Benton & Tate Indicted

Jesse Benton and John Tate have been indicted on charges of violating campaign finance laws during Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign. Benton, who is married to Paul’s granddaughter, was the chair of the campaign committee. Tate was the campaign manager. Both are now heading up America’s Liberty, a super PAC supporting Rand Paul’s 2016 bid for the White House. Also indicted was Dimitri Kesari, Deputy National Campaign Manager for the Ron Paul 2012 campaign.

The Washington Post reports;

The indictment charges the defendants with conspiracy, causing false records to obstruct a contemplated investigation and causing the submission of false campaign expenditure reports. It alleges they paid more than $70,000 to then-Iowa state senator Kent Sorenson in exchange for his support. The indictment accuses the men of concealing their payments from the Federal Election Commission and the FBI.

Sorenson pleaded guilty last August.

Benton & Tate Indicted

Benton & Tate Indicted

Branded by some as “Ron Paul Inc.” during the campaign, Benton and Tate were part of a small inner circle which many activists came to despise. Alienating such staunch supporters as Tom Woods, and Adam Kokesh, denigrating “truthers” and “ragamuffins”, and other senselessly divisive tactics became the trademarks of “Ron Paul Inc.”

For all their insistence that such compromises had to be made, so that Ron Paul might obtain the presidency, these strategies turned out to be a complete failure. For Benton, Tate, and their ilk, no compromise was too great if it meant obtaining that prize. If the prize had indeed been obtained, I might agree. But that’s not what happened. The compromises were made, the movement divided, and the Republican nomination went to Mitt Romney, who in turn lost to Barack Obama. 

One might go so far as to say their actions pushed the greater libertarian movement towards explicit anarchism, and a rejection of electoral politics as a strategically sound plan for obtaining liberty and diminishing the State. If the political process proved so compromising and corrupt as to taint libertarian credentials as seemingly impeccable as Ron Paul’s, who else could possibly make it through that system with their soul intact? Certainly not Rand.

For this, I suppose we can say thanks.

In case it doesn’t go without saying, I think campaign finance laws are complete and utter nonsense. This indictment should not stand, and if there was an ounce of integrity in the Supreme Court, any law restricting spending on political speech would be struck down without any serious discussion. The notion that one may say what they please, but cannot spend money to have it heard, is something so pathologically ridiculous it could only come from a raving leftist. Trying to “get money out of politics” is like trying to get the wet out of water.

But the hard line anarchist in me can’t help but have a chuckle at the expense of Benton, Tate, and others who insist we must make compromises to work within the system, even as they commit felonies under the rules of that very system. Best of luck with that, gentlemen. If you can compromise with the courts half as well as you have compromised libertarianism, you might just make it out of this without compromising your anal virginity to your cellmate.


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  • Coralyn Herenschrict

    Multiple Libertarians and libertarian-leaning Republicans have been harassed and imprisoned via the campaign law pretext. Just professional institutional statists cleaning house of dilettante wanna-be competitors. It’s the biggest gangs that hold the most power and thus make the rules, choose how they are interpreted and when they are to be enforced against whom.

  • PongGod


  • IRONMANAustralia

    I take exception to the broad and unfounded assumption you make in this article Cantwell.

    What evidence do you have that these men are anal virgins?

    But while we’re on the subject, how ridiculous is it for Free Talk Live to have you back on at all? Doesn’t that imply:

    a. FTL never actually gave a fuck about their listeners feels in the first place, they were just waiting for their goldfish-length attention spans to lapse?

    b. All the SJW niggerfaggots who complained about your tweet in the first place never actually really gave a fuck about you using the word, “nigger”, or they’d still be complaining and pressuring FTL to get on its knees now. So we’re to assume they just wanted their pound of flesh in the form a temporary suspension, FTL handed it to them, so now they’re satisfied? What stand up guys.

    c. FTL and/or said SJW niggerfaggots feel they got you the point where from now on you’re going to “tone it down” and knuckle under to their PC bullshit – even if just a little. Whether it’s actually the case or not.

    Because who in those scenarios, would be the bigger hypocrite by your calculations?

    At any rate,. I’m not shocked that the Ron Paul campaign would denounce the more extreme voices in their ranks for the sake of what is explicitly a popularity contest, if a couple of guys running a shitty little radio talk show that only Libertarians listen to can’t manage to refrain from doing so – and lest we forget – over a fucking off-air someone who is already publicly about as an un-PC as you can get.

    Just sayin’.

  • lowell houser

    As far as I am concerned Ron Paul was the last olive branch to be extended in the ruling elite – this one or else. That was my position about Ron Paul 2008 the last election that I ever cast a ballot in, and likely the last election I will ever cast a ballot in. For ten years from 18 on I had been a registered Libertarian in the state of California, but re-registered Republican to vote for Doc Paul. I knew my vote would ultimately count for nothing, but I can say that I played by their rules and that they spat on me.

    By 2012 the whole thing was theater. It was still slightly surprising when the RNC went so far out of the way to bury Paul at the convention though. Losing honestly wasn’t enough, so they did everything they could to disenfranchise Paul supporters. Rand never stood a chance just because he’s Doc Paul’s son – he could be ahead twenty points and the leadership would never let him near the oval office. They’d kill him first.

    Which brings me to my point… voting is supposed to be a peaceful revolution, but those that peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution necessary.

  • kid_you_not

    I missed this until now. Benton was a POS that used this movement for his own gain and may have even sabotaged it.