Chatter: Jesse Benton, others found guilty in 2012 endorsement-buying scheme

05/05/2016 01:52 PM

Jesse Benton, the former campaign manager of U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul and campaign chairman for Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign, has been found guilty of multiple corruption charges relating to an endorsement-buying scheme in Iowa.

Federal jurors returned guilty verdicts against Benton, John Tate and Dimitri Kesari for their roles in bribing former Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson, who previously pleaded guilty to receiving thousands for switching his support from Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul in the early primary state’s 2012 presidential election, according to The Des Moines Register.

Benton, who is married to Ron Paul’s granddaughter, was found guilty of all four charges: conspiracy, causing false records, causing false campaign expenditure reporting and false statements scheme, according to the Iowa newspaper.

This is the second case brought against Benton and the other Ron Paul campaign staffers in relation to the endorsement scheme, in October of 2015 Benton was found not-guilty of making false statements to the FBI.

Prosecutors re-indicted Benton and took him back to court last Tuesday.

Tate is the president and founder of America’s Liberty PAC, and Benton is acting as the senior advisor for the outfit which plans to play a role in backing U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in his re-election bid in November. The outside group cannot coordinate with Paul’s team under federal law.

Benton is also working as a senior advisor for Great America PAC, a pro-Donald Trump organization seeking to help elect the New York business mogul and presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or


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