Over lunch at the Justice Department, Attorney General Eric Holder and Sen. Rand Paul discussed changes in criminal sentencing and restoring voting rights to ex-felons, a pair of issues the Democratic attorney general and the Republican senator regard as vital to improving the criminal justice system.
In a statement following Wednesday's meeting, the Justice Department said Holder appreciates Paul's leadership on both issues and is pleased to have the opportunity to work with him on shared priorities.
Holder and Paul agree on the need to stem prison overcrowding, which they say diverts money away from crime fighting, and to stop charging many nonviolent, low-level drug defendants with offenses that carry long mandatory minimum sentences.
An aide to Sen. Rand Paul has joined Republican Matt Bevin's Senate campaign, saying the Louisville businessman is "the best man" in the race and offers needed change in his bid to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Bernie Kunkel will be the Bevin campaign's field director in the 4th Congressional District, which includes the urban counties just south of Cincinnati and has become a hotbed of Tea Party activity.
Kunkel had been Paul's field representative in the sprawling 4th District in Northern Kentucky.
Kunkel, a veteran GOP activist in the region, has helped a slew of Republican candidates at the city, state and federal levels, and has been active in promoting anti-abortion and school choice causes.
Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator said President Obama isn’t going far enough with changing the country’s data collection policy.
Bowling Green Republican Rand Paul told WKU Public Radio he believes the privacy of American citizens will continue to be violated despite changes announced Friday during a speech by the President.
“Well, to me it kinda sounded like, you know, if you like your privacy, you can keep it, except for the fact that he’s going to still continue to collect your phone records, your emails, your texts, and probably your credit card records. So, while on the surface it sounded like he is concerned with our privacy, I didn’t really hear any policy changes that he’s going to quit collecting all of our records,” said Sen. Paul.
In his much-anticipated address Friday, President Obama said he will require intelligence agencies to receive permission from a secret court before tapping into vast amounts of phone data, and will eventually move that information out of the hands of the government.
Six of Kentucky’s eight members of Congress are millionaires, and an analysis of financial disclosure reports filed last year also shows a Kentucky U.S. Senator and Congressman rank in the top 50 of most wealthy lawmakers.
Kentucky is far from alone when it comes to states with wealthy members of Congress. In fact, more than half of the U.S. Congressmen and Senators made the latest list of millionaires, the first time that has ever happened.
The analysis by the nonprofit Center of Responsive Politics shows that Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. John Yarmuth are the wealthiest lawmakers in Kentucky. Records show McConnell has a net worth of $22.8 million; Yarmuth has $21.2 million.
Nationwide, McConnell ranks as the 37th wealthiest member of Congress, with Yarmuth 41st.
Congressmen Brett Guthrie, Ed Whitfield, Hal Rogers, and Thomas Massie also made the list of millionaires. That leaves Senator Rand Paul and Congressman Andy Barr as the only members of Kentucky’s delegation not on the list.
A conservative group is planning to blanket Kentucky in coming weeks with TV ads defending Republican Senator Mitch McConnell. The ad buy will also link McConnell with his fellow Kentucky Republican, Rand Paul.
The website Politico says it’s learned that the nonprofit group Kentucky Opportunity Coalition will spend nearly $400,000 over the next week on the ads. According to a script shared with Politico, the ad will tell viewers that Senators McConnell and Paul are “working together to stop Obamacare.”
The Kentucky Opportunity Coalition is a 501 (c) (4) group aligned with the SuperPAC Kentuckians for Strong Leadership. That group has already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on commercials attacking Kentucky Senate Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Democratic groups have also jumped into the fray, with Senate Majority PAC and the group Patriot Money labeling McConnell as an obstructionist who should be retired from office after nearly three decades in the U.S. Senate.
However, following a speech last Friday in Detroit, the freshman Senator said his wife, Kelly, is opposed to him running for president. Paul said his thoughts about being in the spotlight shift from week to week, adding “Sometimes you have a good week. The next week they pound you to death. You know, the haters and the hacks go after you.”
Paul recently faced criticism for using material in some of his speeches and newspaper editorials that were lifted—without attribution—from other sources. Paul said much of the negative attention was coming from, what he called, “haters”.
An auction that sold off items from a failed fuel and pesticide testing lab run by the Agriculture Department has netted the state $1.65 million dollars. Agriculture Commissioner James Comer presented a check in that amount to Treasurer Todd Hollenbach on Friday. The money will go into the state’s general fund.
“Taxpayer dollars are a sacred trust, and my administration is dedicated to spending them wisely and giving back where appropriate,” said Comer.
Senator Rand Paul is facing charges of plagiarizing material used in an op-ed article. The Kentucky Republican has also had to explain in recent weeks how Wikipedia entries were used in his speeches without attribution.
Multiple lines in Senator Paul’s op-ed appear to be lifted verbatim from the essay written by Dan Stewart and published shortly before the Senator’s op-ed came out.
Aides to Senator Paul have declined to answer questions about the incident.
However, aides told the website Politico that they would be “more cautious in presenting and attributing sources” after it was discovered that Paul used word-for-word Wikipedia entries during a speech last week.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul warned a crowd at a religious college that scientific advances—coupled with abortion—could be used to eliminate those who are deemed to be undesirable.
Sen. Paul made the comments at Liberty University in Virginia, while campaigning on behalf of Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli. Paul, a Bowling Green Republican, said that those who are considered less intelligent or even overweight could be eliminated through abortion.
Paul was addressing an audience during the weekly convocation services at Liberty, the school founded by the late evangelical leader Jerry Falwell. Paul told his audience “in your lifetime, much of your potential—or lack thereof—can be known simply by swabbing the inside of your cheek. Are we prepared to select out the imperfect among us?”
Paul has become an active campaigner on behalf of other conservative Republican candidates across the nation, including Cuccinelli, who is taking on Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia Governor’s race that will be decided Nov. 5.
With a deal to end the debt ceiling debate and ongoing government shutdown apparently in place, a well-respected political column lists both of Kentucky’s Republican Senators as “winners” following the extended drama.
The Washington Post’s political column, “The Fix”, says both Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul come out of the battle stronger than when it began. Post reporter Chris Cillizza says Paul benefited from appearing moderate compared to another Tea Party-backed Republican Senator, Ted Cruz. Both Cruz and Paul are believed to be strongly considering 2016 presidential runs, and both would try to capture much of the same electorate.
Cillizza says that by not leading the charge against the GOP establishment, Paul could come across as a kind of hybrid Tea Party candidate with at least some establishment backing.
Senator McConnell is once again being seen as one of the preeminent dealmakers in Washington, playing a central role at the end to come up with a deal after staying in the background during much of the debate.