Benton Bribery Scandal Compromises Rand Paul 2016?
This just in, Jesse Benton, former Chairman of the Ron Paul Presidential Campaign has found himself mired in an alleged bribery scandal stemming from claims he initiated payoffs to structure the resignation of Bachmann Campaign Chairman Kent Sorenson during the 2012 election.
On December 28, 2011, the tides in the presidential election seemed to shift when Iowa State Senator and Campaign Chairman for Michele Bachmann for President, Kent Sorenson resigned from Bachmann’s campaign during the 2012 Iowa Caucuses and endorsed 12-term congressman Ron Paul, instead.
While this event did not significantly affect the outcome of the election, Sorenson’s endorsement of Congressman Paul is now drawing heavy scrutiny after e-mail conversations and memos were released exposing a financial proposal of over $200,000 for Sorenson’s defection from the Bachman campaign.
This newly developing bribery scandal included exchanges between Senator Kent Sorenson, Ron Paul’s Campaign Chairman, Jesse Benton, President of the Campaign for Liberty, John Tate, Sorenson’s legislative clerk, Chris Dorr, and a few others.
Jesse Benton, who was also the Campaign Manager for Rand Paul’s 2010 Senate-run, reportedly initiated the Bachmann Defection plan in November of 2011 by contacting Sorenson’s conduit to the Paul campaign. It’s also been alleged by Opensecrets.org, a nonpartisan election guide for financial contributions, that Benton has his own controversy regarding money earned from running a political campaign, which amounts to a much larger payoff of about $1.1 million through various Paul campaign entities. As of this report little has been done to slow Benton’s push deeper into corrupt Washington dealings.
Benton is no stranger to dirty tricks. In April a secretly recorded audio file was leaked to Mother Jones detailing how the McConnell Senate Re-election Efforts, whom Benton is campaign Manager, would include targeting his proposed opponent Ashley Judd by focusing on her mental health and religion.
In the Benton initiated plan, Sorenson demanded $88,000 for himself, $20,000 for his accomplice Chris Dorr, and $100,000 for his newly created state Political Action Committee, or PAC.
This information was disclosed to TheIowaRepublican.com by Dennis Fusaro, a field director for Ron Paul’s campaign in 2008, who had a close relationship with Senator Sorenson through his work as Executive Director of the National Right to Work Committee.
Sorenson is now under investigation by the Federal Election Commission and Iowa Senate Ethics Committee for violating state senate rules which prohibit senators from receiving direct and indirect financial contributions from political campaigns.
This could have drastic effects on Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s Presidential aspirations due to Benton’s relationship with Kentucky’s other Senator Mitch McConnell. These new revelations of alleged payoffs and dirty tricks could now call to question Rand Paul’s entire Senate win.
Rand Paul has made measured steps to clear his path to the White House in 2016 by courting both Neo-con incumbents of the Republican Elite while also pandering to the Tea Party.
Calls to Rand’s office were not returned and there is no word yet if Rand Paul will be distancing him from Benton in light of this scandal.
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