Tag Archives: Bribery Scandal

Family, Politics and the Scandal of Corruption That Binds Them: Should Those Ties Compromise Rand in 2016?

mitch-mcconnell-10

by Isabel Matos

I hate working in a vacuum when preparing a video or a lengthy article sometimes because it can take hours away from interacting with people; but I actually enjoyed putting this clip (and article) together because my mission and obsession is to expose GOP corruption and deception. I think you will like it.

In this story we have an entrenched five-term Establishment politician with the second-most powerful position in the Senate (Minority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell) grasping to retain his power one more term to maybe be Majority Leader (an ironic scenario given it would be made possible by Tea Party support of the same Conservatives he is trying to defeat). We have a Junior Senator (Rand Paul) compromising his own Tea Party principles as he vies for that position or a higher one down the road that will secure a place for him to lead in some leading capacity (as he will never be president). Because the Junior Senator comes from the same state as the elder status-quo he has to play the game and run everything he does past the Establishment we are ALL trying to take on. And last (for the sake of this article, there are more) we have a family member, confidant and campaign manager -Jesse Benton- who they have in common. Benton is not the only bad guy in this political drama which also happens to be a family affair. Benton is married to Rand Paul’s niece (or Ron Paul’s granddaughter). Their corruption, however, is putting our country at risk and possibly why Sarah didn’t get near this race directly. The entrenchment is as thick as the bonds that tie their family.

Jesse Benton was a top campaign aide during Rand Paul’s 2010 Senate bid and became campaign manager after a staff shake up. He served as communications director in 2008 and then campaign manager in 2012 for each one of Ron Paul’s Presidential bids. Mitch McConnell hired him to be his reelection 2014 campaign manager as part of his commitment to running a presidential campaign in Kentucky, which he announced in a prepared statement on September 13, 2012:

[a campaign] starts with a presidential manager. Jesse is literally the best in the business at building and organizing conservative grassroots  movements and I’m thrilled he’s chosen to return to Kentucky to lead my campaign.

The merger was a no-brainer:  McConnell would use Paul to help him garner the Tea Party vote (albeit dishonestly and deceivingly). In turn, Paul would have a very powerful “ally” and access to huge amounts of money for being a loyal “ally”.

Benton’s move from the Paul camp to McConnell’s left some conservative activists scratching their heads because of the two senators’ divergent political philosophies. But since Paul arrived in the Senate, the gentlemen from Kentucky have nurtured a symbiotic partnership that gives Paul establishment credibility while shoring up McConnell’s bona fides among the Tea Party base f.

On February 18th a complaint was filed with the Iowa Senate Ethics Committee regarding a payoff for an endorsement for Ron Paul in the Iowa caucuses. In the complaint Pete Waldron, former campaign staffer for Michele Bachmann alleged that the Paul campaign, “its operatives, and third parties conspired to pay a bribe” to Sorenson “to betray” Bachmann and publicly endorse Ron Paul. The names of those involved are listed here; among them Jesse Benton and Dimitri Kasari.

On December 28th, 2011.. 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 drawing heavy scrutiny after e-mail conversations and memos released exposed a financial proposal of over $200,000 for Sorenson’s defection from the Bachman campaign.

The results of the January 3rd Iowa caucuses were too close to call – the closest in its history. It appeared that Mitt Romney had won at first, but after the results were released on January 19th, it was Rick Santorum who had beat him by a small margin, missing out on all the attention and PR Romney got for it. Ron Paul came in third place. Michele Bachmann came in sixth and dropped out of the race.

The credible allegations in the complaint resulted in Kent Sorenson resigning from office as Senator in October of 2013.  Sorenson admitted receiving payments from, among others, Ron Paul’s deputy campaign adviser, Dimitri Kesari. The federal probe continues it seems. FBI raids reveal connections to the case. Computers have been removed from Sorenson’s house and a grand jury investigation is ongoing.

The FEC assigned a MUR (“Matter Under Review”) number, which indicates a formal inquiry will begin. It has not fazed Benton who is not answering questions about the bribe, or Paul who has tapped him to be his 2016 campaign manager.

Rand Paul’s political adviser, Doug Stafford was managing a consultant involved in bribery payments to Sorenson. His name: Dimitri Kesari. Stafford is Executive Director of Redirecting America (in a) New Direction (RandPac) and is busy ramping-up a political infrastructure “for the 2016 presidential hopeful.”

Jesse Benton joining Stafford makes sense given his comments in a secretly recorded conversation provided to OpenSecrets Blog and other outlets saying that he had accepted the job as McConnell’s campaign manager for the purpose of bolstering Rand Paul’s prospects in 2016.

Jesse Benton has a record of unethical conduct. His ties with so-called conservative organizations like “Americans for Tax Reform” (founded by Grover Norquist, known GOP infiltrator) and the ACU (also known to be infiltrated by GOP enemies Norquist and Suhail Khan) should also be noted. In a simple search:

Who is Jesse Benton? Jesse Benton is a political consultant and libertarian activist know for working with conservative and libertarian organizations like Americans for Tax Reform, the Liberty Coalition, and the American Conservative Union. Benton is strongly associated with the Paul family, serving as a high-ranking staffer for both Ron Paul and Rand Paul.

Those two associations alone would explain many of the stances Paul has taken on issues clearly not supported by the Tea Party, base of the GOP and movement he supposedly represents and is the leader of. He is using them for his political gain and in the process is guilty of confusing and depriving voters of the truth about who he really is.. A fake friend of Conservatives which makes him… a RHino.

Sorenson-and-Paul-602x342

Kent Sorenson and Ron Paul (Updated)

SORENSON confirms payment to endorse Paul Aug 2013 (Updated)

References

1)  Mitch McConnell Beating the Tea Party: We are Going to Crush Them Everywhere:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/10/mitch-mcconnell-beating-tea-party-we-are-going-cru/

2)  Rand Paul Reacts to Mitch McConnell’s Plan to ‘Crush’ the Tea Party:

http://www.glennbeck.com/2014/03/11/rand-paul-reacts-to-mitch-mcconnells-plan-to-crush-the-tea-party/

3)  Mitch McConnell’s Campaign Manager: “I’m Holding My Nose”:

http://swampland.time.com/2013/08/08/mitch-mcconnells-campaign-manager-im-holding-my-nose/

4)  FEC Will Examine Allegations Against Ron Paul Campaign

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2014/03/fec-will-examine-allegations-against-ron-paul-campaign.html

5)  Bribery Scandal Compromises Rand Paul 2016

http://chrisinmaryville.net/benton-bribery-scandal-compromises-rand-paul-2016.html

6)  New Investigation Into Ron Paul and Sorenson Payoff

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2014/04/new-investigation-into-ron-paul-inc-and.html

7)  Leading Republicans Move to Stamp Out Challenges from Right

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/09/us/politics/leading-republicans-move-to-stamp-out-challenges-from-right.html?_r=2

8) Mitch McConnell Hires Ron Paul’s Campaign Manager

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/09/mitch-mcconnell-hires-ron-pauls-campaign-manager/

9) Ron Paul Campaign Accused of Trying to Buy Iowa Endorsements (The Emails)

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2013/08/ron-paul-campaign-accused-of-trying.html

10)  Head of Paul’s 50-State Operation is Accused of Earlier Questionable Work

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2014/03/head-of-pauls-50-state-operation-is-accused-of-earlier-questionable-work.html

 

17 Comments

Filed under In The News, Politics