U.S. Senator Rand Paul

Politics
1:21 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Senator Rand Paul Calls on President Obama to End Foreign Aid to Egypt Amid Growing Violence

Citing the expanding chaos in Egypt, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., says President Obama isn't going far enough in the U.S. response to reports that hundreds have died amid violent protests.

The president rebuked the country's military leaders for its crackdown on demonstrators. In a brief press conference, Obama announced the U.S. is cancelling a joint military exercise with Egypt next month.

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Politics
3:47 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Rand Paul Says No Evidence of Racial Discrimination in Elections

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky.
Credit U.S. Senate

Speaking at the Louisville Forum this week, Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., says there is no evidence that African-Americans are being barred from U.S. elections more than whites.

The comments come as several civil rights leaders announce they are launching a 50-state project aimed at reviving a historic law after the Supreme Court struck down a key part of it this year.

Many proponents argue a recent voter ID law in North Carolina is an example of legislation that wouldn’t have passed if the full Voting Rights Act was intact. Both the ACLU and NAACP have filed a pair of lawsuits alleging the state law is aimed at suppressing minority voters in upcoming elections.

Paul says there was once a time for the Voting Rights Act and there is still justification for the federal government to intervene if an individual's civil rights are violated.

But Kentucky's junior senator says any new provisions shouldn’t focus on southern states based on past cases of discrimination.

"The interesting thing about voting patterns now is in this last election African-Americans voted at a higher percentage than whites in almost every one of the states that were under the special provisions of the federal government," he says. "So really, I don't think there is objective evidence that we're precluding African-Americans from voting any longer."

In 2012, census figures showed black voter turnout was around 66 percent compared 64 percent among whites.

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Politics
11:02 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Senator Rand Paul's 'Southern Avenger' Aide Resigns

U.S. Senator Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

A controversial aide to U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who once belonged to a neo-Confederate group has resigned.

Earlier this month, 39-year-old Jack Hunter was the subject of intense criticism for his past affiliation with the League of the South, which advocated for secession.

It was also revealed Hunter worked as a radio shock jock called the "Southern Avenger," who wore a Confederate flag mask and bemoaned America's growing non-white majority.

In an e-mail to The Daily Caller this weekend, Hunter said he was once a "politically incorrect" conservative, but doesn't want to cause Paul, who is considered a top 2016 presidential contender, any further damage.

Paul initially defended Hunter, pointing out he had renounced many of his past views.

But the situation had apparently become untenable as the GOP lawmaker seeks to attract minority voters to the party.

"Because of the views he had expressed before my employment it became a distraction and just wasn't going to work," Paul told reporters in Louisville on Monday. "It was a mutual decision."

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Politics
8:55 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Senator Rand Paul Defends 'Southern Avenger' Aide

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.
Credit U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is standing by an aide who was criticized for his past affiliation with a neo-Confederate group, saying 39-year-old Jack Hunter is an "incredibly talented" part of his staff.

For most of this week Hunter has been under intense scrutiny for once belong to the League of the South, which advocated for secession.

He also worked as a radio shock jock dubbed the "Southern Avenger," who worse a Confederate flag mask and bemoaned America's growing non-white majority.

Hunter has since said he has renounced most of his views, but several analysts and critics called on Paul to fire the aide in order to maintain credibility as a potential presidential candidate.

In an interview with Huffington Post, however, Paul rejected those suggestions saying he opposed Hunter's past views but that his aide has never treated anyone unfairly.

From The Huffington Post:

"People are calling him a white supremacist," Paul told me in his Senate office. “If I thought he was a white supremacist, he would be fired immediately. If I thought he would treat anybody on the color of their skin different than others, I’d fire him immediately."

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Politics
12:55 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Rand Paul Aide/Co-Author Once Belonged to Neo-Confederate Group

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.
Credit U.S. Senate

An aide to U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., is under scrutiny after reports surfaced that he spent over a decade as a neo-Confederate activist who led a group that advocates for southern secession from the union.

And the news could damper Paul's attempts to court minorities ahead of his rumored 2016 presidential bid.

Jack Hunter currently serves as Paul's social media director and co-wrote the book 'The Tea Party Goes to Washington" with the senator in 2010.

A conservative news site reveals Hunter was a member and chapter leader of a group called the League of the South, which advocates the southern states separate from the U.S. to form their own republic.

Hunter also worked as a radio show host who used the alter ego "Southern Avenger," wearing a Confederate flag mask. As the character, Hunter would opine on a number of issues such as celebrating the death of Abraham Lincoln and speaking against Spanish-speaking immigration.

From The Washington Free Beacon:

From 1999 to 2012, Hunter was a South Carolina radio shock jock known as the “Southern Avenger.” He has weighed in on issues such as racial pride and Hispanic immigration, and stated his support for the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

(SNIP)

“The League of the South is an implicitly racist group in that the idealized version of the South that they promote is one which, to use their ideology, is dominated by ‘Anglo-Celtic’ culture, which is their code word for ‘white’,” said Mark Pitcavage, the director of investigative research at the ADL. The ADL said it does not necessarily classify it as a hate group.

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Politics
2:29 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Senator Rand Paul Says Bestiality Comments Were Misunderstood

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky.,

Appearing on NPR's "Here and Now" Thursday, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., says his controversial comments equating gay marriage to bestiality are being misinterpreted.

During an interview with radio show host Glenn Beck, the two discussed the high court's decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act and uphold a lower-court's decision that struck down Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage in California.

Beck argued that changing marriage laws allows for new definitions of the institution, such as polygamy.

Paul questioned if lawmakers should use their moral beliefs when drafting bills but went further saying: "And I think this is a conundrum...If we have no laws on this, people take it to one extension further—does it have to be humans? You know?"

The senator's office said he was being sarcastic.

Paul told NPR the same thing, but added the comments are being misunderstood and that people should listen to the recording again.

"In the interview we were talking about not having laws. We weren't talking about gay marriage. We weren't talking about DOMA," he says. "What we were talking about was whether state government should be involved at all and if there are no state government rules what could potentially happen."

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Politics
6:48 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Senate Rejects Rand Paul's Border Security Amendment to Immigration Bill

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky.,
Credit U.S. Senate

The Senate has rejected Kentucky Republican Rand Paul's amendment to hold annual border security votes as part of comprehensive immigration reform by a 61-to-37 vote.

Under Paul's 'Trust But Verify" proposal, Congress would be required to vote once every five years to certify the border is sufficiently secure. Specifically, the amendment calls for 95 percent apprehension rate, a double fence on the U.S-Mexico border and full border surveillance.

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Politics
7:03 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Senator Rand Paul Introduces 'Secure the Vote' Amendment to Immigration Bill

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky.,
Credit U.S. Senate

Republican Rand Paul is introducing an amendment to the Senate immigration reform bill that would bar undocumented immigrants from voting in federal elections until they obtain U.S. citizenship.

The proposed is being put out on the same day the Supreme Court struck down an Arizona law that required residents to prove their citizenship before voting.

Paul's "Secure the Vote" amendment is aimed a tackling voter fraud and ensures those on work visas or given status under the Senate bill are not allowed to vote in federal elections until they become citizens.

The amendment would also provide states with new procedures to check that those individuals are not illegally registered to vote.

"Not only would this amendment prevent voter fraud, it would also clear up the problem created by today’s Supreme Court decision," Paul said in a statement. "My amendment requires states to check citizenship before registering people to vote in federal elections."

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Politics
12:20 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Senator Rand Paul Outraged Over NSA Collecting U.S. Citizen's Phone Records

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky.,
Credit U.S. Senate

In a blistering statement, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., says President Obama has "sunk to a new low" after reports the National Security Agency has collected millions of U.S. citizen's telephone records.

A story in The Guardian revealed the practice and shows a court order requiring Verizon to provide the NSA with information about calls in its system on an "ongoing, daily basis" from inside county as well as between U.S. customers and people in foreign countries.

The White House is defending the practice as a tool to combat terrorism, but civil liberties advocates say the practice is similar to NSA overreach under President George W. Bush in 2006.

Paul says the president is abusing his executive power, but that the Democratic-controlled Senate failed to put Fourth Amendment protections in the post-9/11 surveillance laws.

From Paul's office:

The National Security Agency's seizure and surveillance of virtually all of Verizon's phone customers is an astounding assault on the Constitution. After revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted political dissidents and the Department of Justice seized reporters' phone records, it would appear that this administration has now sunk to a new low.

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Politics
11:18 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Poll: Rand Paul Strongest Republican For Iowa Voters in '16 Presidential Election

Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

Among voters in the key primary state Iowa, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is the strongest Republican in the field of prospective 2016  presidential candidates,  says a new poll by Quinnipiac University.

Kentucky's junior senator leads current Vice President Joe Biden by five points among Iowa voters— and he trails former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the presumed Democratic frontrunner, by only four points.

Those totals are better than Sen. Marco Rubio, the Floridian who is also a leading Republican contender for the 2016 presidential election.

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