“Run, Rand, Run!”

Jack Conway

Jack Conway, Kentucky's Democratic candidate for Senate.

Rand Paul has a new campaign strategy: head for the hills when you spy union folks with video cameras.

Kentucky’s Tea Party-tilting Republican U.S. Senate candidate recently stopped in Louisville and Pineville for “meet and greet” sessions with voters. In Louisville, he pulled a speak and scram. In Pineville, Paul just skedaddled.

Bill Londrigan, Kentucky State AFL-CIO president, and Jeff Wiggins, Labor 2010 Zone One coordinator, witnessed Paul’s flight from the Falls City crowd.

Said Londrigan:

“Over three dozen union members from across Kentucky came to Louisville to ask Dr. Paul about his policies. But as soon as he finished his remarks, he got in his vehicle and took off.”

Said Wiggins:

“It was fun watching Rand run. I thought Forrest Gump was fast. I felt like yelling, ‘Run, Rand, run! ‘”

At Pineville, Paul quickly turned tail when he spotted the union members. Some of them followed Paul to his getaway car. Mason Caudel, longtime president of UMWA Local 1569 in Middlesboro, asked the candidate if he’d take a question. “Hell no!” Paul replied, according to Caudel.

It’s no secret that Paul’s not in our corner. So maybe the doc decamped because he didn’t want to hear queries about a host of anti-worker comments he’s made. Some of the choicest ones are printed on Labor 2010 fliers:

Here’s Paul on unemployment:

  • “Ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that’s less than we had at our previous job….Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen.”

On deadly coal mine mishaps:

  • “Sometimes accidents happen…”

On Retirees:

  • “Social Security’s a bad investment” and “We moved [the retirement age] to 67 gradually. Probably that’s what you need to do again to 70.”

Presumably Paul, an ophthalmologist, thinks taking a powder instead of taking questions is the right prescription for victory. Wiggins, a Steelworker, says it’s bad medicine.

Polls suggest Wiggins is right. Democrat Jack Conway, Paul’s union-endorsed opponent, is surging in some surveys.

Added Londrigan: “Rand Paul has totally isolated himself from both the press and the voters of Kentucky. I guess that’s what he meant when he called himself a different kind of candidate. Paul is in his element when he stands in front of a friendly crowd and spouts his empty rhetoric and makes his baseless generalizations.”

That’s the same M.O. for all of the Tea Party Republican bloviators.

Meanwhile, Paul may be in for more close encounters of the worst kind with video camera-armed union members. The state AFL-CIO has started the “Bloodhound Brigade,” a group of volunteers whose mission “is to track Paul as he goes from event to event,” Londrigan said.

You can sign up here.

Berry Craig

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