Sen. Rand Paul Staffer Comes Under Fire For Secessionist Associations

Jul 11, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following reports that one of Senator Rand Paul’s staffers once belonged to a group that advocates for Southern secession, Kentucky Democratic party Chairman Dan Logsdon is urging the state’s senior senator to condemn the hire.

The Washington Free Beacon reported Tuesday that Jack Hunter, Paul’s director of new media, once hosted a talk-radio show under the name the “Southern Avenger” and wore a Confederate flag mask at public appearances. The conservative online publication also says Hunter, who is a former member of the Southern secessionist group the League of the South, once compared President Abraham Lincoln to Saddam Hussein.

That news has drawn fire from Kentucky Democratic Party chair Dan Logsdon, who has called on Sen. Mitch McConnell to denounce the "inflammatory and hateful influences within his ranks."

Senator Paul, who is mulling a run for the White House in 2016, did not issue a response to Logsdon’s criticisms on Wednesday. In a statement, McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton said "Rand Paul has done more to reach out to African-American and Hispanic communities in the past six months than Logsdon has done his entire career.”

Hunter says his past comments do not accurately reflect him and that he does not condone racism. Hunter also helped Paul pen his 2011 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington.