By Sheena Dooley | Iowa Watchdog
DES MOINES — A former Iowa staff member for Republican Michele Bachmann’s now defunct presidential campaign is suing the Minnesota congresswoman, alleging officials stole a private email list of home-school families in Iowa.
Barb Heki, of Johnston, filed the lawsuit against Bachmann and senior campaign aides Monday in Polk County District Court.
Johnson’s lawsuit claims that state Sen. Kent Sorenson, Bachmann’s Iowa campaign chairman, stole the list from her personal computer in July 2011 and used it to promote her candidacy among the state’s Christian home-school families.
Sorenson and Heki could not immediately be reached for comment.
Campaign staff members knew about the plot and did nothing to stop it. They, instead, said Heki voluntarily provided it, according to the lawsuit. That led Heki to losing her 10-year position on the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators board as well as a position with a related national home-school organization, it alleges.
Heki is seeking damages and legal fees. She has requested a jury trial.
Bachmann gained early momentum in Iowa, winning the state’s summer straw poll last year in part with support from conservative Christian home-school advocates. Her campaign lost steam heading into the January caucuses, where she finished fifth. She ended her candidacy the next day.