Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) barely teetering reelection campaign has suffered another gut punch as campaign manager Jesse Benton resigned amid allegations of his involvement in a bribery scandal.
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader,
Jesse Benton, the campaign manager for U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, will resign his post as a bribery scandal from the 2012 presidential campaign threatens to envelop Benton and become a major distraction for McConnell’s campaign.
Benton told the Herald-Leader that he met with McConnell on Friday afternoon and offered his resignation, which McConnell “reluctantly accepted.”
Benton said he offered his resignation, effective Saturday, with a “heavy heart.”
The scandal surrounds the 2012 Ron Paul presidential campaign paying $73,000 in bribes so that former Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson would flip his support from Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul. Emails show that Benton played a direct role in recruiting Sorenson for the Paul campaign. The same scandal has also ended Michele Bachmann House career, and made her the focus of several federal criminal investigations.
Benton put out a BS statement about how wonderful it was working for Mitch McConnell, which shows that Jesse Benton thinks we’re all idiots who forgot the leaked audio of Benton as campaign manager trashing McConnell and admitting that his role on the campaign is part of a secret deal to get Rand Paul the 2016 Republican nomination.
This is another headache for Mitch McConnell. The Grimes campaign immediately tried to connect McConnell to the scandal, but the bigger for endangered Republican is that Benton’s resignation feeds the perception that Mitch McConnell is a corrupt Washington, D.C. politician. McConnell was already sent reeling, and fleeing from reporters this week, after audio of his secret speech to the Koch brothers was leaked.
The resignation of his campaign manager creates the image of a sinking campaign that is taking more water by the day. The Kentucky Senate race is up for grabs, and as McConnell continues to get himself into more trouble, this election is presenting the perfect opportunity for Democrat Alison Grimes to knock off McConnell and help Democrats keep control of the U.S. Senate.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association