Ron Paul Blasts RAWA… Again

Civil-libertarian champion and former US Senator Ron Paul has again taken to task the noxious, Sheldon Adelson-funded “Restoration of America’s Wire Act” (RAWA) bill.  In a prominent editorial appearing yesterday in the conservative-leaning US News and World Report, Paul again blasted away at the misnomered and crassly envisioned RAWA bill, describing it as a bill destined to cost the US’s Republican Party — and conservatives in general — a considerable amount of youthful, long-term support.

Ron Paul (C)

Ron Paul

In “A Bad Bet for Republicans,” Rand renewed his attack on RAWA as being a prime example of “crony capitalism,” as funded by Adelson, who is mentioned nowhere directly in the piece.  However, former Sen. Paul blasts away at two of RAWA’s pledged supporters, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), for their support of Adelson’s pet bill.

Referring to younger GOP voters and the “[embracing of] the philosophy of liberty” that Paul asserts fueled his own 2008 and 2012 Presidential bids, Paul wrote, “These younger voters expect Republicans to consistently defend individual liberty and limited government. Millennial voters also expect the GOP to oppose crony capitalism, even – and especially – when the cronies are GOP donors. Sadly, two presidential candidates, Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida, are supporting legislation that combines an unconstitutional assault on individual liberty with cronyism.”

Both Rubio and Graham are among the 17 major candidates already seeking the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination, and Graham is the lead sponsor of the Senate version of the RAWA measure.  (Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz is the sponsor of the corresponding House version.)

Of note is that Paul’s own son, Rand, one of Kentucky’s two current US Senators, has failed to distance himself from RAWA in the manner of his father.  The junior Paul, also among the 17 major GOP Presidential candidates, is likely mindful of the effects of that crony-capitalism machine — and in particular, Adelson’s hefty political donations — in choosing not to launch attacks against one of the GOP’s largest individual donors.

That hasn’t stopped the senior Paul from bashing both RAWA and the undemocratic principles behind it on several different occasions, including yesterday’s polemic at USNWR.  As Paul duly notes, some of the claims of the bill’s primary sponsors are clearly false.  Rep. Chaffetz, for instance, has claimed that RAWA is necessary to protect citizens in his home state of Utah from online gambling services offered by other states.

However, that assertion is nonsensical, and a Wayne Parry / AP photo accompanying Paul’s op/ed illustrates the point, showing an online visitor from another state being geo-blocked by one of New Jersey’s state-regulated online gambling services.  US News and World Report does not appear to have taken no formal position on RAWA, generally considered a fringe topic in mainstream US political circles.

As Paul duly noted, “Proponents of the iGaming ban claim a nationwide ban on internet gambling is necessary to protect against widespread online gambling by citizens in states where gambling is outlawed. This argument ignores the existence of technology allowing online casinos to ensure their customers are legally allowed to gamble online.”

The core argument of Paul’s missive, however, is that RAWA is an “unconstitutional infringement” designed to benefit the desires of “one billionaire casino mogul” — as close as Paul comes to naming the venal Adelson directly.

RAWA is also very bad politics, Paul enphasizes repeatedly, because it turns off the very voters the GOP needs to satisfy if the conservative party is to remain viable for future generations.  Paul wrapped his attack on RAWA by decrying the bill as the worst form of conservative “nanny state” activity.  As he noted, “A ‘conservative’ nanny state is just as unconstitutional, and as dangerous to liberty, as a liberal one.”


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