Rachel Maddow reported on this a few minutes ago, from a story breaking in the Washington Post.
We knew that Mitch McConnell's current campaign manager, Jesse Benton, was the campaign manager for Ron Paul in 2012, during the time they bribed a prominent Tea Party Goposaur to switch his endorsement from Michelle Bachmann to Ron Paul. The prominent Goposaur, someone named Kent Sorenson, pled guilty yesterday to accepting about $75,000 to flip allegiances.
Well now, it turns out the actual bagman for that bribe, Dimitri Kesari..is also currently employed by the McConnell Campaign. According to Rachel, he's already made about $60,000 working for Mitch as a "Strategic Consultant".
Here is an excerpt from the Washington Post article:
The federal probe that resulted in a guilty plea this week by a former Iowa state senator who was secretly paid to endorse two Republican presidential candidates in the 2012 campaign is ongoing -- and could implicate the political operatives who were involved in routing payments to him, according to people familiar with the case.http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
A key point person from the Paul campaign who urged Sorenson to defect was Dimitri Kesari, then Paul’s deputy national campaign manager. At a December 2011 meeting at an Altoona restaurant, he gave Sorenson’s wife a $25,000 check to secure the state senator’s support. The check was never cashed.
Jesse Binnall, an attorney for Kesari, declined to comment.
I couldn't find anything in the WaPo article that talks about Kesari's current work for McConnell, but I swear, Rachel just reported it. Rachel has contacted Mitch McConnell's campaign to ask whether this Kesari bagman guy is still on their payroll. No response so far...
I did a little googling and may have found Kesari's relevant involvement in the McConnell campaign. From OpenSecrets:
The campaign of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) hired a former Ron Paul campaign aide accused of trying to buy the endorsement of an Iowa state senator in 2012, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. The aide, Dimitri Kesari, was also implicated in allegations made last week by a former National Right to Work Committee employee who says the politically active nonprofit broke Iowa state campaign finance rules and misled the Internal Revenue Service about its political activity.http://www.opensecrets.org/...
An OpenSecrets.org review of FEC filings made by McConnell’s campaign found that it has paid a company called Hyllus Corp. $61,954 so far in 2013. There were four payments, all of which list “strategic consulting” as the service being purchased. The most recent check went out July 19.
Dimitri Kesari sounds like an extremely shady guy. Way to pick 'em, Mitch.