A longtime aide to presidential candidate, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), has been indicted over payments that allegedly intended to buy an endorsement for Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign.
Former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), the father of Rand Paul, is a libertarian folk hero, who ran for President in both 2008 and 2012.
Federal prosecutors allege that Jesse Benton–who currently leads Rand Paul’s super PAC but previously worked for Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign– arranged to pay an Iowa state Senator, Kent Sorenson, $70,000 to shift his support from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) to Ron Paul for the 2012 election. The payments were apparently concealed from others on the Ron Paul campaign, including Ron Paul himself.
Two other former Ron Paul staffers were also indicted for their role in the payout scheme.
This latest blow comes at a bad time for Rand Paul. Paul has continue to slip in the polls for the Republican nomination, and last month announced lackluster fundraising totals.
Worse, it seems that Paul is having trouble even holding on to his father’s libertarian base. Last week, Ron Paul’s former head of fundraising, Jonathan Bydlak, penned an article in Politico, entitled “Why I’m Tired of Defending Rand Paul.”
With the primaries just now kicking into high gear, Rand Paul’s campaign isn’t dead in the water just yet–but it remains to be seen how this latest corruption scandal will affect the reform-minded image that the Paul campaign is trying to project.