosed for the 2010 calendar year.

"Since the family partnership was established, income to the farm has been used to support Marcus' parents, and also reinvested into the farm to support its operations," Stewart said in an email statement. "A portion of the income received by the partnership included federal farm subsidies while Paul Bachmann managed the affairs of the farm. ... After Paul's passing, the partnership did not apply for or directly receive any federal farm subsidies, and the partnership's income consisted primarily of rent and other receipts. ... All income that was allocated to Michele, Marcus and their children under the partnership agreement was retained by the partnership and thus they did not directly benefit from the farm income or subsidies."

All members of Congress and candidates for federal office are required to disclose certain details about their financial circumstances by filing a yearly form that lists assets, income and liabilities within a broad range of amounts. 

In 2009, Bachmann listed the farm as an asset worth between $100,001 and $250,000.  In her 2010 forms, Bachmann valued the farm between $500,001 and $1 million. 

Richard Serrano in the Washington bureau contributed to this report.

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