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Paul’s embrace of GOP establishment rankles some supporters

Rand Paul, Republican nominee for U.S. Senate

Rand Paul, Republican nominee for U.S. Senate

By Bill Estep – bestep@herald-leader.com

Republican Rand Paul’s opponent in the U.S. Senate race isn’t the only one who thinks Paul compromised his stance against business as usual in Washington, D.C., by taking campaign cash at a high-dollar fund-raiser there last month.

It rankled some Republicans, too.

“I am deeply disappointed that he did that,” said Warren Scoville of London, an attorney who served more than 20 years in various positions with the state Republican Party. “I voted for (Paul) because of where he was, and now he’s not where he was.”

Last year, with the primary election still months away, Paul pledged not to accept contributions from any senator who voted for a federal bailout of the banking industry.

That was in response to plans by Paul’s main opponent, Secretary of State Trey Grayson, to attend a Washington fund-raiser hosted by Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and others who voted to shore up giant banks with taxpayer money.

Paul has been sharply critical of the bailout, citing it as a reason he got into the race.

After trouncing Grayson, however, Paul benefited from a $1,000-a-person fund-raiser June 24 in Washington hosted by McConnell and attended by senators who voted for the bailout.

Attorney General Jack Conway, Paul’s Democratic opponent, said the move showed Paul had become part of the very thing he railed against in the primary, and Conway accused him of hypocrisy.

Paul’s camp disagreed with Conway’s assessment.

The GOP primary was a battle for the direction of the party, and Paul won it with his platform of requiring balanced budgets and complete opposition to bailouts, said his campaign manager, Jesse Benton.

“Dr. Paul accepts financial support from anyone who wants to support his ideas of limited government, term limits, balanced budgets and real reform but makes it clear to them that money will not influence his votes or positions,” Benton said.

It’s difficult this early in the general election to gauge how Paul’s decision to get cozier with the establishment he criticized in the primary will affect voters Nov. 2.

David Roos, a retired minister in Murray who has been active in the Tea Party movement, said it didn’t escape notice in his circle that Paul had, as he put it, “capitulated to the establishment.”

Tea Party activists and others concerned about record federal deficits helped drive Paul’s primary win.

Roos said he and others had hoped that Paul would remain independent of McConnell and that the Internet fund-raising prowess Paul showed in the primary would be enough to free him from taking money from the traditional political powerhouses.

But Roos said the incident isn’t enough to drive conservative voters away from Paul. They don’t see Conway as a viable alternative because he is more liberal, so the choice is to vote for Paul or stay home, he said.

And no one Roos knows is mad enough about the fund-raiser to stay home, he said.

“Most of us will support him in spite of that. We’ll take 80 percent of a loaf rather than none,” Roos said. “We’ll probably have to hold our noses.”

Still, others said Paul’s warming to McConnell and the GOP establishment probably will cost him some votes.

Scoville said he probably won’t vote for Paul in November. The effort to raise money with McConnell raises questions about whether Paul will change his stance on other issues, Scoville said.

“I don’t trust Rand Paul anymore,” he said.

Others, however, argued that Paul has not turned his back on his principles, but rather is doing what is necessary to win so he can put those principles to work in office.

Republican state Sens. Tom Jensen, of London and Robert Stivers of Manchester said the fund-raising event won’t cost Paul any support.

“Running for the United States Senate is the big leagues,” Jensen said. “He’s not changing his principles to get the money.”

If you want to join a game, you play by the existing rules, said Aaron Witten of Grayson County, a regional coordinator for Paul.

“That doesn’t mean that once you get into the game, you can’t try to change the system for the better,” Witten said. “He’s just playing the very few parts of the game that he has to to get in.”

If Paul thought he could win without McConnell’s fund-raising, he probably would, but he will need that help against Conway, who is wealthy enough to give his campaign a big financial boost, Witten said.

Others took a similar pragmatic view.

Richard Collinsworth, a retired insurance agent in Owensboro who has been active in the Tea Party movement, said he has some concerns about McConnell, but it doesn’t bother him that Paul is getting closer to the Senate minority leader.

“I see that Paul needs the Republican Party just like the Republican Party needs Paul,” Collinsworth said. “If he doesn’t get elected he’s not going to help anybody.”

Filed Under: ElectionsJack ConwayRand PaulUS Senate Race

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Comments

  1. aj says:

    still trying to put a wedge in so Dr Paul will not kick Liberal Democrate you know what!

  2. Eric says:

    Another hit piece. “Rankles some supporters”…quotes like four people. What bull. You can find a few people who voted for Mongiardo but won’t for Conway…I doubt that’d be any less worthy of a long-a** editorial (disguised as news) that says nothing. Frickin’ Conway shills at this paper.

  3. Jack McCock says:

    Rand Paul is not “sucking up” to the Establishment by any means. If anything, they are helping him knowing full well that their candidate of choice lost to him, and now there is no other alternative. They know that he will not compromise his principles, and also know that he has the advantage over Conway. The choice here is clear: if you love freedom and reject government power grabs, support and vote for Rand Paul.

  4. dhagy says:

    aj: There’s no need to drive any kind of wedge for Ignats a/k/a Randy Paul. He’s already put his foot in his mouth so many times, he has no shoes left. He has exposed himself for the ineffecutal dullard all us “liberals” know him to be. And as for him kicking “liberal Democratic” butt, we’ll see.

  5. serah says:

    Will the real Rand Paul please stand up, all five of you !!!

  6. Jackie says:

    Rand hasn’t had it easy and by any means as he had to certify himself and wasn’t making much money as a doctor. Living in a million dollar homes makes a man have to make the big money to keep it. Senator Bunning took pride in saying he did nothing all year and missed most of the votes as he was busy enjoying himself and watching college games and couldn’t be bothered with the Recession or helping the citizens of the State. Rand saw an opportunity to not only get rich by doing nothing and if elected he can buy more homes and become a millionaire off the bribe and kick back money.

  7. Eric says:

    Jackie, it’s Jack Conway who has spent at least $300,000 of his own privileged-millionaire money trying to buy a Senate seat.

  8. Disillusioned Paul voter says:

    Rand Paul is hard to trust now in my opinion. I voted for him because what he stood for and what he said he stood for. Now after the fundraiser in Washington and his comments about term limits, I really have no idea what he stands for anymore. I just wont vote!

  9. The General says:

    Listen Paultards:

    There is no such thing as the New World Order. The Masons do not secretly control the world.

    The Federal Reserve did not cause Pearl Harbor. 9/11 was the result of a Muslim attack, not the government, the Jews, or the CIA.

    The US is not going to have a hyperinflationary collapse. The Amero is a fairy tell. Alex Jones does what he does for $$$.

  10. Buck Feshear says:

    The national Democrats see this seat as a pickup in a year where nationally, they are going to lose all sorts of seats (including, probably, their Senate leader’s seat in Nevada). They are going to pump all kinds of money into this race. I surreptitiously get the emails from the DSCC and they are trying to raise money nationwide to spend for Conway against Paul. Paul needs all the money he can get and it doesn’t matter where it comes from. A hundred thousand dollars from a DC fundraiser spends just the same as a hundred thousand dollars from a “money bomb.” Paul needs every cent he can scrape up to wage a competitive campaign against Conway and the national Dems.

  11. Jake says:

    Rand has sold out – that’s all there is to it.

    His daddy never did anything like this. I bet he’s disappointed.

  12. Steve says:

    Sorry Jake, saying it doesn’t make it so. And his dad got, what 7% of the vote in KY? I doubt Rand Paul should take winning political advice from Ron.

  13. [...] Lexington Herald-Leader reports: “I am deeply disappointed that he did that,” said Warren Scoville of London, an attorney who [...]

  14. [...] Lexington Herald-Leader reports: “I am deeply disappointed that he did that,” said Warren Scoville of London, an [...]

  15. [...] Lexington Herald-Leader reports: “I am deeply disappointed that he did that,” said Warren Scoville of London, an [...]

  16. custer says:

    Buck – I think the more Nevada voters see of Angle, the more they’ll pine for one of the Republican’s she beat, the same as the more Kentucky voters see of Paul, the more they pine for Grayson.

    In other words, it all seemed great when their blood was up, but now that things have cooled down, and they’ve gotten a better look, cooler heads are prevailing.

    But what to do now. I’m wondering if Mitch has something up his sleeve for Kentuckians. He’s going to look like a fool if he lets the Senate seat go the the Dems.

    Time will tell.

  17. pat says:

    Rand’s two-step at the Bailout Ball was just the beginning. Next he’s headed for NYC to get some of that Wall Street money. The “little guy’s” candidate is going to line his pockets with $1500 for cocktails and $4800 for dinner with Steve Forbes and other Wall Street power players. Check out the fancy out of town invitation.
    http://capitaltonight.com/2010/06/monday-meeting-regulars-raise-for-rand-paul/

    That’s not all…one of the the co-host, Mallory Factor, oversaw billions of dollars in state funds and lucrative contracts to Wall Street firms. He’s a founder of the “Monday Meeting,” the invitation-only monthly gathering of the NYC’s conservative elite and Washington power players that’s been profiled in New York magazine, the Washington Post, and the New York Observer. The Bush campaign’s Web site listed him as a “ranger,” one of the top-level fund-raisers who collected $200,000 or more in political donations. http://www.nysun.com/new-york/mallory-factor-decamps-new-york-surprising-many/37932/

    Even the donations aren’t coming to KY instead to VA to an organization called The Rainmakers. Which by the way has an interesting job opening for someone to travel the country sucking up to the wealthy corporatists and PAC directors to ensure that Paul does as little as possible for the hard working people of KY.
    http://www.conservativejobs.com/jobseeker/search.cfm?page=position-description&JobID=%25%22%28N0%258+_ (Tip:copy and paste this link in your address bar)

    It is obvious that Rand Paul cares nothing about the people of KY. Like Palin, he has national ambitions and he is just using KY voters as a spring board. Since only a fourth of his donations actually come from Kentuckians, whose best interests will he be working for?

  18. pat says:

    Rand’s two-step at the Bailout Ball was just the beginning. Next he’s headed for NYC to get some of that Wall Street money. The “little guy’s” candidate is going to line his pockets with $1500 for cocktails and $4800 for dinner with Steve Forbes and other Wall Street power players.

    That’s not all…one of the the co-host, Mallory Factor, oversaw billions of dollars in state funds and lucrative contracts to Wall Street firms. He’s a founder of the “Monday Meeting,” the invitation-only monthly gathering of the NYC’s conservative elite and Washington power players that’s been profiled in New York magazine, the Washington Post, and the New York Observer. The Bush campaign’s Web site listed him as a “ranger,” one of the top-level fund-raisers who collected $200,000 or more in political donations.

    Wall Street money and Bush donors, how will his supporters spin this?

  19. pat says:

    Sorry about the double post, I didn’t think the first one went through. Had to wait for moderation, my guess because of the links. I understand, it helps to cut down on trolls. I prefer to give links to let people know I’m not just pulling random crap out of a horse’s behind.

    I also wanted to clarify the Rand Paul job on conservativejobs.com. It is a funny link. It doesn’t represent well in posting but is a very interesting read nonetheless. It is best to copy and paste the entire web address and place it in your address bar. For some reason the link breaks after the ] symbol. I’m gonna try it again.

    http://www.conservativejobs.com/jobseeker/search.cfm?page=position-description&JobID=%25%22%28N0%258+_

    I hope it works this time!

  20. pat says:

    Ok this link is driving me crazy, I’m gonna try one more. This is the google cache link.
    http://www.conservativejobs.com/JobSeeker/search.cfm?page=position-description&JobID=%25%22%5D(N0%258%20.

    I don’t think I’m supposed to be able to link this since it is a “members only” site. So I suggest copy and paste in google search bar:
    Elect Tea Party Leader Dr. Rand Paul to US Senate, JobID:rainmakers3 (R Paul)

    Here is snippet of the job description.

    Travel the Country. Interact with the Rich and Famous! Help elect conservative clients like Dr. Rand Paul, Republican nominee for the US Senate from Kentucky and darling of the rising Tea Party movement. Looking for executive-trainee to learn the business, call existing major donors, set up and eventually make presentations to corporate executives and PAC directors.

  21. [...] Lexington Herald-Leader reports: “I am deeply disappointed that he did that,” said Warren Scoville of London, an [...]

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