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August 9th, 2013

What a Week… made national news this week as we unveiled new information about the dealings between State Senator Kent Sorenson and the Ron Paul 2012 presidential campaign.

As I looked over and analyzed all of the information that we would be releasing throughout the week, I not only realized that this was a story of national importance, but I also knew that it could damage Iowa’s reputation and First-in-the-Nation status.

It is surprising to me that someone like Rachel Maddow can instantly grasp the severity of these new revelations, yet the Des Moines Register seems oblivious.  There are many angles the media could report on after reading all of this new information.  I myself would like to weigh in on many of them, but I have my hands full at the moment.  Still, the Des Moines Register’s coverage of this new information should warrant more than 649 words.  I think each of Maddow’s introductions to her THREE segments on the topic were longer than that.

To those who are worried about what these reports will do to Iowa’s First-in-the-Nation status, it’s not the reports that you should be upset with, but rather the bad actors who put their self-interests above anything else.  Choosing to sweep everything under the rug only invites this sort of corruption to happen again.

If Iowans are serious about keeping our First-in-the-Nation status, then we must not tolerate any actions that jeopardize that institution.  We have to police our own, not contribute to a cover-up.  It is that mindset which has guided as we dealt with Matt Strawn’s unwillingness to declare Rick Santorum the winner of the Iowa Caucuses, the scandal surrounding the Sorenson and the Bachmann campaign, and now the mess involving Sorenson and the Paul campaign.

I honestly wish that none of this had ever occurred, but unfortunately, it did.  We as Iowans must not only clean up after the mess they made, but also work together to rebuild the trust of the rest of the nation.  Rebuilding that trust will not be easy or happen over night, but there are plenty of steps that we can take.  I’m sure we will have plenty more on that in the months ahead.

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ABC News

“Holding my nose”: That’s how Mitch McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton described running the Senate minority leader’s re-election campaign in a phone recording obtained by both the Economic Policy Journal and The Iowa Republican websites.


Washington Post

“I came forward because I thought it was wrong and damaging,” Fusaro told The Washington Post. “I don’t want Ron’s message being thwarted by these guys.”

Huffington Post

This isn’t Sorenson’s first run-in with trouble. He has been accused of violating ethics rules that prohibit Iowa state senators from accepting employment, directly or indirectly, from a political action committee, and he was embroiled in a controversy over Bachmann’s misuse of a contact list from the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators, or NICHE, to fundraise during the 2012 Republican presidential primary.

The Hill

The Iowa Republican, a well-respected conservative blog, reported that it has obtained emails and between Paul campaign staff and a recording of a phone conversation between former Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson (R) and a conservative activist in the state discussing Sorenson abandoning Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-Minn.) campaign to back Paul.

The Christian Post

Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson reportedly offered the Ron Paul 2012 presidential campaign his endorsement and access to the email lists of the state’s largest homeschool network and Michele Bachmann supporters for $208,000 for himself and his staff, according to a report by The Iowa Republican. The report does not confirm whether the Paul campaign paid off Sorenson, but Paul did receive Sorenson’s endorsement.

Mason City Globe Gazette

If the charges that he took money to endorse Texas Rep. Ron Paul’s presidential bid are true, then Sen. Kent Sorenson should resign, a top Iowa Republican elected official said Aug. 7.

“Only Kent Sorenson knows what he did. If he did what they are saying he did, he absolutely should,” Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz said during a stop in Coralville Wednesday.

Cedar Rapids Gazette

This week, The Iowa’s publisher, Craig Robinson, dropped a pair of hefty bombshells, reporting that allies of state Sen. Kent Sorenson, R-Milo, sought payment for him in exchange for backing Ron Paul’s presidential bid weeks before the 2012 caucuses. Sorenson’s abrupt jump to Paul from Michele Bachmann’s camp made headlines, and sparked claims that he had been paid to switch. Those charges now have gained considerable weight, although Sorenson denies being paid.

Talking Point Memo

An Iowa state senator claims that former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul’s campaign bribed him so that he would endorse the congressman before the state’s caucuses, according to the Iowa Republican.

The conservative blog obtained a recording of a phone conversation between state Sen. Kent Sorenson (R) and a political activist in the state, in which Sorenson discusses abandoning Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) campaign in exchange for payment from someone in Paul’s camp.

Minnesota Star Tribune

Sorenson’s attorney, Theodore Sporer, told the Star Tribune that he was not aware of the alleged negotiations.

“There was no money that changed hands,” Sporer said Tuesday. “There was no director or indirect payment from the Ron Paul campaign.”

Photo by Dave Davidson,

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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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