Rand Paul tries to pay for an election he’s in

Freemarketland: The Rand Paul camp continues to innovate the process of buying elections.

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To circumvent state election laws that keep him from running for both U.S. Senate and the presidential nomination on the same primary ballot, Rand Paul claims he’s paying to move his own state’s presidential nominating contest (now a caucus) up to the Saturday after Super Tuesday:

[…] the Kentucky senator said he gave $250,000 to his state’s Republican Party for the explicit purpose of funding its presidential caucus in March. He promised to pony up another $200,000 in the fall, enough to cover the entire cost of the nominating event. Put another way: Paul is paying the party to hold an election in which he is running.

 
Hey, that’s only six times more than it costs to pay an Iowa state senator to switch his endorsement from Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul!

Previously from the Rand Paul camp

AFD: Iowa state senator admits Rand Paul aide bribed him on behalf of Ron Paul
Washington Post: “It’s actually legal to buy a political endorsement. You just can’t cover it up.”

Sanders outraises Rubio, Paul, and Cruz

Sanders-021507-18335- 0004Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) announced his Democratic presidential campaign this week and raised an impressive $1.5 million in the first 24 hours from about 35,000 donors. Although Clinton obviously has a much larger warchest on tap, this figure has at least put him solidly on par with major Republican contenders in terms of grassroots fundraising:

But the Sanders haul outpaces the three major Republican candidates who already have announced. In the first 24 hours since launching their campaigns, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) raised $1.25 million and Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Ted Cruz (Texas) raised about $1 million each, according to their campaigns.

 
They, of course, can count on a lot of super PAC support, as well, in a way Sanders can’t (and doesn’t want to), but this stark comparison has suddenly vaulted Sanders into at least being taken semi-seriously by the U.S. media rather than being roundly mocked as a far-left socialist. (I’ve spotted a lot of recent headlines calling him a “liberal” and “independent” instead of a socialist.) And in truth, he’s certainly not more extreme or fringe than the aforementioned three jokers in the Republican Party’s nomination contest.

Indeed, he’s probably more mainstream than they are. In the words of The Onion on Bernie Sanders:

Biggest Political Liability: Completely out of touch with the average American corporation
[…]
Dangerously Radical Fringe Views: Reform Wall Street, avoid costly and ineffective conflicts in Middle East, help working families prosper

 

15 other things Rand Paul wants back, besides his country

Rand Paul announced his presidential campaign today. His platform?
“I have a message — a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words. We’ve come to take our country back.

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Here’s 15 more things Rand Paul wants to take back…

1. A buck fifty that got stuck in the Senate Cafeteria vending machine. Didn’t even get the damn candy bar. It would fiscally irresponsible not to get that money back.

2. The four dollar adult admission he paid at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in 2013. It was worth $3.50 at best. At best.

3. The time he got a bit tipsy with a lobbyist and dared to question the 2nd Amendment’s meaning in the 21st century. What if that guy remembers that conversation too…

4. In the 7th grade, he told his buddy Tim that he kind of liked Suzie Baker, and he’d really like to take that back, not because it wasn’t true but because Tim spread it all over, and it turned out Suzie didn’t like him back, and that was pretty embarrassing at the time, although in the grand scheme of things it probably built his character or something, or at the very least it didn’t matter.

5. H.R. 2149 (2011), a bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 4354 Pahoa Avenue in Honolulu, Hawaii, as the “Cecil L. Heftel Post Office Building” was, in retrospect, one of the biggest assaults on freedom during Barack Obama’s first term in office, and he’s going to take that back. If he could do one thing over in the Senate, that would be it.

6. The life of a man he killed in Reno just to watch him die. Carson City was obviously the better choice for location and what was he thinking?

7. A particularly smart-alecky comment he made to Ron Paul at age 15. It was pretty uncalled for and his dad didn’t deserve that kind of attitude.

8. Some of the defense cuts he proposed in 2011. Man, he forgot how sweet some of those fighter jets and bombers can be.

9. The wedding ring he accidentally lost down the sink one day and had to rush to find a replacement before anyone noticed. The original was his great-grandfather’s.

10. Any opinions he’s expressed publicly since 2010 that would now make it hard to win a Republican primary or general election campaign for president.

11. His refusal to hang a tire swing for his kids all those years ago. They would have loved that thing.

12. That one time he took the Lord’s name in vain. You know, that time.

13. That interview during the 2010 campaign with Rachel Maddow.

14. The 6th answer he entered on the Buzzfeed quiz about which friend from “Friends” you really are. It threw off the overall result.

15. The Breaking Bad spoiler he accidentally let slip to Orrin Hatch, thus making an enemy for life. But like, “Ozymandias” was just so masterful!

Confirmed: Ron Paul’s 2012 team bribed a state senator

After a guilty plea this week, we now have confirmation that Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign bribed an elected official $73,000.

A former Iowa state senator pleaded guilty Wednesday to receiving and concealing payments in exchange for switching his support from one presidential candidate to another in the 2012 election, the Justice Department said.

The former lawmaker, Kent Sorenson, resigned from the Iowa Senate last year after an investigation found that he probably violated ethics rules by taking money from presidential campaigns.

Mr. Sorenson, 42, of Milo, Iowa, had been the state chairman for the presidential campaign of Representative Michele Bachmann, Republican of Minnesota, but then switched his support to former Representative Ron Paul of Texas just days before the state’s caucus.

In a statement filed with his plea agreement, Mr. Sorensen admitted that he agreed to switch his allegiance in exchange for $73,000 in payments.

 
Please tell me more about Congressman Paul’s integrity and principles and blah blah blah. Though I suppose that buying elected officials is very free-market and all that.

The fallout began Friday night, as a Paul family insider, Jesse Benton, was forced to resign as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign manager in Kentucky.

Benton has worked in high-ranking positions in Rand Paul’s first Senate bid in 2010 and Ron Paul’s 2012 campaign, and he has married into the family, as well. It’s not known whether Benton himself knew about the bribe, but there would be a lot of questions either way, and so he had to go. If he’s cleared, I’m guessing he’ll be back for Sen. Rand Paul’s 2016 presidential campaign team, which he had already been slated to join before this scandal broke.