UPDATE 08/29/14 20:09
“Mitch’s campaign is in shambles. The McConnell campaign is self-destructing from within. McConnell's gambit to appeal to tea partiers by hiring Jesse Benton, Ron Paul's former campaign manager, was a serious error. Knowledge of Benton's potential legal and ethical breaches were well known and McConnell's hiring of Benton reveals a serious lack of due diligence. Benton's involvement in illegal campaign activities in Iowa is just the tip of the iceberg for McConnell's campaign. McConnell owes the voters of Kentucky an explanation for hiring Benton and paying him hundreds of thousands of dollars while knowing about his tainted past."
ORIGINAL STORY 08/29/14 18:38
WHAS in Louisville reports Benton's resignation comes after the guilty plea on Wednesday in federal court of former Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson, who admitted to accepting illegal payments in 2011 in exchange for his endorsements from both the Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul presidential campaigns.
Benton was reportedly the chair of the Paul campaign, but he has not been named or charged in the investigation.
Benton released the following statement:
"There is no more important cause for both Kentucky, my new home I have come to love, and our country than electing Mitch McConnell Majority Leader of the United States Senate. I believe this deep in my bones, and I would never allow anything or anyone to get in the way. That includes myself."
"Recently, there have been inaccurate press accounts and unsubstantiated media rumors about me and my role in past campaigns that are politically motivated, unfair and, most importantly, untrue. I hope those who know me recognize that I strive to be a man of integrity.
The press accounts and rumors are particularly hurtful because they are false."
"However, what is most troubling to me is that they risk unfairly undermining and becoming a distraction to this reelection campaign."
"Working for Mitch McConnell is one of the great honors of my life. He is a friend, a mentor and a great man this commonwealth desperately needs. I cannot, and will not, allow any possibility that my circumstances will effect the voters’ ability to hear his message and assess his record. This election is far too important and the stakes way too high."
"With a heavy heart, I offered Sen. McConnell my resignation this afternoon and he reluctantly accepted. Effective Saturday, August 30th, I will no longer be the “Team Mitch” campaign manager."
"The good news is that most of my work has been done. We have built a top flight team of incredible people that are working tirelessly to ensure Mitch's re-election. They are a finely oiled machine and will not skip a beat without me."
"This decision breaks my heart, but I know it is the right thing for Mitch, for Kentucky and for the country."
James 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."