|Paul in January 2011|
|United States Senator
January 3, 2011
Serving with Mitch McConnell
|Preceded by||Jim Bunning|
|Born||Randal Howard Paul
January 7, 1963
|Spouse(s)||Kelley Ashby Paul (m. 1990)|
|Relations||Ron Paul (father)
Carol Wells Paul (mother)
|Residence||Bowling Green, Kentucky|
|Alma mater||Baylor University
Duke University (M.D.)
Rand Paul 2010
Randal Howard "Rand" Paul (born January 7, 1963) is the junior United States Senator for Kentucky. He is a member of the Republican Party, and the son of former Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, who ran for president in 1988 as a Libertarian, and in 2008 and 2012 as a Republican. He first received national attention in 2008 when making political speeches on behalf of his father and is the first United States Senator to serve simultaneously with a parent in the United States House of Representatives.
A graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine, Paul has been a practicing ophthalmologist in Bowling Green, Kentucky, since 1993, and established his own clinic in December 2007. In 1994, he founded Kentucky Taxpayers United, of which he is still the chairman.
In 2010, Paul ran as the Republican candidate for the United States Senate seat being vacated by retiring Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, beating Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson in the primary. Despite the fact that he had never previously held political office, he defeated Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway. As a supporter of the Tea Party movement, he has been vocal in advocating for term limits, a balanced budget amendment, and the Read the Bills Act, in addition to the widespread reduction of federal spending and taxation. He has gained prominence for his independent positions on many political issues, often clashing with both Republicans and Democrats.
Early life and education
Randal Howard Paul was born on January 7, 1963, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Carol (Wells) Paul and Ron Paul. His father is a physician and former U.S. Representative of Texas' 14th congressional district. The middle child of five, his siblings are Ronald "Ronnie" Paul Jr., Lori Paul Pyeatt, Robert Paul and Joy Paul-LeBlanc. Paul was baptized in the Episcopal Church and identified as a practicing Christian as a teenager. Despite his father's libertarian views and strong support for individual rights, the novelist Ayn Rand was not the inspiration for his first name; he went by "Randy" while growing up. His wife shortened his name to "Rand".
The Paul family moved to Lake Jackson, Texas, in 1968, where Rand was raised and his father began his medical practice and for an extent of time was the only obstetrician in Brazoria County. When he was 13, his father was elected to the United States House of Representatives. In his teenage years, Paul studied the Austrian economists that his father respected, as well as Ayn Rand. Paul went to Brazoswood High School and was on the swimming team and played defensive back on the football team. Paul attended Baylor University from fall 1981 to summer 1984. He was enrolled in the honors program at Baylor, and had scored approximately in the 90th percentile on the Medical College Admission Test. During the time he spent at Baylor, he was involved in the swim team and Young Conservatives of Texas and was a member of a secret organization known as the NoZe Brotherhood. Paul left Baylor early when he was accepted into the Duke University School of Medicine, where he earned his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree in 1988 and completed his residency in 1993.
Paul has held a state-issued medical license since moving to Bowling Green in 1993. He received his first job from Dr. John Downing of Downing McPeak Vision Centers, which brought him to Bowling Green after completing his residency. Paul worked for Downing for about five years before parting ways. Afterwards, he went to work at the Gilbert Graves Clinic, a private medical group in Bowling Green, for 10 years before creating his own practice in a converted one-story house across the street from Downing's office. After his election to the U.S. Senate, he merged his practice with Downing's medical practice. Paul has had two malpractice lawsuits filed against him since 1993; was cleared in one case and the other was settled for $50,000. Regardless, his medical work has been praised by Downing and he has medical privileges at two Bowling Green hospitals. Paul specializes in cataract and glaucoma surgeries, LASIK procedures, and corneal transplants.
In 1995, Paul passed the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO) boards on his first attempt and earned board-certification under the ABO for a decade. In 1997, to protest the ABO's decision to grandfather in older ophthalmologists and not require them to recertify, Paul, along with 200 ophthalmologists formed the National Board of Ophthalmology (NBO). Paul's ophthalmology board is not officially recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). The NBO was incorporated in 1999, but he allowed it to be dissolved in 2000 after not filing the required paperwork with the Kentucky Secretary of State's office. Paul later recreated the board in September 2005, three months before his certification from the ABO was scheduled to expire. His ABO certification lapsed on December 31, 2005. Paul has since been certified by the NBO.
As a member of the Bowling Green Noon Lions Club, Paul founded the Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic to help provide eye surgery and exams for those who cannot afford to pay. He is a regular presenter at the annual Men's Health and Safety Day conference held by The Medical Center of Bowling Green since 1998.
As founder and chairman of the anti-tax organization Kentucky Taxpayers United (KTU) since 1994, Paul regularly presents "taxpayers' friend" awards to state legislators. KTU, which regards itself as nonpartisan, but is criticized for being ideologically conservative, examines legislator records on taxation and spending to inform voters where their own lawmakers stand on the issues. Paul's editorial commentary on behalf of KTU has been published and recognized in the Kentucky Post.
KTU sponsors the Taxpayer's Pledge of Americans for Tax Reform, encouraging politicians to pledge publicly to vote uniformly against tax raises. Nine of fifteen Northern Kentucky legislators signed the pledge, such as Senator Dick Roeding and Representative Royce Adams in 1996. In 2000, these legislators considered a hotel room tax hike (favored by Governor Paul Patton for helping expand the Dr. Albert B. Sabin Convention Center in nearby Cincinnati), even though the increase might "incur the wrath of Paul's group", as two newspapers put it.
Paul stated that Patton's argument for "revenue recovery" was merely a euphemism for taxes and said that KTU would fight reelection of any pledge-breakers; Adams requested in writing that Paul's group release him from his pledge, stating that it only applied to his first term. By the close of session in April, the tax increase had failed, although Patton had achieved most of his intended budget; Paul stated legislators were pressured to finalize the budget by deadline rather than to "face accusations of shutting down government".
Paul often speaks on his father's behalf, and he and his son William attended the third Republican presidential debate of 2007 in New Hampshire, as well as campaigned door-to-door in the state for his father. At a New Hampshire rally with 250 in attendance (plus 30 members of his own family), Paul repeated a campaign meme by pretending to take a call from Rudy Giuliani during his remarks, and joking that Giuliani needed campaigners and wanted to borrow the Paul family.
On December 16, 2007, the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, Paul spoke at Faneuil Hall in favor of small government principles, calling for what CNN termed a "modern day revolution". He continued campaigning across the country for his father in 2008, traveling as far as Montana.
Paul has co-authored a book entitled The Tea Party Goes to Washington with Jack Hunter, released on February 22, 2011. He also released a second book titled Government Bullies: How Everyday Americans Are Being Harassed, Abused, and Imprisoned by the Feds, which was released on September 12, 2012.
In the beginning of 2009, Paul was the focus of an online grassroots movement to draft him in a bid to replace beleaguered Republican Kentucky senator Jim Bunning. The news of his potential candidacy became a topic of national interest and was discussed in the Los Angeles Times and locally in the Kentucky press. Commenting on Paul's possible candidacy, his father stated that "Should Senator Bunning decide not to run, I think Rand would make a great U.S. Senator."
On May 1, 2009, Paul officially confirmed that if Bunning, whose fundraising in 2009 has matched his poor numbers in opinion polling for the 2010 election, declined to seek a third term, he would almost certainly run in the Republican Party primary to succeed him, and formed an exploratory committee soon after, while still promising to stay out of the race if Bunning had ultimately decided to run for re-election. Paul made this announcement on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, though a local Kentucky news site first broke the news.
On July 28, 2009, Bunning announced that he would not run for re-election, after facing insufficient fundraising. This announcement left only Paul and Secretary of State Trey Grayson as the remaining candidates for the Republican nomination, with Paul announcing on August 5, 2009 that he would officially run for the U.S. Senate as a Republican. The announcement was made through a series of national TV events, radio, and other programs, as well as through newspapers in Kentucky.
Early fundraising success
On August 20, 2009, Paul's grassroots planned a moneybomb to kick off his campaign for United States Senate. The official campaign took in $433,509 in 24 hours. His website reported that this set a new record in Kentucky's political fundraising history in a 24-hour period.
A second "moneybomb" was held on September 23, 2009, to counter a D.C. fundraiser being held for primary opponent Trey Grayson, by 23 Republican United States Senators, 17 of whom voted for the bank bailout. The theme was a UFC "fight" between Paul and "We the People" vs. Trey Grayson and the "D.C. Insiders". The money bomb ended up raising $186,276 for Paul in 24 hours on September 23; bringing Paul's Senate campaign's total raised to over one million. Later in the campaign, Paul claimed his pledge to not take money from lobbyists and Senators who had voted for the bailout was only a "primary pledge"; he subsequently held a DC fundraiser with the same Senators who had been the target of the September 23, 2009 "moneybomb". Paul ended up raising some $3 million during the primary period.
Although Grayson was considered the frontrunner in July 2009, Paul found success characterizing Grayson as a "career politician" and challenging Grayson's conservatism. Paul ran an ad in February that made an issue out of Grayson's September 2008 admission that he voted for Bill Clinton when he was 20 years old. James Dobson, a Christian evangelical figure, endorsed Grayson on April 26 based on the advice of what Dobson described as "senior members of the GOP", but on May 3 the Paul campaign announced that Dobson had changed his endorsement to Paul after Paul and some Paul supporters had lobbied Dobson insisting on Paul's social conservative bona fides.
In the 2010 general election, Paul faced Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway. The campaign attracted $8.5 million dollars in contributions from outside groups, of which $6 million was spent to help Rand Paul and $2.5 million to help Conway. This money influx was in addition to the money spent by the candidates themselves: $6 million by Paul and $4.7 million by Conway.
On June 28, 2010, Rand Paul supporters held their first post-primary online fundraising drive, this time promoted as a "money blast". His campaign got off to a rough start after his comments on Title II of Civil Rights Act of 1964 stirred controversy. Paul stated that he favored 9 out of 10 titles of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but had he been a senator during 1960s, he would have raised some questions on the constitutionality of Title II of the Act. Paul said he abhors racism, and he would have marched with Martin Luther King Jr. to repeal Jim Crow Laws. he later released a statement declaring that he would have voted for the Act and stated "unequivocally ... that I will not support any efforts to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964". Later he generated more controversy by characterizing statements made by Obama administration officials regarding the BP oil spill cleanup as sounding "un-American".
One debate was held between the two candidates, at the University of Louisville. It was considered a very heated debate, in which both candidates made rude comments, centered around an ad run by Conway stating, "Why was Rand Paul a member of a secret society that called the Holy Bible 'a hoax,' that was banned for mocking Christianity and Christ?" Speaking about the ad, Paul stated, "We have serious problems in our country ... and he has descended into the gutter to attack my personal religious beliefs. ... Jack, you should be ashamed of yourself. You should apologize. Have you no decency? Have you no shame?"  Beyond the ad, Civil Rights, drugs and social security also were mentioned during the course of the heated debate.
Paul secured endorsements from several public figures and political organizations. They include the Downsize DC Foundation, Concerned Women for America, Gun Owners of America, Steve Forbes, FreedomWorks, Club for Growth, James Dobson, Sarah Palin, Jim DeMint, Cathy Bailey, Jim Bunning, Erick Erickson, National Federation of Independent Business, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, National Right to Life, US Chamber of Commerce, National Vietnam and Gulf War Veterans Coalition, Mike Huckabee, and Tony Perkins/FRC Action PAC.
U.S. Senate career
Paul was sworn in on January 5, 2011 along with his father, marking the first time in congressional history that someone served in the Senate while their parent simultaneously served in the House of Representatives. He was assigned to serve on the Energy and Natural Resources, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Homeland Security and Government Affairs, and Small Business committees. Paul also formed the Senate Tea Party Caucus with Jim DeMint and Mike Lee as its inaugural members. His first legislative proposal was to cut $500 billion from federal spending in one year. This proposal included cutting the Department of Education by 83 percent and the Department of Homeland Security by 43 percent, as well as folding the Department of Energy into the Department of Defense and eliminating the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Seven independent agencies would be eliminated and food stamps would be cut by 30 percent. Under Paul's proposal, defense spending would be reduced by 6.5 percent and international aid would be eliminated. He later proposed a five-year budget plan intended to balance the budget.
In February, Paul was one of two Republicans to vote against extending three key provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act (roving wiretaps, searches of business records, and conducting surveillance of "lone wolves" — individuals not linked to terrorist groups). In May, he remained the last senator opposing the PATRIOT Act, and was ultimately defeated on May 26.
On March 2, Paul was one of nine senators to vote against a stopgap bill that cut $4 billion from the budget and temporarily prevent a government shutdown, citing that it did not cut enough from the budget. One week later, he voted against the Democratic and Republican budget proposals to keep funding the federal government, citing that both bills did not cut enough spending. Both bills failed to pass the senate. He later voted against stopgap measures on March 17 and April 8, both of which passed the senate. On April 14, He was one of 19 senators to vote against a budget that cut $38.5 billion from the budget and fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year. Paul voiced opposition to U.S. intervention in the Libyan civil war and has criticized President Obama for not gaining congressional consent for Operation Odyssey Dawn. During the debt ceiling crisis, the Senator stated that he would only support raising the debt ceiling if a balanced budget amendment was enacted. Paul was a supporter of the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, which was tabled by the Democrats. On August 3, Paul voted against a bill that would raise the debt ceiling.
On September 7, Paul called for a vote of no confidence in Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Later that month, Paul blocked legislation that would strengthen safety rules for oil and gas pipelines because he felt the bill was not strong enough. In October, Paul blocked a bill that would provide $36 million in benefits for elderly and disabled refugees, saying that he was concerned that it could be used to aid domestic terrorists. This was in response to two alleged terrorists, who came to the United States through a refugee program and were receiving welfare benefits, were arrested in 2011 in Paul’s hometown of Bowling Green. Paul lifted his hold on the bill after Democratic leaders promised to hold a congressional hearing into how individuals are selected for refugee status and request an investigation on how the two suspects were admitted in the country through a refugee program.
For the 113th Congress, Paul was added to the Foreign Relations committee and retained his spot on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Homeland Security and Government Affairs, and Small Business committees.
On March 6–7, 2013, Paul engaged in a talking filibuster to block voting on the nomination of John O. Brennan as the Director of the CIA, questioning Barack Obama and his administration's use of drones, and the stated legal justification for hypothetical lethal use within the United States.
Paul held the floor for 12 hours and 52 minutes, at times ceding to several other Republican senators as well as one Democratic senator, Ron Wyden, who joined in questioning the use of drones and related topics. He noted the purpose of the filibuster was mostly regarding drone policy, particularly usage on noncombatants on U.S. soil. He argued that the language administration officials had used when questioned over that potential usage of drones was unclear, and could potentially lead to a slippery slope where citizens could be targeted merely for expressing views different from those of the president. He asked for the administration to say they will not target noncombatants on U.S. soil. Attorney General Eric Holder replied later on March 7, stating that the president does not have the authority to use weaponized drones within the U.S. to kill, without due process, Americans not engaged in combat; he stated that he was "quite happy" with the response. During the filibuster, Paul was able to appeal to many other voters, including some who had not previously supported him or his father, Ron Paul. He was also able to appeal to voters who had supported his father, but were skeptical towards him. Paul said he was amazed by the support he got from Americans and from fellow senators and even congressman who entered the senate chamber against custom, in order to show their support. Even Nevada Senator and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and satirical talk show host Jon Stewart expressed some praise for Paul.
On March 25, 2013, an announcement was made by senators Paul, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, threatening that they would hold more filibusters over any pieces of legislation that enforce gun control on the house floor, in the Senate. The White House prompted a warning letter, in response. These senators attempted to implement this filibuster on April 11, 2013, but was dismissed by a vote of cloture, 68-31.
- Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (2011-)
- Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (2011-)
- Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship (2011-)
- United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (2013-)
- Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (2011–13)
Speculation on future
After the 2012 Election, Rand was often in the news speaking on how the Republican Party needs to adapt to the country's changing demographics and beliefs. In a radio interview with Aaron Klein, Paul spoke about a possible 2016 presidency bid. He said he was not promising a run but did say he would make a decision within the next two years. He also mentioned that even if he does not run, he is still planning on re-shaping the way GOP handles certain policies.
On February 13, 2013, Rand Paul delivered the official "Tea Party" response to President Obama's state of the union speech. Marco Rubio gave the official GOP response which prompted some pundits to call February 13, 2013 the start of the 2016 GOP primaries.
On March 14, Paul gave a speech at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington DC. He also won the 2013 CPAC straw poll on March 16, winning 25% of the votes cast. On April 17, 2013 Paul reaffirmed that he was considering running for president in 2016 at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor and would make a decision no earlier than 2014.
Rand Paul has also won a number of recent straw polls, the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference poll (April 19-20, 2013) with 39% of the vote and the Tennessee Republican Assembly straw poll with 58% on April 20.
Paul supports term limits, a balanced budget amendment, and the Read the Bills Act, in addition to the widespread reduction of federal spending and taxation. He has gained prominence for his independent positions on many political issues, often clashing with both Republicans and Democrats. He received a perfect score from the Gun Owners of America, National Right to Life Committee, and the American Conservative Union. National Journal gave him a 100% conservative record in 2011. On Fox News, Senator Paul was quoted as saying Congress' political position is "10 years behind the American Public".  Paul personally views marriage as being between one man and one woman, but would support the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and work to ensure fair treatment of gay couples in terms of the tax code, health benefits, and visitation rights.
Time Magazine noted that Rand Paul had the "art of a political salesman", and was able to market his ideas to his audience, adding that his ability to disagree with his party often helps him win in an argument. In the hours after his filibuster, CNN noted that Paul "can shape the future of conservatism".
A member of the Tea Party movement, he describes himself as a "constitutional conservative" and a libertarian. Unlike his more stridently "non-interventionist" father, Rand sees a role for American armed forces abroad, including permanent foreign military bases.
In Atlanta, Paul met Kelley Ashby, a Rhodes College English major. Paul and Ashby were married on October 20, 1990, and moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, less than 30 miles (48 km) from her hometown of Russellville, Kentucky, in 1993. Kelley Paul is a freelance writer, and she manages payroll and marketing communications for Paul's surgical practice. The couple have three sons: William, Duncan and Robert. Paul wears hearing aids in both ears, and has been included by Time magazine as one of the world's most influential people for 2013.
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- Gavin, Patrick (April 18, 2013). "Politicians line Time's 100 list". Politico. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Rand Paul|
- Senator Rand Paul official U.S. Senate website
- Rand Paul on Twitter
- Official Campaign Website
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Congressional profile at GovTrack
- Congressional profile at OpenCongress
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Financial information (federal office) at OpenSecrets.org
- Staff salaries, trips and personal finance (federal office) at LegiStorm.com
- Issue positions and quotes at On the Issues
- Voting record at The Washington Post
- Appearances on C-SPAN programs
- Collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Collected news and commentary at The Washington Post
|United States Senate|
|United States Senator (Class 3) from Kentucky
January 5, 2011
Served alongside: Mitch McConnell
|Party political offices|
|Republican Party nominee for U.S. Senator from Kentucky
|United States order of precedence|
|United States Senators by seniority
|Representatives to the 112th–113th United States Congresses from Kentucky (ordered by seniority)|
|112th||Senate: M. McConnell | R. Paul||House: H. Rogers | E. Whitfield | B. Chandler | G. Davis | J. Yarmuth | B. Guthrie|
|113th||Senate: M. McConnell | R. Paul||House: H. Rogers | E. Whitfield | J. Yarmuth | B. Guthrie | T. Massie | A. Barr|