Erik Paulsen keeps cash from child molester Dennis Hastert


The lawmaker shows no sign of returning a campaign contribution to the Dark Side, i.e., former Speaker of the House Hastert.

A former member of the Yorkville High School wrestling team is scheduled to speak today at Dennis Hastert's sentencing hearing. The disgraced former speaker of the House pleaded guilty in October to evading banking regulations and using millions of dollars as hush money to keep secret allegations of past misconduct.

Identified in court documents only as "Individual D," the man is among four wrestling team members whom prosecutors say Hastert molested when he was their coach from the late 1960s through the early 1980s.

Hastert won't be charged for sexual abuse because the statutes of limitation have expired. Still, some of the victims are being allowed to speak in federal court before a judge decides Hastert's sentence.

Meanwhile, Minnesota Congressman Erik Paulsen remains silent about his connection with the fallen GOP heavyweight.  

Hastert's Keep Our Mission PAC kept doling out campaign contributions well after he left Congress in 2007. Among those lawmakers cashing checks was none other than Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Eden Prairie), who's represented Minnesota's 3rd congressional district since 2009. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Paulsen received $1,000 from the PAC in 2012.

Another was Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), who pocketed $10,000 in 2010. 

Unlike Paulsen, though, Kirk decided last year to donate the money to Family First Center of Lake County, a nonprofit in Waukegan, Illinois that services include job training and crisis counseling.

If Paulsen is entertaining any notion of following Kirk's example, he isn't saying. Repeated messages left Tuesday for his press secretary Drew Griffin went unreturned. 

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