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I am Vic Rawl, and I'm running against Jim DeMint for the US Senate in South Carolina.

I had planned on writing a different diary today, to introduce myself to the Kos community - a diary that talked about why I'm running, why the race is important, and how we're going to win.

Then Rand Paul went on Rachel Maddow, and I had to respond. I promise you all a real introductory diary in a day or two.

Ten minutes ago, I issued the following statement:

"The comments of Senate hopeful and DeMint protégé Rand Paul on national television are reprehensible. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibiting private businesses from discriminating against people because of their color is enshrined in law and practice, and its passage was one of the brightest moments in American history.

"Dr. Paul said that the question of whether the Constitution prohibits race discrimination is ‘an abstract, obscure discussion from the 1960s.’ But to millions of South Carolinians, it is far from that. While Paul said he abhors racism, doing so without full-throated support of the laws that brought equality is itself an abstraction.

"My opponent, Jim DeMint has been a prominent and vocal supporter of Rand Paul. I directly call on Sen. DeMint to categorically reject Rand Paul’s vision of a return to widespread discrimination. Withdrawing his endorsement of Dr. Paul would be the appropriate way to do so."

I think it's high time to make Jim DeMint accountable in his role as the spiritual Godfather of the fringe of the Tea Party movement, of which Dr. Paul is a member.

Listen, I think I understand a little bit why Tea Party folks are angry. There's plenty to be mad about. But one of the things we hope to do in our campaign is to show angry people who they should really be mad at: demagogues like Jim DeMint who block every attempt to make things better in our country.

As I said above, I promise you all a fuller discussion of our campaign in the next few days. In the meantime, if you'd like to learn more, you can visit our website at

Thank you all, and I look forward to your comments.

UPDATE: DeMint just said at a press conference that he needs to "talk to Rand about his positions." I think he needs to do much more than that.

UPDATE II: Per the suggestion of ArthurPoet in the comments, here's a link to our ActBlue page:  And I hope you'll also visit our website and learn more about the campaign!

Originally posted to Vic Rawl for US Senate on Thu May 20, 2010 at 10:06 AM PDT.

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