Thursday, August 29, 2013

BREAKING: Second Complaint Filed Against Sorenson: Accused of Receiving Check from Ron Paul Backers

The Des Moines Register reports:
Embattled state Sen. Kent Sorenson will face another ethics complaint accusing him of taking pay from a presidential campaign — this time from Ron Paul backers — but his lawyer calls the allegations “gibberish.”

Florida Republican Peter Waldron told The Des Moines Register on Wednesday evening that he intends to file a second complaint, this one alleging Sorenson violated Iowa Senate ethics rules by conspiring with Paul’s presidential campaign “to solicit and conceal compensation” for himself and others totaling more than $150,000.

In the ethics complaint, Waldron cites documents and audio files posted online that suggest Sorenson’s wife received but never cashed a $30,000 check from Paul’s national deputy campaign manager, Dimitri Kesari.

The complaint alleges the check was a payoff for Sorenson to defect from his role as Iowa chairman of Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign and endorse Paul just before the 2012 Iowa GOP caucuses[...]

An independent investigator empowered by the bipartisan Iowa Senate Ethics Committee is already looking into a complaint Waldron filed in January that accuses Sorenson, a Republican from Milo, of accepting pay from Bachmann backers.

Sorenson told the Register Wednesday night that independent investigator Mark Weinhardt has issued a broad-reaching subpoena for his records — including paperwork connected to his work for both Paul and Bachmann. Sorenson said he has encouraged the investigation[...] Sporer’s confirmation that Paul’s deputy national campaign manager gave Sorenson’s wife a check contradicts that. Sorenson told the Register that he was nervous during the national TV interview and misspoke.

Election law experts said the alleged payments to Sorenson from Bachmann may not violate federal campaign laws, but that the Paul accusations raise multiple red flags — even if the check wasn’t cashed.

A payment in connection with any service to the Paul campaign would likely qualify as an in-kind contribution to the campaign, which would have to be reported on disclosure reports. The $30,000 sum, moreover, would violate federal campaign finance limits of $2,500. And, further, a check from a retail business could violate prohibitions on corporate donations to political campaigns.

“The Ron Paul situation … has the potential for a lot of bad things that would violate the (Federal Election Campaign Act),” said Jason Torchinsky, a Washington-based campaign finance attorney who served as a lawyer on George W. Bush’s 2004 presidential campaign.

The violations could stand even if Sorenson never cashed the check, added Paul S. Ryan, senior counsel at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center. “If it turns out that a transaction was illegal … it would not and for policy reasons it should not make a difference that the recipient has not yet cashed the check,” Ryan said.

Remember this is in addition to an FBI investigation that at a minimum concerns possible illegal money paid to Sorenson by the Michelle Bachmann campaign. The pressure on Sorenson to flip and implicate Bachmann people and Ron Paul people will be enormous. The important thing to keep in mind is that there is a big difference between Ron Paul and Ron Paul Inc.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure Neocon Wenzel is hoping Ron will get into trouble for this