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Thread: Ex-Iowa senator Kent Sorenson gets prison in Ron Paul pay-for-endorsement scheme

  1. #1

    Ex-Iowa senator Kent Sorenson gets prison in Ron Paul pay-for-endorsement scheme

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...91c_story.html

    Former Iowa Sen. Kent Sorenson, who accepted money for endorsing presidential candidate Ron Paul in 2012, was sentenced to 15 months in prison Tuesday — even though prosecutors had sought only probation.

    In Judge Robert Pratt’s surprise decision, he said “political corruption is slowly eroding the foundations of our Democracy” and those who betray the public trust must be punished.

    Minutes before Pratt announced the sentence in federal court in Des Moines, Sorenson said he is filled with regret and apologized to the people of Iowa and his former colleagues in the Iowa Legislature. The Republican, who was a sought-after Iowa politician as GOP presidential candidates began campaigning in Iowa in advance of the January 2012 Iowa caucuses, said he was “cocky, arrogant and filled with misguided ideas” after defeating a Democratic incumbent to win his Senate seat.

    Sorenson first signed on as Iowa chairman of Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign but shifted support to Ron Paul just days before the caucuses. Even though Iowa Senate rules prohibit lawmakers from taking money from a political campaign, Sorenson accepted $59,000 from Bachmann’s campaign, then $73,000 for an endorsement of Paul.

    Pratt allowed Sorenson, now 44, to remain free on bond and report to prison when told, likely in a few weeks.

    Sorenson initially told a state Senate committee that he didn’t take the money, but he resigned in October 2013 when the committee concluded he’d taken money. He also lied to federal agents who were investigating whether the Paul campaign illegally concealed the payments but later decided to cooperate with the government.

    In a plea deal, Sorensen agreed to testify against three Ron Paul campaign aides, who were charged with covering up the payments. Campaign chairman Jesse Benton and campaign manager John Tate received two years’ probation, and deputy campaign manager Dimitri Kesari received up to three months in prison. All are appealing their convictions.

    Federal prosecutor Richard Pilger asked for two years of probation and community service for Sorenson, even though the maximum penalties for the charges he faced — causing false reports and obstructing an investigation — were 25 years in prison.

    Pratt said Tuesday that Sorenson only came forward after the FBI raided his house and took evidence, and pointed out Sorenson took secret payments while serving as a publicly elected official.

    “A term of incarceration is required to reflect the seriousness of the offense and deter systemic political corruption,” he said.

    Outside of the courthouse, members of Sorenson’s family threateningly drove an SUV over a curb and onto the courthouse sidewalk and concrete entryway near reporters — and a few feet from the front door in an apparent attempt to shield Sorenson. A federal security agent pounded his fist on the vehicle and told the Sorenson family to get the vehicle away from the building.

    The vehicle sped away as a daughter flashed an obscene hand gesture and cursed at reporters through an open window. Sorenson didn’t comment.



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  3. #2
    This confuses me. Who ordered the payment? Who decided to pay him for an endorsement? I can't imagine Ron Paul would ever do anything out of line, but how is he not even in the picture? This whole thing seems so rotten and out of character. Does anyone have any insight? This article states that Jesse Benton and John Tate are appealing their convictions- on what grounds?
    No - No - No - No
    2016

  4. #3
    “I don’t think that there will be any curtailing of Donald Trump as president,” he said. "He controls the media, he controls the sentiment [and] he controls everybody. He’s the one who will resort to executive orders more so than [President] Obama ever used them." - Ron Paul

  5. #4
    I don't remember all the details, but IIRC, Jesse and John Tate either got acquitted or hung jury on the more serious charges. The prosecutor filed or re-tried on lesser charges and they were convicted on those and got probation.
    “I don’t think that there will be any curtailing of Donald Trump as president,” he said. "He controls the media, he controls the sentiment [and] he controls everybody. He’s the one who will resort to executive orders more so than [President] Obama ever used them." - Ron Paul

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by CPUd View Post
    I don't remember all the details, but IIRC, Jesse and John Tate either got acquitted or hung jury on the more serious charges. The prosecutor filed or re-tried on lesser charges and they were convicted on those and got probation.
    They got house arrest. Dimitri got 6 months of prison
    __________________________________________________ ________________
    "A politician will do almost anything to keep their job, even become a patriot" - Hearst

  7. #6
    That judge is an $#@!... probably a Democrat hack if I had to guess.
    __________________________________________________ ________________
    "A politician will do almost anything to keep their job, even become a patriot" - Hearst

  8. #7
    Why do you say that? If these guys really did pay him that amount of money and it was all how this article says it was, why would t we stand up and cheer that at least someone ends up in prison for it?

    The principle being that fair elections can't be possible when politicians are being bought and paid for...
    No - No - No - No
    2016

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by asurfaholic View Post
    This article states that Jesse Benton and John Tate are appealing their convictions- on what grounds?
    The NAP?



    ...Why isn't Bachmann’s campaign involved with this as well then?
    The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding one’s self in the ranks of the insane.” — Marcus Aurelius


    Consilio et Animis de Oppresso Liber



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  11. #9
    I guess I don't get why it's illegal.
    Is it really that much different than CPACs?

    I figure pay for endorsement is like holding in football...happens on every play.

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Collins View Post
    That judge is an $#@!... probably a Democrat hack if I had to guess.
    How would that judge rule in a Clinton pay for play trial?

  13. #11
    I would also like to know how high up it went. I can't imagine Benton throwing around $73,000.00 without some approval from someone
    There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.
    -Major General Smedley Butler, USMC,
    Two-Time Congressional Medal of Honor Winner
    Author of, War is a Racket!

    It is not that I am mad, it is only that my head is different from yours.
    - Diogenes of Sinope

  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by asurfaholic View Post
    Why do you say that? If these guys really did pay him that amount of money and it was all how this article says it was, why would t we stand up and cheer that at least someone ends up in prison for it?

    The principle being that fair elections can't be possible when politicians are being bought and paid for...
    I am a firm believer that elected officials should be held to a higher standard than mundanes. Therefore, I can justify sending Sorenson to prison while the others got probation.

  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Philmanoman View Post
    I guess I don't get why it's illegal.
    Is it really that much different than CPACs?

    I figure pay for endorsement is like holding in football...happens on every play.
    I do not recall the exact details but it was a violation of MN law.

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by asurfaholic View Post
    This article states that Jesse Benton and John Tate are appealing their convictions- on what grounds?
    The grounds that they don't want to be blacklisted from their political gravy train.

  17. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Weston White View Post
    The NAP?



    ...Why isn't Bachmann’s campaign involved with this as well then?
    I don't understand that, either.

    Sorenson accepted $59,000 from Bachmann’s campaign, then $73,000 for an endorsement of Paul.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul View Post
    The intellectual battle for liberty can appear to be a lonely one at times. However, the numbers are not as important as the principles that we hold. Leonard Read always taught that "it's not a numbers game, but an ideological game." That's why it's important to continue to provide a principled philosophy as to what the role of government ought to be, despite the numbers that stare us in the face.
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    This intellectually stimulating conversation is the reason I keep coming here.

  18. #16
    In Judge Robert Pratt’s surprise decision, he said “political corruption is slowly eroding the foundations of our Democracy” and those who betray the public trust must be punished.
    Political corruption, to be clear, is a consequence of acting/judging/legislating/reporting on the assumption that we are a Democracy. We're not. And this judge should know that.

    This popularized language annoys me greatly. "...our democracy"...and I read/hear it placed into dialogue this way more and more these days. Particularly by people of authority.

    He didn't say foundations of democracy. He said foundation of our democracy. Like it's our form of government. It isn't.

    People like this judge are the problem. He's in dire need of re-education.

    Anyway. I'll share the distinction for the benefit of the casual passer-by - An Important Distinction: Democracy versus Republic
    Last edited by Natural Citizen; 01-18-2017 at 12:01 PM.



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  20. #17
    Personally, I don't even see anything wrong with what he did.

    Especially when we have congressmen being paid thousands of dollars to introduce industry penned legislation that would strategically void our most fundamental foundations for the rghts to life and Individual Liberty, like freedom of choice and things like that and without so much as a peep about it.
    Last edited by Natural Citizen; 01-18-2017 at 12:24 PM.

  21. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    I am a firm believer that elected officials should be held to a higher standard than mundanes. Therefore, I can justify sending Sorenson to prison while the others got probation.
    I agree with this. In my post the "n" in "wouldn't" got a missed for a space, just in case my position isn't clear.
    No - No - No - No
    2016

  22. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Natural Citizen View Post
    Personally, I don't even see anything wrong with what he did.

    Especially when we have congressmen being paid thousands of dollars to introduce industry penned legislation that would strategically void our most fundamental foundations for the rghts to life and Individual Liberty, like freedom of choice and things like that and without so much as a peep about it.
    2 wrongs don't make a right, and even though it may seem like only the liberty candidate gets in trouble while certain others walk free, it is still a good thing to not compromise and let corruption make a foothold in liberty politics. I'd rather be above all the corruption, and not be a part of it.

  23. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by jllundqu View Post
    I would also like to know how high up it went. I can't imagine Benton throwing around $73,000.00 without some approval from someone
    Well, he was the campaign manager... They regularly received millions from moneybombs around the time this happened. I don't know about that approval thing that you mention.
    "I am a bird"

  24. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    I am a firm believer that elected officials should be held to a higher standard than mundanes. Therefore, I can justify sending Sorenson to prison while the others got probation.
    Quote Originally Posted by asurfaholic View Post
    Why do you say that? If these guys really did pay him that amount of money and it was all how this article says it was, why would t we stand up and cheer that at least someone ends up in prison for it?

    The principle being that fair elections can't be possible when politicians are being bought and paid for...
    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    I am a firm believer that elected officials should be held to a higher standard than mundanes. Therefore, I can justify sending Sorenson to prison while the others got probation.
    Who was harmed in this process?


    It's not like he was being paid for voting a certain way or introducing / killing legislation. All he did was give his endorsement, which at the end of the day means practically nothing. No one was harmed by it (and I guarantee you every legislator in Iowa was paid off by other campaigns for the same thing; this guy just got caught due to a leak by some crazy guy).


    Now, to be fair, this was a tacky and maybe ethically questionable thing to do. Also since it was against the law they should not have done it not because it was hurting anyone, but because we should have wanted to be above reproach.
    __________________________________________________ ________________
    "A politician will do almost anything to keep their job, even become a patriot" - Hearst

  25. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    I do not recall the exact details but it was a violation of MN law.
    Iowa
    __________________________________________________ ________________
    "A politician will do almost anything to keep their job, even become a patriot" - Hearst

  26. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by jllundqu View Post
    I would also like to know how high up it went. I can't imagine Benton throwing around $73,000.00 without some approval from someone
    I don't quite think you understand the relationship that Ron and Jesse have/had.
    __________________________________________________ ________________
    "A politician will do almost anything to keep their job, even become a patriot" - Hearst

  27. #24
    He's out now. Very long article in Politico about his life so far in politics, covers the scandal and his time in and release from prison. His son recently committed suicide. He's all about prison reform now that he's out, feels politics was a waste of his life. Very complex, sad, and moving story. http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthr...quot-Hero-quot
    Quote Originally Posted by dannno View Post
    It's a balance between appeasing his supporters, appeasing the deep state and reaching his own goals.
    ~Resident Badgiraffe






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  29. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Collins View Post
    All he did was give his endorsement, which at the end of the day means practically nothing. No one was harmed by it (and I guarantee you every legislator in Iowa was paid off by other campaigns for the same thing; this guy just got caught due to a leak by some crazy guy).


    Now, to be fair, this was a tacky and maybe ethically questionable thing to do. Also since it was against the law they should not have done it not because it was hurting anyone, but because we should have wanted to be above reproach.
    If he wasn't paid for it all would be fine. I do have a problem with politicians using their government positions and influence and marketing that to the highest bidder. 100% corrupt.

    edit: didn't realize this was a bumped thread, you can ignore me no worries
    Last edited by spudea; 09-22-2018 at 01:45 PM.



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