WashPo: Rand and Ron Paul’s family businessSubmitted by P. Nicholson on Fri, 05/09/2014 - 12:46
Rand and Ron Paul’s family business
BY JENNIFER RUBIN
April 24 at 8:50 am
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is trying to expand his base of support and donors beyond the confines of his father’s unsuccessful presidential runs. So far, donors, as they are with all 2016 contenders, are generally holding back. But it will be hard for him to lure donors and convince voters that he is his own man, and not simply a more sophisticated version of his father, former U.S. representative Ron Paul, so long as he surrounds himself with so many of his father’s allies and aides. Moreover, dependence on the same people who ran his father’s campaigns and direct mail operation may account for his foreign policy stumbles and heated dustups with a growing list of conservative media figures. (A number of the latter have focused on Rand Paul’s past statements and challenged his conspiratorial views, some of which bear a striking resemblance to Ron Paul’s far right/dogged libertarianism.)
As a starting point, it is not unusual that Rand Paul, who came to politics late in life with no political experience or organization of his own, should turn to familiar faces from his father’s circle of friends and advisers. After all, his involvement in his father’s campaign would have put him in the company of close Paul family confidantes, all too familiar with the family potholes (e.g. the racist and conspiratorial newsletters that went out under Ron Paul’s name). In effect, Rand Paul finally was going into the family business. However, by keeping his father’s people in his own inner circle, he will make it harder to claim he’s not part of his father’s fringe political world.
It is not easy piecing together the Rand Paul circle(s). The Post has reported: “Paul’s leadership team is set up as part of Rand Paul Victory, a group that pools donations. It is a joint committee that overlaps the fundraising efforts of Rand PAC, Paul’s political action committee, and Rand Paul 2016, his Senate campaign, and his aides describe it as the basis for a presidential campaign.” Throw into the mix Stand With Rand PAC, for which interestingly, the treasurer is Dan Backer. He is the same person who helped run the Ron Paul super PAC Endorse Liberty and a second super PAC, Revolution PAC, which also supported Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. The Stand With Rand group ran into problems with the FEC when there were questions about its association with Rand Paul’s political groups.