|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.)
|Website||Senator Rand Paul
Rand Paul for U.S. Senate
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 U.S. Representative and presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas. He first received national attention in 2008 when making political speeches on behalf of his father, who was campaigning for the Republican Party's nomination for president. He is the first United States senator to have served simultaneously with a parent in the United States House of Representatives.
A graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine, Paul began practicing ophthalmology in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 1993 and established his own clinic in December 2007. In 1994, he founded Kentucky Taxpayers United, of which he is still chairman.
In 2010, Paul ran as the Republican candidate for the United States Senate seat being vacated by retiring Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, defeating Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson in the primary. He subsequently defeated Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway in the general election. A member of the Tea Party movement, he supports term limits, a balanced budget amendment, the Read the Bills Act, and widespread reduction in federal spending and taxation. Unlike his more stridently isolationist, or "non-interventionist", father, Paul concedes a role for American armed forces abroad, including permanent foreign military bases. He has garnered attention for his positions, often clashing with both Republicans and Democrats.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Medical career
- 3 Political activism
- 4 Electoral history
- 5 U.S. Senate career
- 6 Political positions
- 7 Personal life
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Early life and education
Randal Howard Paul was born on January 7, 1963, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Carol (née Wells) 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. Growing up, he went by "Randy", but his wife shortened it to "Rand."
The Paul family moved to Lake Jackson, Texas, in 1968, where he was raised and where his father began a 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 the writings of Objectivist philosopher 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 an M.D. in 1988, and completed his residency in 1993.
Following completion of his medical training, Paul began practicing ophthalmology in Bowling Green in 1993, eventually opening his own medical practice, in which he specialized in corneal disease and glaucoma. Paul faced two malpractice lawsuits between 1993 and 2010; he was cleared in one case while the other was settled for $50,000. 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.
National Board of Ophthalmology
Paul passed the certifying examination of the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO) in 1995, entitling him to describe himself for 10 years as a "board-certified" ophthalmologist. In 1992, the century-old ABO, which in 2010 listed 16,000 ophthalmologists on its rolls, had begun requiring physicians to recertify every 10 years; prior to that, no limits had been placed on duration of certification. In 1997, in protest of the ABO's decision to grandfather in older ophthalmologists and not require them to periodically recertify in order to maintain their status as board-certified practitioners, Paul along with 200 other ophthalmologists formed the National Board of Ophthalmology (NBO) to offer an alternative ophthalmology certification system.
The NBO was incorporated in 1999, but it was dissolved in 2000 because of failure to file required paperwork with the Kentucky Secretary of State's office. Paul later recreated the board in September 2005, three months before his original 10-year certification from the ABO lapsed, with himself as the organization's president, his wife as vice-president, and his father-in-law as secretary. Since then, Paul has been certified only by the NBO, which is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Medical Association, or the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure. The NBO was again dissolved in 2011.
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 spoke on his father's behalf, when his father was campaigning for office, and Rand 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 co-authored a book entitled The Tea Party Goes to Washington (2011) with Jack Hunter, also known as the "Southern Avenger." Paul is also the author of Government Bullies: How Everyday Americans Are Being Harassed, Abused, and Imprisoned by the Feds (2012).
At the beginning of 2009, there was an online grassroots movement to draft Paul in a bid to replace beleaguered Republican Kentucky senator Jim Bunning. The news of Paul's potential candidacy became a topic of national interest and was discussed in the Los Angeles Times and locally in the Kentucky press. Paul's father remarked, "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 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 ultimately decided to run for reelection. Paul made this announcement on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, though a Kentucky news site first broke the news.
On July 28, 2009, Bunning announced that he would not run for reelection in the face of insufficient fundraising. The 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 newspapers in Kentucky.
Early fundraising success
On August 20, 2009, Paul's supporters planned a moneybomb to kick off his campaign. 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 in contributions from outside groups, of which $6 million was spent to help 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, Paul supporters held their first post-primary online fundraising drive, this time promoted as a "money blast".
Paul's campaign got off to a rough start after his comments on the 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 that had he been a senator during the 1960s, he would have raised some questions on the constitutionality of Title II of the Act. Paul said that he abhors racism, and that 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".
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 Democratic opposition. 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 U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Later that month, Paul blocked legislation that would strengthen safety rules for oil and gas pipelines because he stated 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 delay voting on the nomination of John O. Brennan as the Director of the CIA. Paul questioned the Obama administration's use of drones and the stated legal justification for their potential use within the United States.
Paul held the floor for 12 hours and 52 minutes. He ceded to several Republican senators and Democratic senator, Ron Wyden, who generally also questioned drone usage. Paul noted his purpose was to challenge drone policy in general and specifically as it related to noncombatants on U.S. soil. He requested a pledge from the Administration that noncombatants would not be targeted on U.S. soil. Attorney General Eric Holder responded that the President is not authorized to deploy extrajudicial punishment without due process, against non combatant citizens. Paul answered that he was "quite happy" with the response. The filibuster was ended with a cloture vote of 81 to 16, and Brennan was confirmed by the Senate with a vote of 63 to 34.
In March 2013, Paul, with Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, threatened another filibuster, this one opposing any legislative proposals to expand federal gun control measures. The filibuster was attempted on April 11, 2013, but was dismissed by cloture, in a vote of 68–31.
In response to Detroit's declaration of bankruptcy, Paul stated he would not allow the government to attempt to bail out Detroit. In a phone interview with Breitbart.com on July 19, 2013, Paul said, "I basically say he is bailing them out over my dead body because we don’t have any money in Washington". Paul said he thought a federal bailout would send the wrong message to other cities with financial problems. In September, Paul stated that the United States should avoid military intervention in the ongoing Syrian civil war. In an op-ed, Paul disputed the Obama administration's claims that the threat of military force caused Syria's government to consider turning over its chemical weapons, instead arguing that the opposition to military action in Syria, and the delay that it caused, led to diplomatic progress.
In an October 2013 campaign speech for Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, delivered at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, Paul suggested advances in genetics could lead to abortion becoming a tool of eugenics, with human embryos or fetuses perceived to have undesirable traits being destroyed. He referenced the 1997 science fiction film Gattaca, which depicted a dystopian society where the DNA of embryos was screened and only those with approved genes were permitted to survive. Television broadcaster Rachel Maddow alleged Paul's speech plagiarized several passages, virtually verbatim, from the Wikipedia article on the film. BuzzFeed reporter Andrew Kaczynski and Maddow subsequently reported that two of Paul's previous speeches had repeated passages from a different Wikipedia article in a similar manner without crediting the site. In an interview with Jorge Ramos on Fusion, Paul said that he had credited the writers of Gattaca in the speech, which had been written by several people with no one person responsible, and suggested the controversy was being overplayed by his political opponents. He did not address the charges that he had plagiarized Wikipedia. Politico found further instances in which Paul's speeches had included passages copied nearly verbatim from other works, such as from news agency reports, without giving credit to the original sources. Politico cited as an example the February 2013 speech Paul had given as the Tea Party response to the president's State of the Union address. A senior aide said Paul does not believe it is common practice to cite the sources of text used in speeches, but would be more careful about attributing sources in the future.
BuzzFeed's Kaczynski identified additional instances in which Paul had apparently copied text from other sources. Kaczynski showed that Paul's book Government Bullies included a three-page-long passage taken directly from a 2003 article by the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation. The book also included text that appeared very similar to sections of several articles previously published by the libertarian think tank the Cato Institute, or by individuals affiliated with the Cato Institute, as well as material previously published in Forbes magazine. When Kaczynski found evidence that an op-ed article Paul had published in the Washington Times and testimony he had given before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September both contained material that was virtually identical to an article that had been published by another author in The Week a few days earlier, the Washington Times said that the newspaper and the senator had "mutually agreed" to end the weekly column Paul had been contributing to the paper for several months. The following day, it was announced that Paul's column would be moving to Breitbart.com. Kaczynski additionally noted that transcripts of Paul's speeches were removed from his website as the plagiarism allegations heightened scrutiny by the news media. After a week of almost daily news reports of new allegations of plagiarism, Paul said that he was being held to an "unfair standard", but would restructure his office in order to prevent mistakes in the future, if that would be what it would take "to make people leave me the hell alone".
- Committee on Foreign Relations (starting 2013)
- Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (starting 2011)
- Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (starting 2011)
- Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship (starting 2011)
A member of the Tea Party movement, Paul has described himself as a "constitutional conservative" and a libertarian. The National Journal, rated him the sixth most conservative senator based on votes cast in 2012.
He supports term limits, a balanced budget amendment, and the Read the Bills Act, in addition to the widespread reduction of federal spending and taxation. Unlike his more stridently "non-interventionist" father, Paul concedes a role for American armed forces abroad, including permanent foreign military bases.
Describing himself as "100% pro life." Paul opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest. He has been a sponsor or co-sponsor of several legislative measures to effectively ban all abortions, except possibly in cases in which the mother's life is at risk. He believes legal personhood begins at fertilization.
He opposes same-sex marriage, but believes the issue should be left to the states to decide. He has argued that Congress' political position is "ten years behind the American public." Time magazine has said that Paul has the "art of a political salesman".
In a January 2013 interview, he spoke of a possible 2016 presidential candidacy. While not promising a run, he stated the decision would be made within the next two years. He also indicated his intention to shape GOP politics regardless of a run.
He delivered the Tea Party response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on February 13, 2013, while Marco Rubio gave the official Republican response. This prompted some pundits to call that date the start of the 2016 Republican primaries.
He spoke at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C. on March 14, 2013. Two days later he won the 2013 CPAC straw poll with 25% of the votes cast. At a Christian Science Monitor sponsored breakfast on April 17, 2013, he reaffirmed that he was considering a 2016 run for the presidency and said no decision would be made before 2014.
He won the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference poll, held April 19–20, 2013, with 39%  and the Tennessee Republican Assembly straw poll, also held on April 20, with 58%. His 2013 itinerary reportedly includes trips through several early primary states.
Paul is married to Kelley (née Ashby) Paul. She was living and working in Atlanta when she met Paul. They live in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where she is a freelance writer and manages payroll and marketing communications for his ophthalmology practice. They have three sons: William, Duncan and Robert. Paul wears hearing aids in both ears.
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- "No-Tax Pledges May Fall Adams: Promise Covered First Term". Kentucky Post. February 7, 2000. Retrieved April 4, 2009. "'I have no qualms at calling for the removal of any legislator who would break his pledge,' Paul said. 'We would expend every amount of energy on that person in their next legislative race. This is someone's word of honor. If they break the pledge, I say shame on them, and they should suffer the repercussions.'"
- "No-Tax Pledge Binds Lawmakers". Kentucky Post (Covington, Kentucky). January 21, 2000. Retrieved April 4, 2009. "Raising the hotel surcharge by 1 cent would amount to a small increase in an existing tax that is really just a user fee. It would not constitute a new tax, they argue. But Kentucky Taxpayers United, the statewide group behind the no-new-taxes pledge, scoffs at that logic. 'Any raise in the tax will break a pledge,' said Rand Paul, a Bowling Green eye doctor who is chairman of the anti-tax group."
- "'Revenue Recovery' or 'User Fee' Sure Sound Like Taxes". Kentucky Post (Covington, Kentucky). March 23, 2000. Retrieved April 4, 2009. "Rand Paul, chairman of Kentucky Taxpayers United, said it is a tax increase, pure and simple. 'Nobody seems to be paying much attention to their pledge.'"
- "Session Spins to a Close in Frankfort". Lexington Herald-Leader. April 16, 2000. p. A1. Retrieved April 4, 2009. "They knew they would face accusations of shutting down government, much as congressional Republicans did five years ago, said Rand Paul."
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- ASIN 1455522759
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rand Paul.|
- Senator Rand Paul official U.S. Senate website
- Rand Paul for Senate
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Biography at Ballotpedia
- Biography at NNDB
- Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Congressional profile at GovTrack
- Congressional profile at OpenCongress
- Congressional profile at Roll Call
- Fact-checking at PolitiFact.com
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Financial information (federal office) at OpenSecrets.org
- Financial investments (personal) at The Washington Post
- Issue positions and quotes at On the Issues
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
- Voting record at The Washington Post
- Works by or about Rand Paul in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Appearances on C-SPAN programs
- Appearances at the Internet Movie Database
- Collected news and commentary at Bloomberg News
- Collected news and commentary at The Guardian
- Collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Collected news and commentary at The Wall Street Journal (paywall)
- 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 (ceremonial)|
|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|