Buying of the President

Published — April 7, 2015 Updated — February 3, 2016 at 11:22 am ET

12 things to know about Rand Paul

Senator’s presidential campaign funding hopes largely planted in grassroots

Introduction

Update, Feb. 3, 2016: Rand Paul has decided to end his presidential bid.

It’s all but official: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will today announce he’s running for president.

On the 2016 campaign trail, Paul, an ophthalmologist and son of the libertarian-leaning former GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul, is hoping to tap into the grassroots energy that helped catapult him onto the national stage in the first place.

Cash is a key to Paul’s success in what’s certain to be a crowded Republican primary field. Here’s more about the financial history of this outsider-turned-insider who wants his next home to be the White House.

  • Since 2009, Rand Paul has raised $14 million for his campaign war chest. More than 40 percent of that amount has come from small-dollar donors.SHARE THIS:
  • Flashback: Rand Paul conjured a Capitol building with robotic arms to represent government overreach in a 2010 campaign ad.SHARE THIS:
  • What does Rand Paul think of campaign finance reform? In 2009, he called the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act “a blatant violation of the First Amendment.”SHARE THIS:
  • Among Rand Paul’s allies? Top GOP fundraiser Cathy Bailey, who served as U.S. ambassador to Latvia under George W. Bush.SHARE THIS:
  • Among those who backed Rand Paul’s 2010 Senate bid: Ron Paul and Sarah Palin. Among those who didn’t: Most incumbent senators.SHARE THIS:
  • In 2013 and 2014, Rand Paul’s leadership PAC doled out $70,000 to politicians in Iowa and New Hampshire.SHARE THIS:
  • Rand Paul once called lobbyists a “distinctly criminal class” whose “sole goal was to rip you off.”SHARE THIS:
  • Among the companies whose lobbyists have donated to Rand Paul since he was elected: Amgen, Google and Koch Industries.SHARE THIS:
  • In 2009, Rand Paul proposed that government contractors be barred from lobbying and making campaign contributions.SHARE THIS:
  • How much is Rand Paul worth? Between $683,000 and $1.97 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.SHARE THIS:
  • Rand Paul has paid Jesse Benton, his niece’s husband, more than $170,000 for political consulting, according to watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.SHARE THIS:
  • During his 2010 U.S. Senate campaign, Rand Paul pledged to reject money from senators who voted for the TARP bank bailout.SHARE THIS:

Sources: Center for Public Integrity reporting, as well as The American Conservative, Center for Responsive Politics, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Federal Election Commission, NNDB.com, Pageonekentucky.com and YouTube.

Sources: Center for Public Integrity reporting, as well as The American Conservative, Center for Responsive Politics, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Federal Election Commission, NNDB.com, Pageonekentucky.com and YouTube.

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