Bill Straub: Poor, poor Rand Paul, whose feelings are hurt by cold, hard facts that speak for themselves

by | Oct 15, 2021 | Golf Courses

Poor, poor pitiful me
Poor, poor pitiful me
Oh, these guys won’t leave me alone
Lord have mercy on me
Alas, alas I am

– Warren Zevon (sung by Linda Ronstadt)

Poor, poor Rand Paul. People who pick on him when he’s just trying to raise a few million dollars by him or through Cr … well, let’s just leave it on the hook so he can stay in the Senate where he swears to work continue to glue.

Last week I wrote a column stating, fairly precisely, that the Bowling Green Republican organized what is known as a leadership political action committee to raise as many dollars as possible to distribute to other like-minded Neanderthals might because, well, he’s such a great guy.

Unfortunately, people from two non-partisan surveillance organizations in the capital of our country, Issue One and the Campaign Legal Center, recently joined forces on a report that found that while our boy Rand was quite successful in winning the Greens, he wasn’t was just as excited to hand them out.

To cut a long story short, from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020, RANDPAC, its modestly named executive committee, raised $ 1,064,208.40 and distributed $ 988,450.23.

That may seem pretty reasonable until you find that most of the payouts were used for business expenses, with a relatively small $ 121,500, or 12 percent, being paid out to like-minded candidates, which was primarily the PAC’s stated purpose for leadership. A significant portion of the batter, according to the report “All Expenses Paid – Another Look at Congressional Leadership PACS ‘Outlandish Spending,” published by the aforementioned watchdog groups, found that a significant portion went to fancy hotels and resorts, delicious restaurants, and golf , lots of golf.

NKyTribune’s Washington columnist, Bill Straub, was head of the Frankfort Bureau for the Kentucky Post for eleven years. He is also a former White House / Politics correspondent for Scripps Howard News Service. A member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame, he currently resides in Silver Spring, Maryland and writes frequently on federal government and politics. Send him an email at [email protected]

“… Paul made a habit of staying in luxury hotels on his executive team tab – he spent a total of $ 14,000 on accommodations over that biennium,” the report said. “The travel destinations included several of the country’s top resorts …”

And this: “Paul’s leadership, PAC, spent $ 2,300 on spending related to golf courses and country clubs. This included paying $ 600 to a golf instructor, $ 620 in registration fees at Kelly Plantation Golf Club in Florida, and $ 680 in expenses for multiple trips to Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia. “

And there are the $ 18,000 in Uber fees. He could have gone to Tierra del Fuego and back with the amount he spent on car journeys.

There is a lot more. Read the report.

Suffice it to say that Senator Paul was injured and not pleased that the column revealed his champagne taste on someone else’s bill. In response, he posted a comment to the Northern Kentucky Tribune claiming, among other things, that my desire to write this column was to “just twist things up to the point of completely making up and lying.” Collect partisan points. “

“If you try to raise money for something, you have to spend money on it,” said Paul, using the old money cultivator brand. “Whether it’s the cost of fundraising staff, digital ads, direct mail, or, as this author happily pointed out, a few thousand dollars in direct spending on events, it’s just the nature of fundraising.”

“All of the events and costs listed in the column were for these reasons – to raise money for this committee, for other committees, or for candidates for positions that I support,” he said.

So misunderstood, poor baby.

There are quite a few other hokums in this Boloney piece, but I urge you to read it here: Rand Paul: Reply to Bill Straub’s column, explain “fundraising” – and watch your money and then explain two things to me:

• Where are the lies? He claims I lied, but I don’t see any reason. Good luck with it.

• Where is the explanation for the actual point? – His spending of a measly 12 percent of the hundreds of thousands of dollars he raised from loyal donors, which the rules say he should distribute to like-minded candidates like weed seed?

Folks, the info isn’t there. Instead, he defends this old fundraising hooey instead of explaining why it was more important to him to be stuck among lush 500-thread sheets of paper at a Hoi Polloi resort, rather than handing out the moolah to his political friends as intended.

The RANDPAC website itself states: “The mission of Rand PAC is to fight for the Constitution on vital issues and to support and vote for pro-liberty-pro constitutional candidates in Kentucky and across the country.”

This is not the first time our boy has been called to do this. In January 2019, Tom Loftus, longtime head of the Frankfurt office for the Courier-Journal of Louisville (I should mention a close personal friend and one of the greatest journalists in the long history of the Commonwealth) stated that for the period Jan. November 2018: “Paul spent much more on travel, food and drink last year than for the original purpose of such politician PACs – using that separate political stash to make contributions to other like-minded candidates.”

“Only 10 percent of the expenditure went to campaigns by other politicians. It donated just $ 9,500 to Republicans competing in high-profile races for the Kentucky General Assembly, ”Loftus wrote.
He added, “Among the many upscale restaurant spending last year was $ 9,254 at the North Beach restaurant in San Francisco; $ 3,346 at Caffe Molise in Salt Lake City; and $ 921 at The Palm Too in New York City. The travel expenses included stays at the Balboa Bay Resort, Scottsdale Plaza Resort, Royal Palms Resort and Royal Horseguards Hotel. “

All lies, obviously. Just ask Rand.

According to Federal Election Commission records dated Jan. 1, 2011, RANDPAC has raised federal revenue of $ 9,704,384.36 and paid out $ 9,615,658.84. Operating costs – including stays at luxury hotels, green fees at scenic golf courses, and tables at the best steakhouses – were $ 7,891,621.77, or 82 percent. Contributions to other federal or state candidates were $ 853,370.30, or a tiny 8.9 percent of the total payouts.

What kind of guy is not it?

Now consider this. Doug Stafford is a Virginia-based political strategist who served as a senior advisor on Paul’s grand failure in a 2016 Republican presidential campaign and previously served as Paul’s Senate Chief of Staff.

Financial records for RANDPAC from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020 show that Stafford received $ 233,000 for “political strategy advice”. During the same period, RANDPAC spent $ 121,500 on state and local candidates.

In other words, the PAC spent about $ 112,000 more getting political advice from this one guy than it did on making political contributions to people running for public office. It cannot be emphasized enough, as the All Costs Paid report notes, that leadership PACs were created to “allow politicians to raise money and distribute it to political allies and like-minded candidates such as competitive house and senate races” , don’t pay off your friends with a counseling contract.

So what’s going to stop Senator Paul, standing for re-election in 2022, from using the information he receives from Doug Stafford, paid by his PAC leadership, during his upcoming campaign? Such an arrangement would give him political advice without costing his campaign account a cent, and thus save money for further TV spots and media events.

Pretty smooth.

“… a generous interpretation of the facts suggests that Senator Rand Paul spends more on overheads and administrative expenses to raise money for his PAC leadership than a typical member of Congress,” said Michael Beckel, director of research at Issue One. “His comment suggests that he is also using his PAC leadership to pay the bill for trips that raise funds directly for other candidates and political groups, including the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). But the meager portion of the PAC leadership money that Senator Rand Paul has used to donate to other candidates and political groups raises questions about how the rest of his PAC money is being spent. “

Beckel noted that executive PACs “are often used by lawmakers to raise money from special interests, lobbyists, and wealthy donors who want access and influence in Washington, and then those funds help travel to luxury destinations like five-star – to finance resorts ”. , chic restaurants and world class golf courses. This cycle of political fundraising enables high-heeled donors to partner with politicians in settings that are out of reach for most Americans, while special interest-funded PACs take the bills. “

As an addendum, you might note that Paul, in his Tribune response, spends a lot of time reassuring everything that “there is no greater custodian of your tax money than me,” a subject that was never touched on in the column.

Had his file been quoted, I might have mentioned that the wrong federal budgets he occasionally proposed would result in us all crouching naked around a campfire, toasting potatoes on the ends of sticks. Nor did he mention that the ridiculous tax cut he supported a few years ago resulted in the national debt increasing by about $ 1.9 trillion over 10 years, and he simply worshiped his old rival, former President Donald J. Trump, who saw a surge in debt $ 7.8 trillion during his four-year tenure.

Paul concludes, “I watch your tax dollars and use your voluntary contributions to advance the causes we believe in. I will keep doing these things no matter how angry it makes the left. “

Thanks for the offer, senator. But after we review your records, we should just look elsewhere.