Jan. 31, 2008
Ron Paul In Charleston West Virginia For Super Tuesday
Presidential Candidate Favoring Less Government Will Speak at GOP Convention
By Tony Rutherford
Huntington, WV (HNN) – At least one of the Republican presidential candidates will address the West Virginia GOP Convention, Tuesday, Feb. 5 in Charleston.
Ten term Texas Congressman Ron Paul will address the 1,000 or so Mountain State Republicans predicted to be in attendance, sometime between 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., according to Kevin Clauson, West Virginia coordinator of the Ron Paul campaign.
Paul will also have a hospitality suite at the Charleston Civic Center, in Parlor A, where supporters can gather from about 8 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.
The exact time for Paul’s speech has yet to be determined, but he has asked for the first position.
He leaves for Tennessee immediately afterwards.
Clauson said WV GOP convention organizers won’t know until Saturday, Feb. 1, if any other candidates will appear.
He suspects that McCain and Romney will concentrate on larger states while Mike Huckabee stumps Alabama and Arkansas. “It will surprise me if we get (another) candidate to show up,” Clauson said.
However, former state chairman David Tyson told Huntington News a couple weeks ago that he was working towards getting a commitment from Arizona Senator John McCain for an appearance.
How that went is unknown to this reporter right now, but given the fluidity and unpredictability of the primary races so far, obviously anything can happen.
Clauson, a 1974 Marshall University graduate, describes Congressman Paul as a “strict constitutionalist” and he summarized Paul’s major positions thusly:
1) Ending the war against Iraq
2) Eliminating the IRS
3) Reducing the size of the federal government
4) Restoring Economic liberty
5) Opposition to the United States operating as a “de facto international policeman”
6) Strong support for State’s Rights
7) Rigid adherence by government to the United States Constitution
Paul’s views on economic liberty favor less governmental regulation, less government bureaucracy and less interference by the government in the lives of its citizens.
A strict constitutional interpretation of federal taxation law allows only tariffs and fees, in Paul’s view, thus, the IRS should be eliminated.
Reducing taxes would mean a reduction in federal government spending but Paul supports Social Security, in the short run. Those beyond, or near retirement age depend on it to be there; Paul would support individual retirement choices for younger workers, according to his camp.
“I’m sure he’s not opposed to people getting tax money back, but the real thing to do is eliminate the IRS – income taxes, corporate taxes,” Clauson said, adding that 50-75% of tax money goes for “bureaucracy” rather than back to the people in the form of grants, entitlements or federal assistance.
With federal taxes reduced, Paul believes more private money would be given to churches and charitable organizations to support those in need.
As a congressman Paul voted against the Iraq War. He did not view that nation as a threat to the United States and argued to his fellow representatives that the war was being entered into under false pretenses and that Congress was violating the constitution by allowing the executive branch to usurp the historically unique power bestowed upon congress alone to declare war. By contrast he voted in favor of the Afghanistan conflict in the view that Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda was based or hiding there.
Pertaining to the war authorization in Iraq, “you did not have the declaration of war process that the constitution requires,” which provides debate, an up or down vote, and in Clauson’s words, “much greater unity.”
Comparing the Iraq war authorization to the Vietnam conflict, Clauson, a former professor of government at Liberty University, said, “there was no good reason to go into Iraq because there were no weapons of mass destruction. The Iraqi regime had no capability to attack the United States. There were no Al Qaeda networks there.”
Ironically, the Saddam Hussein regime explicitly prohibited extremist groups like al Qaeda from operating from Iraq, Clauson said, yet after the U.S. removed him from power, the leadership vacuum that resulted allowed the country to be infiltrated by the terrorist organization.