REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE - RON PAUL
Ronald Ernest Paul is a 10th-term Congressman from Lake Jackson, Texas, a member of the Republican Party, and a physician. He has represented Texas's 14th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1997. He earned the nickname "Dr. No" because he is a medical doctor who votes against any bill he believes violates the Constitution. In Congress, Paul has adhered to limited government conservative, religious, and libertarian principles, often basing his positions on constitutionalism and states' rights. He has never voted to raise taxes or congressional pay and refuses to participate in the congressional pension system or take government-paid junkets.
Paul was born in Green Tree, Pennsylvania to Howard Caspar Paul, the son of a German Lutheran immigrant, and Margaret Dumont, who owned a dairy farm outside Pittsburgh. He was the third of five sons born during seven years in the Great Depression. Paul's father was co-owner, along with siblings Lewis and Arthur, of Green Tree Dairy. Paul began working at the dairy at age five. Later he delivered newspapers, worked in a drugstore, and became a milkman when he was old enough to drive. He graduated from Dormont High School in 1953 with honors. He excelled in track and field, winning the state championship in the 220-yard dash and coming in second in the 440-yard dash. He was also on the wrestling team and president of the student council. Paul met Carol Wells when she asked him to the Sadie Hawkins dance. They went to colleges in different states but kept in touch and married in Ron's senior year at Gettysburg College.
Paul paid for his first year at Gettysburg College with money saved from newspaper-delivery, lemonade sales, and lawn-mowing. Paul delivered mail and laundry on the side while in Gettysburg, and managed the college coffee shop. He gave up track after a knee injury, but joined the college swim team after taking it up as therapy. He was offered a full scholarship to run for the track team but declined, worried he wouldn't regain his previous speed. Paul was inducted into Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, and served as steward and house manager. He received his B.A. in 1957 and was then accepted to Duke University School of Medicine, where he received his M.D. in 1961. He did his internship and a year of residency training in internal medicine at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit from 1961 to 1962, and his residency in OBGYN at the University of Pittsburgh from 1965 to 1968.
Paul's medical training was interrupted when he was drafted during the Cuban Missile Crisis into the United States Air Force. He remained in the military during the early years of the Vietnam War, serving active duty from 1963 to 1965 as a flight surgeon out of Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, traveling to South Korea, Iran, Ethiopia, and Turkey. He then served as in the Air National Guard from 1965 to 1968 while completing his medical residency in Pittsburgh. After leaving medical school, Paul worked in the ER of a church hospital in San Antonio, Texas, and later specialized in obstetrics and gynecology where he delivered more than 4,000 babies. He took over the medical practice of a retiring doctor in Lake Jackson, where he was busy as the only OBGYN in Brazoria County. As a physician, Paul did not accept Medicare or Medicaid; instead, he worked for free or offered a discount or payment plan for needy patients.
Paul decided to enter politics ion August 15, 1971, when President Richard Nixon advocated a departure from the gold standard for the U.S. dollar. He said, "After that day, all money would be political money rather than money of real value. I was astounded." Paul unsuccessfully ran as a Republican candidate for Congressman from the 22nd District of Texas in 1974 against the incumbent Democrat Robert R. Casey. When President Gerald R. Ford appointed Casey as head of the Federal Maritime Commission, a special election was held in 1976 to choose a new congressperson. Paul won that election but lost in the general election to Democrat Robert A. Gammage. He then defeated Gammage in a 1978 rematch. Paul won new terms in 1980 and 1982 and was the first Republican to represent the area in the House of Representatives.
Paul delivered babies on Mondays and Saturdays during his entire term as the 22nd District representative. Paul was the first congressman, in the 1970s, to propose term limit legislation for the House of Representatives, and he proposed legislation to decrease congressional pay at the rate of inflation. In 1980, when a majority of Republicans favored President Carter's proposal to reinstate draft registration, he told them they were inconsistent in their views and were more eager to register their children than their guns. Paul served on the House Banking Committee during this time, where he spoke against the inflation he saw as being caused by the Federal Reserve. The US Gold Commission created by Congress in 1982 was his idea, and his conclusions from the commission were published by the Cato Institute as the book The Case for Gold.
Upon losing his bid for the Senate in the 1984 GOP primary against Phil Gramm, and having chosen not to run for re-election, Paul left Congress and returned to full-time medical practice. In a farewell address on the House floor, Paul said, "Special interests have replaced the concern that the Founders had for general welfare. Vote trading is seen as good politics. The errand-boy mentality is ordinary, the defender of liberty is seen as bizarre. It's difficult for one who loves true liberty and utterly detests the power of the state to come to Washington for a period of time and not leave a true cynic." Paul ran as the Libertarian Party's nomination in the 1988 presidential election, placing third in the popular vote behind Republican George H. W. Bush and Democrat Michael Dukakis. During his time as a Libertarian candidate, Paul gained supporters nationwide who formed a support base that encouraged him to return to office and supported his campaigns financially.
In 1996, Paul returned to Congress hopeful he would be more effective since the Republicans took over both houses of Congress. His Republican primary opponent, Greg Laughlin, had support from leaders within the Republican Party, including House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Governor George W. Bush, but Paul won the primary by a large margin. He was elected for the coastal 14th Congressional District and beat out his opponent, lawyer Charles "Lefty" Morris. Ken Bryan, a Democratic consultant to some of Paul's opponents, has said, "He has one of the largest contributor bases in Congress, outside of the leadership." Most of Paul's contributions are given in small amounts by individuals. In 1998 he again won the primary and the election, opposing a Democratic rice farmer and former Matagorda County judge, Loy Sneary. In 2000, Sneary ran against Paul again, with Paul winning 60% to 40%. Paul was re-elected in 2002, unopposed and re-elected in 2004, and re-elected again in 2006.
While Paul votes against most spending bills, he has diverted funds that have been authorized by other bills into his own district. He sometimes spends three to four days a week in his district addressing constituents' concerns, often accompanied by one of his 17 grandchildren. He attends graduations, civic ceremonies, and Boy Scout honor ceremonies. In an expansive district, it is not unusual for him to log more than 300 miles per day visiting constituents or handling their concerns. He reaches out to 14th District voters on veterans' issues, such as procuring medals for war veterans who lost or never received their medals; he holds medal ceremonies for those whose medals are being presented. He has helped senior citizens of the district get free or low-cost prescription drugs through a little-known drug company program. His staff sends out birthday cards to constituents, as well as condolence cards on the deaths of family members.
Paul has been named one of the "50 Most Effective Members of Congress" by Congressional Quarterly. As one of six Republicans to vote against the Iraq War Resolution, Paul inspired the founding of a group called the National Peace Lobby Project to promote a resolution he and Oregon representative Peter DeFazio sponsored to repeal the war authorization in February 2003. Paul has said his fellow members of Congress have increased domestic spending by 33 percent since Bush came into office. After introduction of a 2005 bill that was touted as "slashing" government waste, he wrote that the bill only decreased spending by less than a fraction of one percent and that "Congress couldn't slash spending if the members' lives depended on it." Paul supports reduced government spending and reduced taxes. Paul has been named "The Taxpayer's Best Friend" by the National Taxpayers Union every year he has been in Congress. Paul also supports the U.S. converting to a free market health care system and increasing competition and thus opposes centralized universal health care.
RON PAUL QUOTES
"Those who are willing to allow the government to establish a Soviet-style internal passport system because they think it will make us safer are terribly mistaken. Subjecting every citizen to surveillance and “screening points” will actually make us less safe, not in the least because it will divert resources away from tracking and apprehending terrorists and deploy them against innocent Americans!"
"Today our national debt stands at $8.2 trillion, which represents about $26,000 for every man, woman, and child in America. It’s time for American taxpayers to understand that every dollar will have to be repaid. We should have the courage to face our grandchildren knowing that we have done all we can to end the government spending spree."
"As a medical doctor, I’ve seen first-hand how bureaucratic red tape interferes with the doctor-patient relationship and drives costs higher. The current system of third-party payers takes decision-making away from doctors, leaving patients feeling rushed and worsening the quality of care. Yet health insurance premiums and drug costs keep rising. Clearly a new approach is needed. Congress needs to craft innovative legislation that makes health care more affordable without raising taxes or increasing the deficit. It also needs to repeal bad laws that keep health care costs higher than necessary."
"I rise today to introduce the Family Education Freedom Act, a bill to empower millions of working and middle-class Americans to choose a non-public education for their children, as well as making it easier for parents to actively participate in improving public schools. The Family Education Freedom Act accomplishes it goals by allowing American parents a tax credit of up to $3,000 for the expenses incurred in sending their child to private, public, parochial, other religious school, or for home schooling their children."
"Practically speaking, our meddling in the Middle East has only intensified strife and conflict. American tax dollars have militarized the entire region. We give Israel about $3 billion each year, but we also give Egypt $2 billion. Most other Middle East countries get money too, some of which ends up in the hands of Palestinian terrorists. Both sides have far more military weapons as a result. Talk about adding fuel to the fire! Our foolish and unconstitutional foreign aid has produced more violence, not less."
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