There is a lot to break down here and this post is longer than usual for me.
This diary represents your Team Mitch (that is McConnell's odd euphemism for his campaign) and Jesse Benton primer.
A few basics. Mitch McConnell is in the fight of his life in his bid for a 6th term in the U.S. Senate against Alison Lundergan Grimes.
A new poll is out tonight (Saturday at 8:00 p.m.) that was taken before this scandal broke. Expect it to be close and importantly within the margin of error.
Who is Jesse Benton? He is married to Ron Paul's granddaughter. He is Rand Paul's nephew by marriage. And . . .he was Ron Paul's campaign manager in 2012 in Iowa.
And until Friday night of Labor Day weekend, he was Team Mitch's campaign manager.
Mitch had hired him in 2012 in an effort to get in good graces with TEA Party-leaning Kentuckians in his primary battle with TEA Party opponent Matt Bevin.
What better way than to bring on a Ron Paul guy . . . who is close to Rand Paul?
This is where it gets good.
Just this week an Iowa State Senator, Kent Sorenson, pled guilty to charges related to his having taken a $73,000 bribe from the Ron Paul campaign. Why the bribe? To switch his support to Ron Paul from Michele Bachmann. Which is what happened promptly.
Sorenson has admitted this. And he's going to jail.
For there to be a bribed, someone must have bribed him. Someone at the Ron Paul campaign coordinated this bribe. [Hint - Jesse.]
I've got to throw in another name here. Dmitri Kesari. Kesari was a Ron Paul consultant. And he is now a Team Mitch consultant who runs a company called Hyllus.
The Sorenson cash went through Kesari.
And in 2013 Team Mitch was paying big bucks to Hyllus to lobby the Kentucky GOP. At the same time Mitch was paying Hyllus . . .TEA Party organizations were lining up behind Mitch. Which was odd because his opponent (Bevin) had more authentically TEA Party credentials. Right after Hyllus got paid . . . the TEA Party went for Mitch.
There is going to be a paper trail.
Team Mitch payments to Hyllus end in the summer of 2013. Right at the time the bribery allegations against Sorenson first surface. The cat is out of the bag.
Mitch can no longer engage in bribes (through his campaign manager Jesse) via the Hyllus conduit.
Now moving forward a year, Jesse Benton has resigned within days of Sorenson's bribery plea in Iowa.
Let's talk about what we know and the fair inferences that can be drawn.
(1) The Ron Paul campaign bribed an Iowa State Senator in 2012. What did Jesse as the campaign manager know about it? I think the inference is he knew about it and coordinated it. This was a $73,000 payment. And the money went through the Kesari conduit.
(2) Jesse comes to Kentucky to shore up Team Mitch's TEA Party bona fides. Mitch immediately begins paying Hyllus (Kesari's company) for strategy. At the same time of this strategy, TEA Party groups are lining up behind Mitch. And Mitch is also spending money through Hyllus to lobby Republican members of the Kentucky General Assembly.
To buy their support. And this is really good. To lobby them to support changing KY law to allow Rand to run for President in 2016 and simultaneously run for the Senate too. KY law prohibits this now.
That's where it makes sense now. Jesse Benton didn't (and doesn't) give a crap about Team Mitch. He is a Rand Paul (Ayn Rand-Ron Paul) acolyte. A true believer.
Remember the recording where he said he was only helping Mitch so it would help Rand in 2016 and he was just kind of holding his nose.
Yes he was holding his nose. And using Team Mitch funds to help bribe the Kentucky GOP to help Rand's 2016 presidential run.
That my friends is called ratfucking.
And Jesse is going to jail. Who else is going to jail? A lot of folks.
I publish a legal journal in Kentucky. I wrote the Zen of McConnell. And since Wednesday I operate the Justice for Jesse facebook page. In the context of that work, I wrote an open letter to all those who participated in receiving Team Mitch's bribes in Kentucky through Jesse.
There is a paper trail. They are going to find you. And you are going to jail.
Today. I mean today. Saturday morning of Labor Day. You need to get to a lawyer and get to the FBI. Come clean. You are still going to jail.
But bribery can be 20 years. That is a very serious crime. Do yourself a favor. It won't be easy for you to do.
Get to the FBI and make a deal.
This story is going on for a long time. And a lot of political careers will (as they should) end. Because they just can't do what they're doing.
Update: Jesse is a scoundrel. In his resignation letter he directed readers to a Bible verse. Which one?
Has there ever been a better representation that TEA Party politics has nothing to do with the Gospel?
There is no James 16:33 . . .
So I'm lifting Jesse up in James 16:33 prayers.
Update No. 2
If you got this far you're ready to read some more. The Barefoot & Progressive blog has a very nice outline on the Jesse Benton scandal.
Go read it.
Barefoot & Progressive Scandal Timeline