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Dyche: Getting to know you, Rand Paul

February 2, 2010

Republican Rand Paul continues to build support and a following in his campaign to become Kentucky’s next U.S. senator.

Rand Paul, GOP candidate for U.S. Senate (photo from Paul campaign)

Fundraising numbers released yesterday show the Bowling Green ophthamologist with a stronger showing in the last quarter than his chief competitor in the GOP primary, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson. Paul has been able to tap into national support, with several appearances on Fox News, and an endorsement Monday from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

But as Louisville attorney John David Dyche notes in his column today in the Courier-Journal, the public has a lot yet to learn about Paul, who walks the line between the GOP and libertarianism and has garnered a lot of support from Tea Party protesters.

Dyche lays out a list of questions that include some good ones – here’s a sample from his column

• Your father — who is campaigning for you as you did for him — co-sponsored a bill with Massachusetts liberal Democrat Barney Frank to eliminate most federal penalties for marijuana possession for personal use. Do you support such legislation?

• You advocate “term limits as a means of reining in career politicians and pork barrel spending.” Should five-term Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell be forbidden from a sixth?

• McConnell has used earmarks to bring Kentucky millions of federal dollars. Some — like $38 million for Louisville’s 21st Century Parks — seem outside enumerated congressional powers. Is this “pork barrel spending?” What specific McConnell earmarks would you have opposed?

• Would you have opposed the Medicare prescription drug benefit for budgetary or constitutional reasons? The federal tobacco buy-out?

The primary comes less than four months from now, which leaves the 11 candidates in the U.S. Senate race this year little time to fully explain what they’re for and who they are. Much of the conversation so far has been about who their opponents are or are not.

Hopefully between now and when voters head to the polls in May, these candidates will make their way through Owensboro often to let folks here know what they’re made of.

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