A former state senator has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for lying about being paid by Ron Paul’s presidential campaign.
It is a violation of state senate ethics rules for senators to be paid directly or indirectly by presidential campaigns. Kent Sorenson of Milo resigned after an independent investigator concluded Sorenson had secretly been paid $73,000 by the Ron Paul campaign.
Sorenson had been chairman of Michele Bachmann’s 2012 Iowa campaign, but he resigned shortly before the Iowa Caucuses and endorsed Ron Paul. The judge who sentenced Sorenson to 15 months in prison said this case was a textbook example of “political corruption.”
Sorenson was viewed as a rising star in Republican Party politics four years ago. Sorenson initially denied he had been paid and said he was the target of a “witch hunt,” but he later testified against three Ron Paul campaign aides. Those aides were convicted of making the secret payments to him.
Sorenson’s prison sentence is five times longer than the man credited with being the architect of the scheme. That man, the deputy manager of Ron Paul’s campaign, got three months in prison. Two other Ron Paul aides — one of whom is married the candidate’s granddaughter — were given probation after their convictions. Prosecutors had recommended probation for Sorenson as well, since he wound up testifying against the other three.
During testimony in October of 2015, The Des Moines Register reported Sorenson expressed regrets about entering politics. Sorenson served one term in the Iowa House and was in the middle of a four-year term in the state senate when he resigned.
Ron Paul, by the way, finished third in the Iowa Caucuses in 2012, behind Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney.