Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul will deliver the keynote address at the Republican Party of Orange County‘s annual Flag Day dinner in Irvine Friday on his second visit to Orange County since declaring his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination on April 7.
Paul’s appearance comes one day after he addressed the College Republicans National Convention in Washington, D.C.., where he said that “We need to be a more diverse party” and “We were the party of emancipation. We were the party of civil rights. We need to be a party that believes in the entire Bill of Rights.”
Paul has introduced several bills to make changes to the criminal justice system, which he has said “is in desperate need of reform” because so many black Americans are being imprisoned for non-violent drug crimes.
Paul’s bills would create a judicial process for adults to seal non- violent criminal records on the federal level; allow judges to depart from mandatory minimum sentencing laws “if they find it is in the best interests of justice to do so”; and restoring the voting rights of every nonviolent felon in the nation.
“As president, I will continue to work across the aisle to reform our criminal justice system in the hopes of tearing down the wall between the two Americas and giving everyone a shot at the American dream,” Paul said, referring to a 1967 speech made by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. when he spoke of “two starkly different American experiences that exist side by side.”
The 52-year-old Paul was elected to the Senate in 2010, the first office he sought. He had previously combined a career as an ophthalmologist with political activism, working on behalf of his father Ron’s campaigns for the House, Senate and presidency and founding Kentucky Taxpayers United, which examined Kentucky legislators’ records on taxation and spending and encouraging votes against tax increases.
—City News Service
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