Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz has told The Cedar Rapids Gazette that a state senator accused of being paid for his work on a presidential campaign should resign if the charges are true. Governor Terry Branstad, the state’s top Republican official, is more cautious in his public statements about the case.
“I feel that we need to protect the integrity of the Iowa Caucuses,” Branstad said Wednesday afternoon. “…We need to have honest, clean elections.”
This spring a special investigator began reviewing allegations against Republican Senator Kent Sorenson for his role as Michele Bachmann’s Iowa campaign chairman, but this week www.TheIowaRepublican.com posted documents and recorded conversations with Sorenson which indicate Sorenson got a check from a Ron Paul supporter for switching his allegiance to Ron Paul five days before the 2012 Iowa Caucuses.
Branstad said he hasn’t reviewed the details and is deferring to the legislative branch of government to resolve the matter.
“More and more is coming out all the time,” Branstad said.
On May 1 the Iowa Senate Ethics Committee voted to launch an investigation of allegations that Sorenson was being paid $7500 a month to work on Bachmann’s campaign. Sorenson has called the investigation a “witch-hunt” and denies the charges. Senate ethics rules prohibit senators from being paid directly or indirectly by a presidential campaign.
Secretary of State Schultz told The Cedar Rapids Gazette it makes “absolutely no sense” for any Iowa politician to take money for endorsing a presidential candidate, but Schultz said Sorenson should fight the charges if they are untrue. Schultz endorsed Rick Santorum before the 2012 Iowa Caucuses.