Thursday, August 6, 2015

More Trouble for Rand Paul as Super PAC Head Gets Indicted by Feds

The woes for Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul continue to mount as the head of a super PAC raising money for the Kentucky Senator has just been indicted by a federal grand jury. There has perhaps been no bigger disappointment than Paul in these early stages of the 2016 race for the White House and there have been reports of discord within his organization as well as a death spiral in the polls. It wasn’t long ago that Paul was seen as being the face of a new Republican party who had the crossover appeal to lure young and minority voters to the GOP to build a dominant coalition that could prevail for decades.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the future when Mr. Paul betrayed his earlier convictions to become just another cynical waffling flip-flopper who in trying to appease those who would never support him anyway alienated those who found him to be different. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Senator Paul’s latest troubles are chronicled by Politico in the story “Head of pro-Rand Paul Super PAC Indicted in Payment Scheme”:

Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential campaign and its allies struck a defiant tone Wednesday, calling the Justice Department’s indictment of a longtime Paul confidant “suspiciously timed” for the eve of a presidential debate, while declining to address the substance of the charges.

“Senator Rand Paul is disappointed that the Obama justice department chose to release this just prior to the highly anticipated first Republican presidential debate,” said a campaign spokesman, who asked not to be identified. “It certainly appears suspiciously timed and possibly, politically motivated. Additionally, these actions are from 2012 and have nothing to do with our campaign.”

The confidant, Jesse Benton, was indicted Wednesday on charges that he bribed an Iowa state senator in 2011 to shift allegiances to Paul’s father, Ron, then a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. Benton has recently been helming a super PAC supporting the younger Paul’s 2016 presidential bid.

Benton’s lawyers went further than Paul’s campaign, calling the charges “character assassination for political gain.”

“Jesse Benton, a prominent conservative Republican, has cooperated with the government during its multi-year investigation. That this indictment is now suddenly announced on the eve of the first Republican Presidential debate strongly supports our belief that this is a politically motivated prosecution designed to serve a political agenda, not to achieve justice,” his attorney, Meena Sinfelt, said in a statement. “Mr. Benton is eager to get before an impartial judge and jury who will quickly recognize this for what he believes it is: Character assassination for political gain.”

A call to Benton’s cellphone revealed that his voicemail box was full. He did not respond to an email request for comment.

And perhaps it is politically motivated, the Obama occupying government has certainly used it’s power to go after political foes in the past, most notably by unleashing the IRS against conservative tea party groups and the police state goons against the Occupy movement . But this has the appearance of more sloppy work by the Paul organization and yet another serious error that could end his run before it really starts.

Blaming the feds for the indictment of Jesse Benton smacks of the same type of distasteful whining that Paul displayed when he carped about all of the media coverage that was being given to Donald Trump and thereby depriving him of the attention that he feels he is deserving of. I always liked Ron Paul, whether you agreed with the old man or not you had to at least admire that he stood on principle and had a set of stones to go along with it. Too bad that the junior Paul hasn’t embraced his father’s legacy rather than run away from it, the apple has fallen very far from the tree in this case.