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One of Rep. Michele Bachmann's more controversial associations is her relationship with Bradlee Dean, a heavy-metal drummer who runs an anti-gay ministry in her district called You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International. As we reported in May, Dean has stated unequivocally that homosexuality is illegal. Not that it should be illegal, but that it is currently a crime, and that gays are legally barred from holding public office. (News of the landmark 2003 Supreme Court decision Lawrence v. Texas travels slowly.) Dean also believes that gay marriage is part of secret Muslim plot to impose Islamic Sharia law on the general populace, and that President Obama has cut the nation loose from its Constitutional moorings. This despite the fact that Dean was until recently a member of a sovereign citizen organization that requires supporters to renounce their American citizenship. Bachmann has raised money for Dean's organization and prayed for the group to turn Minnesota into a "burning incense." "Thank you now for this time," she said, "and pour a double blessing, Lord, a triple blessing onto this ministry."
The fact that Bachmann was scheduled to appear alongside Dean at the "Tea Party Jamboree" in Kansas City, Kansas, in September was, all things considered, kind of a big deal. The event's lineup was problematic as well: Jerome Corsi, author of the birther manifesto Where's the Birth Certificate?, was scheduled to attend, as was his boss at WorldNetDaily, Joseph Farah. With Bachmann, guided by chief strategist Ed Rollins, attempting to rebrand herself as a kinder, gentler conservative candidate, would she stay the course? Now, Andy Birkey reports, she won't have to make that choice; the entire event has been called off:
Organizers for the Freedom Jamboree, billed as the national tea party straw poll convention, announced on Wednesday that the event has been canceled due to low attendance. The conference had pulled in two of Minnesota most controversial figures, presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and rightwing preacher Bradlee Dean. It was also being organized by Iowa's Bob Vander Plaats, whose organization, The Family Leader, sparked an uproar in the state after it released a presidential pledge on marriage.
So Bachmann dodged a bullet. Meanwhile, this isn't going to do anything to quell suggestions that Vander Plaats, whose marriage pledge has been rebuked by GOP front-runner Mitt Romney and fellow contender Tim Pawlenty, has lost his mojo.