Saturday, December 20, 2014

Kerry Bentivolio Kicked Out Of The GOP Cult-- And Forced To Sell All His Reindeer


"This is what happens," groused Kerry Bentivolio, "when a regular guy gets an opportunity to come to Congress." He's feeling pretty aggrieved all around. Not many Republicans lost their seats this year. But Bentivolio did-- and he lost ugly to Michigan's foreclosure king, who unleashed a torrent of cash-- over $4,000,000, including $3,623,402 from his own bank account-- to smear him mercilessly from Canton, Livonia and Novi to Auburn Hills and Washington, DC. In the end Trott and his Establishment allies beat him 138,229 (56.1%) to 100,665 (40.8%). Bentivolio calls himself a "a regular guy," but that's a bit of a stretch. He's an unconventional guy with a typical Tea Party sense of victimhood and way to independent-minded to fit in with garden variety, button-downed Republicans. He never really fit in anywhere in DC and, as disgusting as everyone acknowledges Trott is, not many are going to cry in their beers over the premature end of Bentivolio's accidental ascension to Congress.

Some Republican thugs are going in the opposite direction-- trying to wipe out the memory that he ever existed! Trott sent out word that he wouldn't be interested in any Bentivolio staffers and that he wouldn't look favorably on anyone else who hired any of them.

Bentivolio had hired a martial arts trainer from Ann Arbor, Robert Dindoffer, as his senior advisor and then gave him the job of campaign manager, firing him 7 months later. Dindoffer is widely considered a real scumbag and he's one of the leading forces behind Michigan Republicans' efforts to steal electoral votes by changing the way the state apportions them between candidates. When Bentivolio fired him-- basically for submitting false expenses and stealing from the campaign-- Dindoffier sued over some weird contract with a typically Republican type scam to extract more money from the campaign than is normal. Republicans always do this to each other.

Although he isn't willing to talk about it, Bentivolio has made it clear that Dindoffer wasn't just scamming the cash-strapped campaign for money but was also disloyal and looking out for himself, not his boss. This week a local judge ruled that Bentivolio has to pay Dindoffer $120,000.
Dindoffer’s attorney said on Wednesday both sides had reached a confidential settlement agreement this summer and Bentivolio had made some but not all payments as required by a Nov. 30 deadline, which prompted the Dec. 15 consent judgment by Oakland Circuit Judge James Alexander.

“It was confidential until he (Bentivolio) stopped making payments,” said Dindoffer’s attorney Kevin J. Stoops.

Bentivolio, 63, will leave office next month. He was defeated in the Republican primary and then ran unsuccessfully as a write-in candidate.

The judgment is against Bentivolio, and two of his campaign committees, Kerry Bentivolio for US Congress and Bentivolio for Congress. The judgment, which represents 1.5 times the amount due and owed to Dindoffer, resolves the last pending claim and closes the case, Alexander said in his ruling.

In an interview off the House floor last week, Bentivolio told the Detroit News that he was facing financial troubles in the face of the significant judgment. He criticized the conduct of his former campaign manager and questioned the bills and his loyalty.

But he acknowledged agreeing to settle the case earlier this year to reduce possible additional losses and said he had not been able to make payments.

“What can I do? I’m in the middle of a campaign. I’ve got all these people telling me to settle,” Bentivolio said last week, saying he was looking to reduce additional losses.

Bentivolio, a former school teacher who drew attention for being a part-time reindeer farmer, said he sold his reindeer earlier this year to pay bills and fund his campaign along with borrowing from his retirement fund. He said he has been “beat up” by establishment Republicans and the media.

“This is what happens when a regular guy gets an opportunity to come to Congress,” he said.

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