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Posted 29 August 2014 - 02:21 PM

Mitch McConnell's campaign manager implicated in bribery scheme involving Presidential campaigns in Iowa.

Given the dollars involved are over $70,000 and the Iowa Republican State Senator who got the bribes has entered a plea deal that involves his testimony, the soft underbelly of Republican politics, notoriously awash in money, is about to be exposed.

Here is a bit from the August 28 Rachael Maddow program that highlights the pernicious situation and begs the question, how corrupt is the system?



The point Ms. Maddow makes is that if it is a crime to accept a bribe, it is also a crime to proffer a bribe. The point she doesn't make is that the campaigns paying the bribes also falsify campaign expenditure reports to hide outright bribes.

Other links:

This one includes the text of the plea agreement between the former Iowa senator and the government for accepting bribes. http://www.opensecre...-back-ron-paul/

This one affirms the connection between the professional political players like Jesse Benton (McConnell's campaign manager) who was also Ron Paul's and who was a player in engineering the payoff. http://crooksandliar...mpaign-manager.

And this report from Fox News, while it ignores any connection to McConnell's campaign, does show Kent Sorensen, the Iowa Senator in the midst of this scandal, stating blatantly on the day after he switched his endorsement from Bachmann to Paul that payments were not involved in the decision.http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/08/29/former-iowa-lawmaker-pleads-guilty/


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Posted 02 September 2014 - 01:27 PM

Apparently Mitch McConnell, who used Ron Paul's campaign manager to win his victory over a tea-party rival, has been blessed by the resignation of his campaign manager as a result of this flap.

One can wonder how Jesse Benton used the massive amounts of cash available to the minority leader of the Senate who hopes to take over the job as majority leader in January (assuming the GOP takes the Senate majority) to assure his victory in the primary in Kentucky.

How much money flowed directly to so-called Tea Party leaders in Kentucky is and ought to be a fair question.

It is, however, a question that is not likely to be asked because of the unceremonious exit of Mr. Benton, as a result of his being implicated in the Ron Paul for President bribery scandal in the 2012 presidential primary in Iowa.

Indeed, one might assume other than the Ron Paul bonafides that Benton gave McConnell, his knowledge of and participation in the bribery for influence scandal unfolding in Iowa is just the kind of hard-ball politicking it took for McConnell, who has already served most of his 30 years in Congress as a moderate Republican, to pass muster with tea-party types in Kentucky.

What a lot of folks here don't know is that vote buying is almost a tradition in Kentucky, where typical votes run about $50 but can some times zoom to $800 -funded in part by drug money. The total tab devoted to vote buying for a single county can be in the mid six-figures.

The Hill, a publication aimed at those working for Congress, reported the resignation as well.

Quote

"The latest scandal tied to Mitch McConnell is more evidence of why Kentuckians view him as the walking talking embodiment of all the partisanship and gridlock in Washington and is another reason why Kentucky desperately needs and deserves a new Senator," said Barasky.

Prior to Benton's resignation, Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo told The Hill that the swirling scandal was “another piece of evidence that shows that you really can’t trust” Kentucky Republicans.

“They’re telling you one thing but look what their morals are. Look what their character is,” he said,

Stumbo pointed to a rash of investigations into the campaign activities of Republican elected officials in Kentucky as evidence the bribery scandal, and Benton’s potential involvement in it, was just par for the course for the party there.

“I think it clearly calls in to public debate the moral fiber of the Republican Party and its’ inability to really abide by the law,” he said.

He stood by those comments after Benton resigned, but wondered whether his move had taken "some of the luster off" the issue.

Stumbo also said post-Labor Day, the campaigns will likely start to engage on the issues, and "these type of little things will likely just be an afterthought."

Both McConnell and Paul's tight-knit spheres of influence, which often overlap, were bunkered down Friday, and calls and emails to half a dozen former and current aides to the two went unanswered prior to Benton's announcement.

McConnell's campaign didn't respond to the most immediate question confronting the senator: Who will lead his operation heading into the final stretch of an already-heated fight, that's only expected to get tougher headed into the fall?

The most likely pick to replace Benton is Josh Holmes, McConnell's former chief of staff who left his office to work for the National Republican Senatorial Committee but has continued to heavily advise McConnell's race and was involved in its day-to-day operations.

Calls and emails to both Benton and Holmes were not returned Friday evening.

The one McConnell affiliate who did weigh in was in damage control mode.

Scott Jennings, a former McConnell aide who currently runs a pro-McConnell super-PAC, dismissed the idea that voters would be swayed by Benton's resignation.

"I don't think people generally know who the staff of the campaigns are, and I don't think they vote based on that," he told The Hill.

Read more: http://thehill.com/b...s#ixzz3CBTtnaMN
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

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