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Mitch McConnell's Campaign Manager Linked To Iowa Bribery Case

Kent Sorenson's surprise guilty plea may upend Mitch McConnell's bid to hold his Senate seat.
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Mitch McConnell has a big problem. Even bigger than his suckup speech at the Koch summit.

This is the tail end of a much-longer Maddow report about the outcome of Kent Sorenson's sudden leap from endorsing Michele Bachmann to endorsing Ron Paul right before the Iowa caucuses.

The reason is simple. In Iowa, endorsements were for sale. And Kent Sorenson's endorsement was a big "get." Michele Bachmann is still under federal investigation for improper payments to Sorenson in exchange for help in Iowa.

This email outlines the horsetrading that took place between Sorenson and the Ron Paul campaign.

John [John Tate, Ron Paul’s 2012 campaign manager],

KS [Kent Sorenson] is considering the offer that was first brought to his attention by a national campaign staffer. As KS considers this[,] he needs to look at what he needs to replace should he leave the MB [Michele Bachmann] campaign. The following financial requirements are things he’d be giving up and would need to have matched if he leaves MB.

Salary Requirements and other financial requirements:

KS needs to match his current salary of $8,000 a month. This has been promised to him, even after MB drops out of the race, for the majority of 2012. As a result, KS would need to be on payroll into the Fall of 2012.

CD [Chris Dorr] works for and with KS and would leave the MB with him. He would have to have his salary matched ($5,000 monthly) through April of 2012, when he was currently scheduled to quit the MB campaign.

We have established the Iowa Conservatives Fund PAC as an entity that KS will be using to recruit and elected [sic] good candidates to the Iowa General Assembly. (C4 will follow after next legislative session.) It’s KS’s leadership PAC. He would need a donation of $100,000 into this PAC prior to this action.

Subsequent to that email, a deal was struck, and $73,000 passed through a film production company to Kent Sorenson from the Ron Paul campaign.

This is smarmy enough, but as Rachel points out, bribery takes at least two people. One to bribe, and one to receive the bribe. Sorenson has now entered a guilty plea and confessed to taking the bribe. But who was the giver of the bribe?


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Jesse Benton was in charge of the Ron Paul campaign at the time, and Jesse Benton followed up on that first email with the terms for the switch.

Jesse Benton is Mitch McConnell's campaign manager now.

Senator McTurtle has a serious problem.

Read the full plea agreement at Open Secrets.

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