Is Rand Paul trying to bribe the Kentucky GOP?


Rand Paul, who is not only running for President but is also up for reelection in Kentucky in 2016, has a problem. He cannot run for both posts in the Kentucky primary. His solution? Get the Kentucky GOP to change the rules so that Kentucky will have a caucus, not a primary, so he can run for both simultaneously. Changing the election laws to suit him may be unseemly, but that is politics.

Where it may cross the line, however, is where money changes hands.

Rand Paul’s presidential campaign limped into August under the weight of poor fundraising and sapped staff morale.

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Then the indictments last week of two longtime Paul advisers sent shock waves through the Kentucky Republican’s orbit. And, last Thursday, Paul was widely seen as falling short in the first GOP presidential debate before a huge television audience.

Now the bad news: Paul’s woeful month could get even worse.

Paul has been furiously lobbying Kentucky Republican leaders ahead of an Aug. 22 decision to rewrite party rules so he can run for president and reelection to his Senate seat simultaneously, a hedge to hold onto power should his Oval Office aspirations falter.

Though that approval once seemed assured, several members of the party executive committee told POLITICO they’re seeing increasing trepidation, in part because of Paul’s perceived fade from contention but also because he hasn’t yet fulfilled promises to cover the cost of any changes.

“I think it’s fair to say that among members of this committee that they’re always aware of the financial impact of anything new on the organization that they serve,” said state GOP chairman Steve Robertson. “I think it’s pretty fair to say that members of the committee think this thing could be anywhere from $400,000 to $600,000. That’s obviously something that weighs appropriately on the minds of the folks on the committee.”

Without the money, another executive committee member said, Paul’s plan should be “DOA.”

So Paul is not only pushing these electoral changes, but he will be paying for them as well? One has to wonder if all these hundreds of thousands of dollars will be used to "pay for the caucuses" or if some of it will be siphoned off by party leaders.

It is unheard of for a politician to pay his party to rewrite election rules to favor him. Once money changes hands, it becomes a payment for services rendered. That looks an awful lot like a bribe, especially since it isn't clear really how much caucuses actually cost.

If a politician pays a party hundreds of thousands of dollars to change the election rules, doesn't that at least raise the hint of suspicion of impropriety in your mind? I wouldn't put it past someone who is Mitch McConnell's good friend in the Senate and who has been accused of covering up Obamacare fraud in Congress.



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