By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com November 16 2011 4:42 PM ET
Marcus Bachmann wants his money, or else.
The husband of presidential candidate Michele Bachmann personally called Truth Wins Out this week to demand $150 for missed appointments. He gave them until Friday to pay up. Then he'll sic a collection agency on the gay rights group.
Truth Wins Out had busted a Bachmann counselor in a hidden-camera sting earlier this year when an activist went undercover as a patient at his Christian counseling clinic in July and found so-called reparative therapy being offered.
The undercover activist, John Becker, first received a threatening voice mail. The call came as a shock, so he decided to call Marcus Bachmann back to investigate.
"You'll be charged, and you owe us, so we're going to send you to a collection agency, whatever it takes to get the truth out of you," Bachmann told him, according to video of the conversation from WFFF-TV in Vermont, where Becker lives.
Becker said he was "stunned" to get the voice mail and that he had given the required notice when he canceled the appointments. But Bachmann said he is sticking by his $150 cancellation fee.
Damage to the clinic's credibility has probably cost Marcus Bachmann a lot more than $150, given that reparative therapy is denounced by all of the major psychological associations. And Bachmann has never copped to actually offering the service.
"You come under deception, you come under a total lie. and you didn't ask for this. John?" Marcus Bachmann told Becker while putting on the pressure. "Boy, that really is taking responsibility."
Bachmann's strong-arm persona isn't always so obvious. CNN anchor Don Lemon complained of being shoved by Marcus Bachmann and campaign workers as his presidential candidate wife tried to make her way through an Iowa crowd.
"You just pushed me into the cart," Lemon objected as he hit a golf cart.
"No, you did it yourself,” Lemon says Marcus Bachmann told him.
Truth Wins Out plans to fight back, calling Bachmann's tactics "harassment."
“We call on Marcus Bachmann to immediately stop his petty and vindictive campaign of harassment and threats against our organization,” said the group's executive director, Wayne Besen. “Perhaps, now that Michele’s campaign is foundering, the Bachmanns are frustrated and looking for scapegoats to explain her failure. Truth Wins Out refuses to be intimidated or blackmailed by Bachmann. This bogus bill will not be paid.”