Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

McConnell's Growing Ties to Rand Paul: Trouble Brewing? [12/10/2013]
Open Secrets.org ^ | December 10, 2013 5:06 PM | Russ Choma

Posted on 01/29/2014 9:26:50 AM PST by SoConPubbie

There's increasingly little daylight between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his fellow Kentucky Republican, Sen. Rand Paul: Campaign expenditure reports show the top Republican has been paying another consultant closely linked to Paul.


According to reports filed by McConnell's campaign, Elizabeth Stafford has been paid a total of $30,000 so far this year for fundraising consulting. Stafford is the wife of Doug Stafford, the executive director of Reinventing A New Direction PAC (RAND PAC), Paul's leadership PAC. The only other payments made by a federal campaign or political committee to Elizabeth Stafford were two checks from RAND PAC totaling $5,500.

McConnell's campaign manager is Jesse Benton, who managed Paul's 2010 Senate campaign and is married to the granddaughter of former presidential candidate and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). If Benton was hired in part to help fend off a primary challenge from the right, as many observers said, it didn't work; the senior senator is now fighting a tea party insurgent as well as a credible Democratic candidate. Earlier this month, we wrote that McConnell's campaign also paid a political operative named Dimitri Kesari, a top Ron Paul aide. 

But McConnell's proliferating ties to the Paul family also bring him closer to individuals who have been accused by a former colleague of violating Iowa campaign finance law and misleading the IRS -- as well as being involved in negotiations to pay an Iowa state senator for his support in Iowa straw polls in 2011. 

Both Kesari and Doug Stafford are former employees of the National Right to Work Committee; Stafford was the group's vice president until 2010. Late last month, another former National Right to Work employee provided OpenSecrets.org with a copy of a complaint he made to the anti-labor union organization, accusing Kesari of running an off-the-books mass mailing operation that coordinated closely, and illegally, with Iowa legislative candidates. The mail campaigns, and the use of paid employees of National Right to Work or its Iowa affiliate to assist candidates, happened under Kesari's direction, and with the knowledge of Stafford and other top officials of the organization, claims Dennis Fusaro, who made the complaint. Fusaro says the group misled the IRS by reporting it had not engaged in any political activity. 

Kesari also has been named in emails, along with Benton, that appear to show they were involved in negotiations to pay an Iowa state senator in 2011 to switch his support from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) to Ron Paul in the presidential straw poll in Ames. Benton and Kesari were both working on Ron Paul's White House bid at the time.

While Sorenson has denied that he authorized anyone to negotiate with the Paul campaign for payment for his support, he resigned in October after a state special prosecutor reported there was "probable cause" to believe the lawmaker was paid by Bachmann's campaign and later received payment from someone connected to Paul's campaign around the time he switched his support to Paul. 

And there appears to be a federal investigation ongoing as well: Several weeks ago, the FBI executed a search warrant on Sorenson's home, taking computers and other materials connected to his involvement in presidential politics.

Benton did not respond to requests for comment, nor did McConnell's Senate office. Doug and Elizabeth Stafford declined to comment. 


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: mcconnell; randpaul
"If we must have an enemy at the head of Government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible, who will not involve our party in the disgrace of his foolish and bad measures." - Alexander Hamilton
 
"We don't intend to turn the Republican Party over to the traitors in the battle just ended. We will have no more of those candidates who are pledged to the same goals as our opposition and who seek our support. Turning the Party over to the so-called moderates wouldn’t make any sense at all." -- President Ronald Reagan
 
"A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice." - Thomas Paine 1792
 
"It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men." - Samuel Adams
 
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams
 

1 posted on 01/29/2014 9:26:50 AM PST by SoConPubbie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SoConPubbie
McConnell can see who the new sharks in the Senate are and he's trying to be a lamprey. Too bad he's trying to grab campaign mercenaries rather than learning and living Rand Paul's political philosophy.
2 posted on 01/29/2014 9:35:02 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Republican amnesty supporters don't care whether their own homes are called mansions or haciendas.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SoConPubbie

Doesn’t matter to me.

If a person’s name isn’t Ted Cruz, then I’m not interested in that person.


3 posted on 01/29/2014 9:36:10 AM PST by chris37 (Heartless.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SoConPubbie

Rand should be swimming away, as fast as possible, from anything Midge.


4 posted on 01/29/2014 9:38:01 AM PST by Jane Long (While Marxists continue the fundamental transformation of the USA, progressive RINOs assist!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SoConPubbie

I think that Rand has cut some kind of political deal with McConnell,possibly with 2016 in mind. When Rand first came to DC, they could barely stand each other. Now, it’s like Rand is relying on McConnell as his mentor.


5 posted on 01/29/2014 9:38:32 AM PST by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SoConPubbie

I’m afraid that Rand Paul, given a chance, will turn out to be pretty much like Ron Paul, who played the libertarian while gobbling pork with the worst of them.


6 posted on 01/29/2014 9:39:58 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: KarlInOhio
McConnell can see who the new sharks in the Senate are and he's trying to be a lamprey. Too bad he's trying to grab campaign mercenaries rather than learning and living Rand Paul's political philosophy

Or is it Paul sees Ted Cruz as his primariy opponent for the 2016 nomination and is keeping close to McConnell for his own purposes? If Paul has a hand in dragging McConnell's sorry butt into another term then as Senate Minority/Majority leader McConnell can help marginalize Cruz in the Capitol. If McConnell loses the nomination or election the Paul's help won't hurt him under the 'at least I tried' explanation.

7 posted on 01/29/2014 9:48:45 AM PST by DoodleDawg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: KarlInOhio

Maybe Mac is just helping the dems set up rand as one of the next in a continuing series.of fed crackdowns on the right. The tyrants march on.


8 posted on 01/29/2014 9:53:16 AM PST by epluribus_2 (he had the best mom - ever.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: KarlInOhio

I think I agree with you. Rand Paul doesn’t appear to be the beholden type. I think he is gaining charge in some RINO quarters, and definitly staking some ground that will be useful later. McConnell is obviously needy for someone’s muscle in Kentucky. Rand appears to be gathering chits and indebting Mitch.


9 posted on 01/29/2014 9:56:34 AM PST by RitaOK ( VIVA CHRISTO REY / Public education is the farm team for more Marxists coming.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: DoodleDawg
I think Rand to trying to worm into the GOPe to garner support for Rand's next re-election campaign.

Plus they are from the same state.

10 posted on 01/29/2014 9:56:42 AM PST by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: DoodleDawg

Zactly.


11 posted on 01/29/2014 9:57:34 AM PST by RitaOK ( VIVA CHRISTO REY / Public education is the farm team for more Marxists coming.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Jane Long

I don’t think he has to. Mitch will soon be ‘lost in the waves’. BEVIN FOR SENATE!


12 posted on 01/29/2014 10:00:53 AM PST by Viennacon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: KarlInOhio

Yes and I’m not seeing anything negative on Rand Paul about this. Its a non event.


13 posted on 01/29/2014 10:09:18 AM PST by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: KarlInOhio

Just remember this boys and girls. Should McConnell lose to Bevin, and I also hope he does, that leaves who in line as the next senate leader? Yup, it is John McCain.

Pick the poison. We had better make Dam sure we get the place loaded up with strict conservatives or all hell breaks loose.


14 posted on 01/29/2014 10:11:07 AM PST by crz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: crz
Should McConnell lose to Bevin, and I also hope he does, that leaves who in line as the next senate leader? Yup, it is John McCain.

Ugh....hopefully, not!

AZ voters should be reminded of this...especially the state GOP, that just censured Juan.

15 posted on 01/29/2014 10:16:33 AM PST by Jane Long (While Marxists continue the fundamental transformation of the USA, progressive RINOs assist!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: crz
Just remember this boys and girls. Should McConnell lose to Bevin, and I also hope he does, that leaves who in line as the next senate leader? Yup, it is John McCain.

Incorrect. McCain holds no leadership position in the Senate Republican hierarchy.

Next in line for Minority Leader would be the Minority Whip: John Cornyn (R-TX).

16 posted on 01/29/2014 10:19:23 AM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media -- IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Jane Long
Sorry, but thats how it will shake down. McCain will be the next senate leader if McConell loses.

What a hell of a mess. And McCain is defiant of the latest goings on in AZ I.E. censorship of him.

17 posted on 01/29/2014 10:20:45 AM PST by crz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: okie01

Provided Cornyn wins his election. The next could be Thune.

And Cornyn would be any better?


18 posted on 01/29/2014 10:27:04 AM PST by crz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: crz
Provided Cornyn wins his election. The next could be Thune.

And Cornyn would be any better?

I'm not voting for him in the primary but, realistically, Cornyn will probably win...handily.

And, yes, Cornyn -- flawed as he is -- would be an improvement on McConnell. Especially since McConnell's defeat would send a strong message to those RINOs who survive: There, but for the grace of God, go thee!

That's not to say I wouldn't prefer, say, Mike Lee for Majority Leader.

19 posted on 01/29/2014 10:42:35 AM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media -- IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Georgia Girl 2
"Yes and I’m not seeing anything negative on Rand Paul about this. Its a non event."

On the surface it is a non event, but given today's politically motivated prosecutions by the DOJ, any person opposed to the regime can be railroaded into a conviction.

20 posted on 01/29/2014 10:53:57 AM PST by buckalfa (Tilting at Windmills)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: okie01

Dont know much about Thune..but he could take it.

Who ever takes it if Cronyn and McConell should lose, will be answering to McCain. That is how much power that SOB has got. I didnt vote for the bastard the last time, and wont vote for the bastard EVER. But, the retirees from the valley will vote for that creep at the drop of a hat.


21 posted on 01/29/2014 11:10:13 AM PST by crz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: SoConPubbie; All

Rand Paul is not conservative...McConnell is anti-conservative and Randmesty is helping him


22 posted on 01/29/2014 12:10:35 PM PST by SeminoleCounty (Amnesty And Not Ending ObamaCare Will Kill GOP In 2014)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: crz; KarlInOhio
Just remember this boys and girls. Should McConnell lose to Bevin, and I also hope he does, that leaves who in line as the next senate leader? Yup, it is John McCain.

You have two choices:

1. Possibly win with a true conservative with Bevin.
2. Lose with Moderate, McConnell, because his polling numbers are so bad.

We can worry about the other possible problems/outcomes later.

First things first!
23 posted on 01/29/2014 12:22:04 PM PST by SoConPubbie (Mitt and Obama: They're the same poison, just a different potency)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: SoConPubbie

Think “DITCH MITCH!”


24 posted on 01/29/2014 12:44:57 PM PST by VideoDoctor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: crz
Who ever takes it if Cronyn and McConell should lose, will be answering to McCain. That is how much power that SOB has got.

On any contested issue, has McCain ever led more than 13 Republicans to "cross the aisle"?

I believe you're over-stating his influence within the GOP caucus.

25 posted on 01/29/2014 12:49:54 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media -- IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Timber Rattler
When Rand first came to DC, they could barely stand each other

Actually after he won the nomination they seemed to hit it off right away.

26 posted on 02/08/2014 10:38:36 PM PST by Republican Wildcat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Republican Wildcat
No, not really:

Rand Paul started out great, but then started cozying up to McConnell and the two reached some sort of quiet understanding. He's is currently being assimilated into the GOP-E.

27 posted on 02/09/2014 6:10:32 AM PST by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Timber Rattler
Messed up my link:

Ditching unwritten rules for Senate freshmen, Paul does it his way

McConnell walked out on Rand's first speech because he attacked the "great compromiser" Henry Clay.

28 posted on 02/09/2014 6:12:24 AM PST by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson