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(Open Secrets)   Not news: Republican State Senator pleads guilty to taking a bribe. News: To endorse Ron Paul for President. Fark: The guy he took the bribe from is now Mitch McConnell's campaign manager   (opensecrets.org) divider line 133
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1017 clicks; posted to Politics » on 28 Aug 2014 at 11:44 AM (22 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-08-28 09:57:56 AM  
didn't an iowa state senator just admit taking bribes to endorse rand paul? what is it with this family?
 
2014-08-28 10:12:02 AM  

FlashHarry: didn't an iowa state senator just admit taking bribes to endorse rand paul? what is it with this family?


This story is about an Iowa state senator taking a bribe to support Ron Paul. Is there another Iowa state senator involved?
 
2014-08-28 10:37:10 AM  
$73K for an endorsement from a state senator?  How many votes could a state senator swing?  7?  8?  I'm pretty sure that the value of an endorsement is more along the lines of shared e-mail/address/telephone lists, etc.  Couldn't they just buy his list for much less?  Also, is there a good chance that he sold his endorsement for like $3K, then blackmailed the other $70K out of the campaign by saying "pay me or I go public with your bribery scheme"?  I'm going to run for state senator just so I can get a part of this sweet endorsement money.
 
2014-08-28 10:37:10 AM  

FlashHarry: didn't an iowa state senator just admit taking bribes to endorse rand paul? what is it with this family?


I think you're thinking of this guy. He just plead guilty to taking bribes an obstruction of justice for coordinating his lies with the Bachmann and Paul campaigns to hide the bribe money on the accounting ledgers.
 
2014-08-28 11:50:18 AM  
A wise Farker once wrote:

"If money is free speech, why the need for ventriloquists?"
 
2014-08-28 11:53:06 AM  
It's bribing someone for political support just another example of the free market in action?
 
2014-08-28 11:55:59 AM  
I mentioned this in the last McConnell thread.. oddly, Michele Bachman was correct about something.
 
2014-08-28 11:56:04 AM  
I'm out of outrage.  I mean, sure, try the guy, throw him in jail, whatevs, maybe even make the punishment harsh enough to discourage others from doing the same (spoiler: they won't).  But I'm completely unsurprised and my opinion of McConnell is already rock-bottom, so feh all around.
 
2014-08-28 11:56:06 AM  

physt: It's bribing someone for political support just another example of the free market in action?


I half-expected the guy to do a first amendment challenge to bribery laws. If I can talk to you to change your opinion, and money is equivalent to speech, then why can't I pay you to change your opinion?
 
2014-08-28 11:58:55 AM  
...he was paid for his endorsement, first by the Bachmann campaign and then by the Paul campaign

So much for the moral high ground.

How is it illegal for this Sorenson guy to accept these obvious bribes but not be a crime for those two campaigns to pay them?

Maybe those charges will be pending soon now that Sorenson has an immunity deal in place?

It would be funny as hell for me if Mitch McConnell's current campaign manager and RON PAUL's ex campaign manager at the time gets charged for this.

Wondering now how the trolls are gonna try to spin this.

Horrible ineffectually is my guess.
 
2014-08-28 12:05:51 PM  

Snarfangel: FlashHarry: didn't an iowa state senator just admit taking bribes to endorse rand paul? what is it with this family?

This story is about an Iowa state senator taking a bribe to support Ron Paul. Is there another Iowa state senator involved?


sorry - i swore the headline said new york state senator.

i must run and take my meds now...
 
2014-08-28 12:07:23 PM  

Alphax: I mentioned this in the last McConnell thread.. oddly, Michele Bachman was correct about something.


Maddow had a really funny recap last night of Michele Bachmann trying to get this out at a presser and not being able to find the release she was meant to read on her iPad. It's especially amusing because she was basically pissed off that he changed sides. I meant, if you can't trust the guy you are bribing, who can you trust?
 
2014-08-28 12:08:20 PM  

Three Crooked Squirrels: $73K for an endorsement from a state senator?  How many votes could a state senator swing?  7?  8?


Well, it is Iowa - winning (or at least doing well) in the Iowa Caucuses establishes you as a legitimate contender.  Those 7 or 8 votes would end up adding a lot more down the road.

That said, as a relatively ardent Paul defender, kind of a bummer.  In the grand scheme of things, however, I'm sure this is politics as usual.  I doubt every other campaign operated entirely above board, basically just using steroids in the late 90s kind of thing.
 
2014-08-28 12:09:43 PM  
I just want to link to this anytime anyone calls either Paul an idealist. People don't know the meanings of simple words apparently.
 
2014-08-28 12:09:46 PM  
The thing that concerns me most about this case is the number of layers of indirection all of this money goes through to conceal both the ultimate source and destination of all the campaign cash.

In every story so far about dirty politicians and campaign operatives connected to the Bachmann campaign , the money isn't going directly from her election fund to the dirty player. Instead, her election committee or PAC hires a company that hires a second company that hiredsa consulting company, and that consulting company retains the services of the dirty player.

It's taken several years of close scrutiny by multiple federal prosecutors to unwind and reveal even a small part of the shenanigans going on, in just one campaign from one hilariously incompetent crazy candidate.

It might be my tinfoil hat cutting off the circulation to the rational part of my brain, but I suspect we're just seeing the tip of the iceberg here. I am afraid that a lot more of this is going on than we have any way of knowing.
 
Bf+
2014-08-28 12:13:14 PM  
I can't wait until Chuckles gets McConnell on Meet The Press and asks him, "How will you handle the recent revelation that your campaign manager bribed State Senator Kent Sorenson, paying him to back a Ron Paul presidency?"
Oh boy, this is going to be great!
 
2014-08-28 12:15:48 PM  

The Larch: It's taken several years of close scrutiny by multiple federal prosecutors to unwind and reveal even a small part of the shenanigans going on, in just one two campaigns from one two hilariously incompetent crazy candidates.


FTFY. Bachmann wasn't the only lunatic in this story.
 
2014-08-28 12:18:30 PM  
Isn't one of the legal requirements for a count of bribery be that the official being bribed gave something of value in return?  How much could an endorsement for Ron Paul be worth?  Is this a felony or a misdemeanor offense?

I mean, if I give my Congressman $50 with the understanding that he'll give me a "thanks for donating" button, he wasn't really bribed was he.
 
2014-08-28 12:20:43 PM  

ginandbacon: Maddow had a really funny recap last night of Michele Bachmann trying to get this out at a presser and not being able to find the release she was meant to read on her iPad. It's especially amusing because she was basically pissed off that he changed sides. I meant, if you can't trust the guy you are bribing, who can you trust?


In my day, politicians stayed bought, if they knew what was good for 'em.

qorkfiend: I half-expected the guy to do a first amendment challenge to bribery laws. If I can talk to you to change your opinion, and money is equivalent to speech, then why can't I pay you to change your opinion?


We're moving that direction.  I can't wait for that court case, where they have to strike down bribery laws or reply, "No, that's not what I meant," and we, the snarking peanut gallery get to go, "But that's what you said, and what you enacted!  Boom, head shot!" and then nothing changes.
 
2014-08-28 12:23:22 PM  

ginandbacon: Alphax: I mentioned this in the last McConnell thread.. oddly, Michele Bachman was correct about something.

Maddow had a really funny recap last night of Michele Bachmann trying to get this out at a presser and not being able to find the release she was meant to read on her iPad. It's especially amusing because she was basically pissed off that he changed sides. I meant, if you can't trust the guy you are bribing, who can you trust?


Yeah, I listen to her podcast at work most nights, around 2 am.
 
2014-08-28 12:33:47 PM  

Three Crooked Squirrels: $73K for an endorsement from a state senator?  How many votes could a state senator swing?  7?  8?  I'm pretty sure that the value of an endorsement is more along the lines of shared e-mail/address/telephone lists, etc.  Couldn't they just buy his list for much less?  Also, is there a good chance that he sold his endorsement for like $3K, then blackmailed the other $70K out of the campaign by saying "pay me or I go public with your bribery scheme"?  I'm going to run for state senator just so I can get a part of this sweet endorsement money.


I thought that too. Endorsement of a state senator would help how much? Most people probably can't even name their state senator. Maybe things are different in Iowa.
 
2014-08-28 12:36:44 PM  

Corvus: Three Crooked Squirrels: $73K for an endorsement from a state senator?  How many votes could a state senator swing?  7?  8?  I'm pretty sure that the value of an endorsement is more along the lines of shared e-mail/address/telephone lists, etc.  Couldn't they just buy his list for much less?  Also, is there a good chance that he sold his endorsement for like $3K, then blackmailed the other $70K out of the campaign by saying "pay me or I go public with your bribery scheme"?  I'm going to run for state senator just so I can get a part of this sweet endorsement money.

I thought that too. Endorsement of a state senator would help how much? Most people probably can't even name their state senator.


Then who would you make the check out to?
 
2014-08-28 12:37:56 PM  

MattStafford: That said, as a relatively ardent Paul defender, kind of a bummer. In the grand scheme of things, however, I'm sure this is politics as usual.


Ahh the normal right wing. Well you ought us doing something wrong but it's ok because the other side does it!!! (even if there is no proof the other side is doing it).

You guys really don't understand the concept of personal responsibility do you? You seem to blame actions of Republicans on everyone else "forcing" them to do things instead of acting like they have their own free will and should be responsible for the decisions they make?

Say stupid shiat - It's democrats fault for taking them serious.
Refuse to work with Democrats - It's the fault of Democrats for not being push overs!

The right really has a problem with actually taking responsibility for their own actions.
 
2014-08-28 12:38:00 PM  

Karac: Isn't one of the legal requirements for a count of bribery be that the official being bribed gave something of value in return?


The way things are set up now, the only requirement for it to be a bribe is that you don't disclose it to anyone; that treating a "donation" like a secret means it was a bribe.

What's the difference between a lobbyist leaving a briefcase full of bills in a Congressperson's campaign office in exchange for his vote, and a lobbyist writing a check to that same Congressperson's campaign?
 
2014-08-28 12:38:01 PM  

palelizard: In my day, politicians stayed bought, if they knew what was good for 'em.


HA!

Alphax: ginandbacon: Alphax: I mentioned this in the last McConnell thread.. oddly, Michele Bachman was correct about something.

Maddow had a really funny recap last night of Michele Bachmann trying to get this out at a presser and not being able to find the release she was meant to read on her iPad. It's especially amusing because she was basically pissed off that he changed sides. I meant, if you can't trust the guy you are bribing, who can you trust?

Yeah, I listen to her podcast at work most nights, around 2 am.


I almost never catch her but I'm always tickled when I do. The video of Bachmann experiencing technical difficulties was too funny. I found it on youtube, it starts at 2:03:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qO0Pgpx_Sms
 
2014-08-28 12:39:07 PM  

Corvus: Three Crooked Squirrels: $73K for an endorsement from a state senator?  How many votes could a state senator swing?  7?  8?  I'm pretty sure that the value of an endorsement is more along the lines of shared e-mail/address/telephone lists, etc.  Couldn't they just buy his list for much less?  Also, is there a good chance that he sold his endorsement for like $3K, then blackmailed the other $70K out of the campaign by saying "pay me or I go public with your bribery scheme"?  I'm going to run for state senator just so I can get a part of this sweet endorsement money.

I thought that too. Endorsement of a state senator would help how much? Most people probably can't even name their state senator. Maybe things are different in Iowa.


Considering how caucuses operate, I would think that the people who go to the Iowa caucuses are at least politically engaged enough to know who their state senators are.
 
2014-08-28 12:39:51 PM  

physt: It's bribing someone for political support just another example of the free market in action?


Is paying money for sex just another example of the free market in action?
 
2014-08-28 12:40:02 PM  

Karac: Isn't one of the legal requirements for a count of bribery be that the official being bribed gave something of value in return?  How much could an endorsement for Ron Paul be worth?  Is this a felony or a misdemeanor offense?

I mean, if I give my Congressman $50 $73,000 with the understanding that he'll give me a "thanks for donating" button, he wasn't really bribed was he.


Yes. Yes he was. A bribe by definition is when someone tries to persuade someone else to act in their favor, illegally or dishonestly, by a gift of money or other inducement. The dishonest or illegal act itself would be a separate issue.

Example: someone pays an undercover cop to shoot their mother. They're not off on some technicality just because the undercover cop won't go through with it.

And anyone that would pay $73,000 for any version of a 'thanks for donating' button is either a mind-numbing fool, or is pissing on us from a great height while trying to convince us it's raining. Either possibility doesn't rate them very highly.

img.fark.net
 
2014-08-28 12:41:56 PM  
...a better example from me would be: someone offers a judge $73,000 to make a rape charge just disappear. It's still a bribe, even if the judge didn't take the money (or took it, and still found the rapist guilty).
 
2014-08-28 12:43:49 PM  

twat_waffle: Corvus: Three Crooked Squirrels: $73K for an endorsement from a state senator?  How many votes could a state senator swing?  7?  8?  I'm pretty sure that the value of an endorsement is more along the lines of shared e-mail/address/telephone lists, etc.  Couldn't they just buy his list for much less?  Also, is there a good chance that he sold his endorsement for like $3K, then blackmailed the other $70K out of the campaign by saying "pay me or I go public with your bribery scheme"?  I'm going to run for state senator just so I can get a part of this sweet endorsement money.

I thought that too. Endorsement of a state senator would help how much? Most people probably can't even name their state senator. Maybe things are different in Iowa.

Considering how caucuses operate, I would think that the people who go to the Iowa caucuses are at least politically engaged enough to know who their state senators are.


Good point. It probably has some sway at a caucus.
 
2014-08-28 12:48:52 PM  

MattStafford: That said, as a relatively ardent Paul defender, kind of a bummer. In the grand scheme of things, however, I'm sure this is politics as usual. I doubt every other campaign operated entirely above board, basically just using steroids in the late 90s kind of thing.


I would say the blame falls squarely on Benton here.
 
2014-08-28 12:50:31 PM  
Harry Reid has a lock on the Senate.

I am not worried about McConnell becoming Senate majority leader.

People rightfully fear Reid....... Nobody listens to turtle-guy.
 
2014-08-28 12:52:53 PM  

Mantour: physt: It's bribing someone for political support just another example of the free market in action?

Is paying money for sex just another example of the free market in action?


Don't forget a good portion of Fark- and hardly all libertarian types- feel the prostitution should be legal (and regulated).
 
2014-08-28 12:57:03 PM  

qorkfiend: physt: It's bribing someone for political support just another example of the free market in action?

I half-expected the guy to do a first amendment challenge to bribery laws. If I can talk to you to change your opinion, and money is equivalent to speech, then why can't I pay you to change your opinion?


BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT A LARGE CORPORATION!
 
2014-08-28 12:57:08 PM  

Jackpot777: Karac: Isn't one of the legal requirements for a count of bribery be that the official being bribed gave something of value in return?  How much could an endorsement for Ron Paul be worth?  Is this a felony or a misdemeanor offense?

I mean, if I give my Congressman $50 $73,000 with the understanding that he'll give me a "thanks for donating" button, he wasn't really bribed was he.

Yes. Yes he was. A bribe by definition is when someone tries to persuade someone else to act in their favor, illegally or dishonestly, by a gift of money or other inducement. The dishonest or illegal act itself would be a separate issue.

Example: someone pays an undercover cop to shoot their mother. They're not off on some technicality just because the undercover cop won't go through with it.

And anyone that would pay $73,000 for any version of a 'thanks for donating' button is either a mind-numbing fool, or is pissing on us from a great height while trying to convince us it's raining. Either possibility doesn't rate them very highly.

[img.fark.net image 850x414]


That's kind of my point - the definition of "in favor".  Does it require that the act actually have some kind of gain for the bribing party?

Getting rid of a mother-in-law, voting for or against something that would hurt your business's bottom line, or getting off on a rape charge are all things of value.  A state senator's endorsement of someone who had no chance in hell of winning is not of value.  Would it have been illegal if he had been bribed into jerking off one morning?
 
2014-08-28 01:00:24 PM  
Jackpot777:

[img.fark.net image 850x414]

Just for those keeping score, that isn't what McCutcheon ruled.  McCutcheon simply removed total limits, but kept individual campaign limits.  Before I could only donate X dollars in total, now I can donate X dollars to as many different campaigns as I want.  Still ridiculous, but an important note to make.
 
2014-08-28 01:01:42 PM  
Best thing about this story (and there are several best things) is that it throws into the light the idea of the Iowa Caucus as some sort of holy thing.

If it can be bought, what is the point of it?
 
2014-08-28 01:02:59 PM  
Also, to have someone accept a bribe, shouldn't you also need someone to pay the bribe?
When do we get that guy?
 
2014-08-28 01:05:38 PM  

ginandbacon: palelizard: In my day, politicians stayed bought, if they knew what was good for 'em.

HA!

Alphax: ginandbacon: Alphax: I mentioned this in the last McConnell thread.. oddly, Michele Bachman was correct about something.

Maddow had a really funny recap last night of Michele Bachmann trying to get this out at a presser and not being able to find the release she was meant to read on her iPad. It's especially amusing because she was basically pissed off that he changed sides. I meant, if you can't trust the guy you are bribing, who can you trust?

Yeah, I listen to her podcast at work most nights, around 2 am.

I almost never catch her but I'm always tickled when I do. The video of Bachmann experiencing technical difficulties was too funny. I found it on youtube, it starts at 2:03:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qO0Pgpx_Sms


Oh my, that was a good watch.  Many thanks.  I knew you were Favorite Green for a reason.
 
2014-08-28 01:07:14 PM  
I cannot imagine any way in which that was worth it.
 
2014-08-28 01:07:16 PM  
Why don't we just give the GOP the Senate majority, so we can stop hearing about all of the bribery and influence-peddling. Except from fringe media types who hate America.
 
2014-08-28 01:07:21 PM  

Witty_Retort: Also, to have someone accept a bribe, shouldn't you also need someone to pay the bribe?
When do we get that guy?


My guess is never.  Which in this case means not before the election.
 
2014-08-28 01:15:13 PM  
As free market libertarians the Pauls resent this over regulation of interpersonal commerce.
 
2014-08-28 01:43:00 PM  

MattStafford: Three Crooked Squirrels: $73K for an endorsement from a state senator?  How many votes could a state senator swing?  7?  8?

Well, it is Iowa - winning (or at least doing well) in the Iowa Caucuses establishes you as a legitimate contender.  Those 7 or 8 votes would end up adding a lot more down the road.

That said, as a relatively ardent Paul defender, kind of a bummer.  In the grand scheme of things, however, I'm sure this is politics as usual.  I doubt every other campaign operated entirely above board, basically just using steroids in the late 90s kind of thing.


Well, if his racist newsletters don't offend you, why should this?
 
2014-08-28 01:43:52 PM  
I knew Michelle Bachmann was cheated and should have been the GOP candidate.
 
2014-08-28 01:46:29 PM  

Sweet Possum Tater: Well, if his racist newsletters don't offend you, why should this?


Well, if his racist newsletters didn't earn him 3/4 of his votes, I would be very surprised!
 
2014-08-28 01:48:30 PM  

quatchi: ...he was paid for his endorsement, first by the Bachmann campaign and then by the Paul campaign

So much for the moral high ground.

How is it illegal for this Sorenson guy to accept these obvious bribes but not be a crime for those two campaigns to pay them?

Maybe those charges will be pending soon now that Sorenson has an immunity deal in place?

It would be funny as hell for me if Mitch McConnell's current campaign manager and RON PAUL's ex campaign manager at the time gets charged for this.

Wondering now how the trolls are gonna try to spin this.

Horrible ineffectually is my guess.


Sorenson was originally charged with a state Senate ethics charge, not a crime. His conviction stems from lying to the independent counsel investigating the complaint (hence the obstruction of justice charge).

The other charge was for inciting the campaigns to cook their books to hide the money. My guess is there is no evidence the campaigns actually did cook their books, hence no charges against them.

Sorenson is a tea party nut job. He railed against his own constituents on Twitter at times. Not shocked he did illegal things.
 
2014-08-28 01:49:23 PM  

Sammichless: Sweet Possum Tater: Well, if his racist newsletters don't offend you, why should this?

Well, if his racist newsletters didn't earn him 3/4 of his votes, I would be very surprised!


I think you underestimating how much of his base erroneously believes he wants to legalize marijuana instead of letting the states make possession worthy of the death penalty if they wish.
 
2014-08-28 01:51:33 PM  

Sammichless: Sweet Possum Tater: Well, if his racist newsletters don't offend you, why should this?

Well, if his racist newsletters didn't earn him 3/4 of his votes, I would be very surprised!


Well, they certainly didn't earn him 3/5 of his votes.
 
2014-08-28 01:51:37 PM  

dartben: quatchi: ...he was paid for his endorsement, first by the Bachmann campaign and then by the Paul campaign

So much for the moral high ground.

How is it illegal for this Sorenson guy to accept these obvious bribes but not be a crime for those two campaigns to pay them?

Maybe those charges will be pending soon now that Sorenson has an immunity deal in place?

It would be funny as hell for me if Mitch McConnell's current campaign manager and RON PAUL's ex campaign manager at the time gets charged for this.

Wondering now how the trolls are gonna try to spin this.

Horrible ineffectually is my guess.

Sorenson was originally charged with a state Senate ethics charge, not a crime. His conviction stems from lying to the independent counsel investigating the complaint (hence the obstruction of justice charge).

The other charge was for inciting the campaigns to cook their books to hide the money. My guess is there is no evidence the campaigns actually did cook their books, hence no charges against them.

Sorenson is a tea party nut job. He railed against his own constituents on Twitter at times. Not shocked he did illegal things.


So much like with Nixon the greatest crime was in the coverup, and this state Senator would have gotten a slap on the wrist at worst had he just 'fessed up
 
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