08/07/2013 05:59 pm ET

Ron Paul 2012 Campaign Accused Of Bribing Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson


A conservative blog says it has emails proving an Iowa state senator was bribed into supporting Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign.

State Sen. Kent Sorenson was serving as Rep. Michele Bachmann's Iowa campaign chairman in December 2011 when he abruptly quit and gave Paul a surprise endorsement. Bachmann (R-Minn.) accused Sorenson of accepting money to jump ship within hours of the incident.

Emails involving several top officials from Paul's campaign about Sorenson's endorsement of the former congressman were made public Wednesday by Open Secrets. The Des Moines Register reports on the emails:

The emails include a three-page memo from Aaron Dorr, an Iowa gun rights advocate, to John Tate, Paul’s campaign manager, that says Sorenson would need certain things before he switched allegiances from Michele Bachmann to Paul. Sorenson "needs to match his current salary of $8,000 a month" through fall 2012; Sorenson’s Senate clerk, Chris Dorr "would have to have his salary matched" at $5,000 a month; and Sorenson would need $100,000 to be placed in a political action committee account that would be controlled by Sorenson and the Dorrs, the memo says.

Sorenson denied any involvement with the emails, telling the Des Moines Register he "wasn't part of this conversation."

"I'm not even sure if the discussion happened, but if it did happen, I wasn't part of it," Sorenson said. "I didn't give anyone authority to have this discussion (about being paid)."

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.

Click here to view the emails on Open Secrets, and click here for more from The Iowa Republican.



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