(Updated) Iowa Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix (R-Shell Rock) Announced State Senator Kent Sorenson’s (R-Indianola) resignation shortly after an independent investigator delivered a report to the Senate Ethics Committee which found “probable cause” that Sorenson did break ethics rules when he accepted funds from a PAC closely associated to Michelle Bachmann. The report also found that his denials of taking that money may constitute a felony under Iowa law. “Today, I called for Senator Sorenson’s resignation, and he agreed to do so effective immediately,” Dix said in a statement released early this evening. (Sorenson Investigation Report Part I, Part II)
Sorenson announced his resignation on Facebook, and he resigned in a defiant fashion maintaining his innocence. He claims he has been targeted due to his stands on the Iowa Supreme Court and other issues. You can read below:
It is with heavy heart that I write this letter of resignation to you, my constituents. In 2008, many of you coalesced around what seemed to be an impossible campaign that was my candidacy for State Representative of Iowa House district 74.
In 2010, even more of you jumped on the bandwagon I represented when I ran for the Iowa Senate in district 37, which became Iowa Senate district 13. And we won again.
But it wasn’t because of me, and it sure wasn’t because of the money that was spent or because of the ads or mailings.
It was because of you. You agreed with the issues I campaigned on, like really fighting for the unborn, fighting against ever-increasing government encroachment into our lives and against big spending, fighting to protect the 2nd Amendment and always fighting against those who want to squash the rights the God gave us and that our Founding Fathers acknowledged when they laid the foundations our country was built upon.
A lot of politicians promise they’ll “fight” for this or that on the campaign trail and promptly forget all about those promises when their butts hit the chair at the capitol. But I remembered.
I remembered how much you folks want to go up to Des Moines and beat some sense into the out-of-touch politicians who think they know better than the little guy trying to run a small business. I remembered how frustrated a lot of you folks were that we keep sending “pro-life”and “pro-gun” candidates up to Des Moines only to have them return with a bunch of excuses and “that’s the way it is.” I remembered how frustrated a lot of you folks were that we keep electing “fiscal conservatives” every election but then watch helplessly as spending kept skyrocketing.
So I kept my promise and started fighting. I fought increased spending. I fought to defund taxpayer funded abortions and sponsored Life at Conception. I fought to protect our 2nd Amendment rights and fought against gun-control bills and sponsored Constitutional Carry.
I fought against government intrusions into the family and home like Obamacare and redefining of the family. I fought against family-budget crippling tax increases.
But doing so painted a big target on my back, and today I’m unable to continue that fight. Many of you might be aware that there have been allegations made against me in regards to my involvement during the 2012 presidential election cycle. Throughout this process, I have maintained my innocence in relation to the specific allegations against me.
I’ve made mistakes and missteps along the way. I said things that should have been worded differently, I said things out of fear and at times I stumbled.
But I did not do anything illegal. I never did anything that was against the Iowa Senate Ethics Rules as they are written.
More importantly to me and my family, however, I did not do anything I believe was immoral.
The “investigation” from the outset has been a sham. My attackers were never required to substantiate the claims they made against me or exactly how I “broke the Iowa senate rule.” But when the committee charged with doing their due diligence in weighing the truthfulness of the allegations against me shirked their duty and referred the baseless complaint to the Iowa Supreme Court for investigation, it became clear where the train was heading.
It became an honest, straight-up political witch hunt. I have never made a secret of my feelings toward the Iowa Supreme Court. They believe and have for several years that they have the power to legislate from the bench. I happily and publicly helped in the effort to remove them from the bench in 2010, and was even happier to run against the spouse of one of these supreme jurists.
So what did the court do?
They took their revenge out on me by appointing a fox to investigate the hen-house. The investigator’s family, according to a quick search of the Iowa Campaign Ethics and Disclosure Board, appears to only have a history of donating money to Democrat candidates. The game was rigged from the beginning.
After sitting down with the investigator, it was clear his mind was already made up, and anything I had to say was irrelevant to the foregone conclusion. More than that, the investigator was given broad and liberal interpretive powers of the senate rules, in the same fashion that some folks interpret the US Constitution to have different “interpretations” when it comes to our rights.
And the report of his “investigation” makes that clear and evident. I followed the letter of the law in regards to the Senate rule, but it did not matter. So that being said, I’m not a wealthy man. The pursuit of justice and defense of one’s reputation is a hard row to plow for a man of my means, and the phrase “justice is for the wealthy” will ring true to me for the rest of my life.
I can no longer afford to both defend myself and provide for my family. It is with a heavy heart that I tender my resignation for the remaining year of my elected office. The decision to resign my office will release me from incurring further legal fees, allow me to start providing for my family once more, and bring to an unsatisfactory end this travesty of justice.
I’m hopeful for the future. Those who stand against the values I have fought for may have won this skirmish, sure. But as I fall not backwards but forwards, I reserve the right to get back up on my feet and fight again down the road.
To those who hold to the convictions and principles I’ve fought for during my political career, time is on our side. In the end, we win, they lose.
And last but not least, to the wonderful people of Iowa Senate District 13, it has been an honor and a privilege to be your Senator, and I look forward to seeing you again down the road.
Photo credit Dave Davidson – Prezography.com