Rand Paul: A Primer

May 21, 2010 9:51 a.m.

So we all know that Rand Paul, at least until recently, had some serious concerns about the part of the Civil Rights Act that banned racial discrimination by private businesses. But people may not know much else about the GOP’s new Senate nominee from Kentucky.

Here’s a quick primer:• Paul, 47, is the third child of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX).

• He was not named for the libertarian writer Ayn Rand, but has said he admires work. (He’s also said to be a fan of Dostoyevsky). He was born “Randal Paul,” in Pennsylvania. His father was a US Air Force flight surgeon at the time.

• He attended Baylor University and graduated from Duke University Medical School.

• He moved to Kentucky around 20 years ago after marrying a woman from the state, and now lives in Bowling Green, where he works as an opthalmologist (that means eye doctor). He specializes in corneal transplants, glaucoma surgery, and LASIK. He also reportedly founded a clinic to help provide eye surgery for low-income people.

• He and his wife Kelley married in 1991 and have three sons: William, Duncan, and Robert.

• Paul’s chief involvement in politics has come from his founding in 1994 of the anti-tax organization Kentucky Taxpayers United. The group has worked to get legislators to pledge not to raise taxes, and has published scorecards rating legislators’ records on tax issues.

• Paul describes himself as a “constitutional conservative.” He has spoken about abolishing the Department of Education, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and perhaps the Department of Agriculture, and has expressed serious concerns about the Americans with Disabilities Act. He has said: “The federal government shouldn’t be making an energy plan. The market should.” He has called for the ending U.S. membership in the U.N. He’s also against the Drug War and the Patriot Act.

• Paul was a frequent spokesman for his father during the elder Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign, and has received significant support form the Tea Party movement. He also has often been a guest on Glenn Beck’s radio and TV shows.

Sample dialogue:

BECK: Right. I have to tell you, you may be one of the only politicians that I shut off the microphone and went I think I agree with him, and I strangely trust him. So, either my gut’s gone all crazy or maybe you’re the real deal. It’s good to talk to you.
PAUL: It’s funny.
BECK: What?
PAUL: It’s funny, on the way home, I was reading a little book called “Common Sense” on the plane, and I thought it sounded like something I might have written.
BECK: Oh, stop it, Rand!

• He’s currently leading Democratic Senate nominee Jack Conway by a wide margin.

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