Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is not joining two other Republicans, who in the past 24 hours, have called on Milo Republican State Senator Kent Sorenson to resign amid numerous allegations against him.
Sorenson is accused of stealing a computer database of private information, along with taking money to support Michele Bachmann’s 2012 Republican presidential campaign and then taking more money to change his support to Ron Paul’s campaign.
Sunday, both Urbandale Republican State Senator Brad Zaun and Greenfield Republican State Representative Clel Baudler called for Sorenson to resign.
Monday, Branstad said he stands behind earlier comments that he will wait until a Senate ethics committee finishes its investigation into the claims against Sorenson.
Branstad is trying to reassure others outside the state, that they can’t buy Iowa leaders’ support. He said, “Absolutely not. Our tradition has been honest, clean, transparent government.”
Branstad said he has not been offered money in exchange for a candidate’s support.
Neither has Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, she said.
Reynolds agreed that Senate ethics rules are clear that neither a sitting senator nor a spouse, can accept payment from a presidential campaign in exchange for that senator’s public support. Reynolds said, “I absolutely would not. I don’t think that’s appropriate action.”
The Sorenson allegations add to questions about the future of the Iowa Caucuses in 2016.
Over the weekend, two national stories questioned whether the caucuses’ importance will be diminished and whether more candidates will bypass campaigning in the state.