Rand Paul to appear in St. Louis this week to raise money for state GOP
One of the hottest GOP figures in Washington – U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. – will be in St. Louis on Wednesday evening to help raise money for the Missouri Republican Party.
Paul will be joined by U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., for the $100-a-person private gathering.
The state GOP also is keeping the location under wraps, except to the people who buy tickets.
“It’s a fundraising event, not a rally,’’ explained new state GOP executive director Shane Schoeller (a former Republican legislator who narrowly lost a bid last fall for Missouri secretary of state).
Even with the secrecy, the event has attracted a lot of Republican interest and ticket-buyers, Schoeller said. Rand Paul, son of former GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul, already is on many short lists as a possible presidential contender in 2016.
Rand Paul also has won over many Republican conservatives with some of his views and actions, such as his March filibuster to register his concern about possible domestic drone strikes.
However, further questions have been raised by his most recent comments, in which he indicated that some domestic drone attacks might be acceptable. “I’ve never argued against any technology being used when you have an imminent threat, an active crime going on,” he said in an interview on Fox. “If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and $50 in cash, I don’t care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him.
“But it’s different if they want to fly over your hot tub or your yard just because they want to do surveillance on everyone, and they want to watch your activities,” Paul added.
Rand Paul had a presence in Missouri during the 2012 election, stumping on behalf of now-state GOP chairman Ed Martin, who made an unsuccessful bid last year for state attorney general. Paul's independent campaign operation also ran some radio ads opposing the re-election of U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
In an email promoting Wednesday's appearance, Martin cited Paul's "epic 13-hour filibuster" that Martin said "showed his courage and conviction to stand on principle."
"Why that moment resonated so clearly with Americans isn’t hard to figure out," Martin added. "Sen. Paul isn’t afraid to fight for the Republican values you and I hold so dear."
Wednesday's event also is intended to honor former state GOP Vice Chairman Susie Eckelkamp with the Spirit of Reagan award.