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Randal "Rand" Paul (born January 7, 1963) is an American eye surgeon and political activist. He is the third oldest child of Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texasmarker. During his father's 2008 presidential campaign, Rand's outspoken, constitutional-conservative views were widely disseminated.

On August 5, 2009, Paul announced that he would run for the United States Senate seat currently held by retiring Senator Jim Bunning, as a Republican.

Early life

Paul was born in 1963, the third child of Carol Paul (née Wells) and Congressman Ron Paul. All five children (Ronnie, Lori, Randy, Robert, and Joy) were baptized into the Episcopal church. The family moved from Pittsburghmarker to San Antoniomarker in 1965, eventually settling in Surfside Beachmarker, Texasmarker in 1968.

Education

Paul attended Baylor Universitymarker, and is also a graduate of his father's alma mater, Duke University School of Medicine. Rand's father supported him during these years, in order to avoid his son's participation in the Federal student loan programs, as they were taxpayer-subsidized, which Paul strongly opposes.

Medical career

Paul currently owns a private ophthalmology practice in Bowling Greenmarker, Kentuckymarker. He first worked at the Graves-Gilbert Clinic in Kentucky, but eventually established his own clinic on December 1, 2007. He also appears at an office in Logan County, Kentuckymarker, twice monthly. In recognition of his emphasis on ethical decision-making in ophthalmology practices, he was published by the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. Paul specializes in corneal transplants, glaucoma surgery, and LASIK, and began offering sutureless DSEK corneal transplantation in 2007.

As a member of the Bowling Green Noon Lions Club, Paul founded the Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic to help provide eye surgery and exams for the poor. In one case, the club paid for Paul to give procedures to two boys who "came [from Guatemalamarker to America] blind and left seeing". He is a regular presenter at the annual Men's Health and Safety Day conference held by The Medical Center of Bowling Green since 1998. Paul's successful treatments of a playground-injury cataract (5-year-old Brandon Nelson of Bowling Green) and of keratoconus (61-year-old SaVannah Logan of Adairvillemarker) were described by the local Bowling Green Daily News.

Activism

As founder and chairman of the antitax organization Kentucky Taxpayers United (KTU) since 1994, Paul regularly presents "taxpayers' friend" awards to state legislators. KTU regards itself as nonpartisan, but ideological and conservative, and examines legislator records on taxation and spending to inform voters where their own lawmakers stand on the issues. Paul's editorial commentary on behalf of KTU has been published and recognized in the Kentucky Post.

KTU sponsors the Taxpayer's Pledge of Americans for Tax Reform, encouraging politicians to pledge publicly to vote uniformly against tax raises. Nine of fifteen Northern Kentucky legislators signed the pledge, such as Senator Dick Roeding and Representative Royce Adams in 1996. In 2000, these legislators considered a hotel room tax hike (favored by Governor Paul Patton for helping expand the Dr. Albert B. Sabin Convention Center in nearby Cincinnatimarker), even though the increase might "incur the wrath of Paul's group," as two newspapers put it.

Paul stated that Patton's argument for "revenue recovery" was merely a euphemism for taxes and said that KTU would fight reelection of any pledge-breakers; Adams requested in writing that Paul's group release him from his pledge, stating that it only applied to his first term. By the close of session in April, the tax increase had failed, although Patton had achieved most of his intended budget; Paul stated legislators were pressured to finalize the budget by deadline rather than to "face accusations of shutting down government".

Paul often speaks on his father's behalf, and he and his son William attended the third Republican presidential debate of 2007 in New Hampshiremarker, as well as campaigned door-to-door in the state for his father. At a New Hampshire rally with 250 in attendance (plus 30 members of his own family), Paul repeated a campaign meme by pretending to take a call from Rudy Giuliani during his remarks, and joking that Giuliani needed campaigners and wanted to borrow the Paul family.

On December 16, 2007, the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Partymarker, Rand spoke at Faneuil Hallmarker in favor of small government principles, calling for what CNN termed a "modern day revolution". He continued campaigning across the country for his father in 2008, traveling as far as Montanamarker.

2010 senatorial campaign

Rand Paul campaigning in Kentucky.
In the beginning of 2009, Paul was the focus of a movement to draft him to run in 2010 for the U.S. Senate seat of beleaguered Republican Kentucky senator Jim Bunning. The news of his potential candidacy became a topic of national interest and was discussed in the L.A. Times , on Fox News, and locally in the Kentucky press. Commenting on Paul's possible candidacy, Congressman Ron Paul said, "Should Senator Bunning decide not to run, I think Rand would make a great U.S. Senator."

On May 1, 2009, Rand Paul confirmed that if Bunning, whose fundraising in 2009 has matched his poor numbers in opinion polling for the 2010 election, declines to seek a third term, he would almost certainly stand in the Republican Party primary to succeed him, and on May 14, 2009, Paul announced that he would form an exploratory committee to run for the United States Senate in Kentucky, though still promising to stay out of the race if Bunning had ultimately decided to run for reelection. He made his official announcement on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, though the news was first broken by a local Kentucky news site.

In celebration of the announcement, on May 23, 2009, a group of Paul's supporters launched a grassroots mini-moneybomb for the date of June 1, 2009, citing it as the anniversary of Kentucky's admission to the Union. Over $25,000 was raised in the one-day event.

On July 28, 2009, Senator Jim Bunning announced that he would not run for reelection on the grounds that he had insufficient funds, leaving only Paul and Secretary of State Trey Grayson as the remaining viable candidates for the seat in the Republican primary, with Rand announcing on August 5, 2009 that he would officially run for the U.S. Senate as a Republican. The announcement was made through a series of national TV events, radio, and other programs, as well as through newspapers in Kentucky.

On August 20, 2009, Rand Paul's grassroots planned a moneybomb for his campaign for U.S. Senate. The official campaign took in $433,509 in 24 hours on August 20. According to Paul, this set a new record in Kentucky's political fundraising history (for a 24 hour period).

A second moneybomb was held on September 23, 2009, to counter a D.C. fundraiser being held for primary opponent Trey Grayson, by 23 Republican United States Senators, 17 of whom voted for the bailout. The theme was a UFC "fight" between Rand Paul and "We the People" vs. Trey Grayson and the "D.C. Insiders." The money bomb ended up raising $186,276 for Rand Paul in 24 hours on September 23rd; bringing Paul's Senate campaign's total raised since its start to over one million.

On December 16, 2009, Rand Paul's grassroots will hold their third major money bomb for Rand Paul, with the theme reflecting the 236th anniversary of the Boston Tea Partymarker.

Political views

Paul is a critic of the Federal Reserve, the USA PATRIOT Act, the federal government's bailout of Wall Street, and the erosion of civil liberties. Like his father, he supports significantly smaller government and balanced budgets, and opposes the Department of Education, the war in Iraq, and the federal income tax. He encourages legislators to pledge not to raise taxes, and fought the plan to raise hotel taxes in Kentucky in 2000. He is also supportive of term limits for politicians.

Paul is also involved in health care reform. In a 2007 Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, he wrote that "true reform would require an infusion of ethics, something that can't be taught or purchased".

Personal life

In Atlanta, Georgiamarker, Paul met Kelley Ashby, a Rhodes Collegemarker English major. Paul and Ashby were married in 1991, and moved to Bowling Green, Kentuckymarker, in 1993.

Kelley Paul is a freelance writer, and she manages payroll and marketing communications for Paul's surgical practice. The couple has three sons: William, Duncan, and Robert.

References

External links




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