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May 12, 2009

Ron Paul votes against Congressional Gold Medal for Arnold Palmer

Posted at 10:23 AM by Mike Walker | Categories: Arnold Palmer

The House of Representatives last week approved legislation to award Arnold Palmer the Congressional Gold Medal by a 422 to 1 vote. The lone vote against Palmer was cast by Republican iconoclast and former presidential candidate Ron Paul.

So what gives? Is Paul a Nicklaus guy? Did Palmer not concede Paul a putt during a money match in 1974? Does Paul think golfers aren't real athletes? None of the above. As enterprising Press-Enterprise reporter Ben Goad discovered, Paul votes against all Congressional Gold Medal awards, no matter how deserving the nominee.

Here's the explanation from Paul spokeswoman Rachel Mills:

"It is certainly nothing personal against Mr. Palmer. In fact, Congressman Paul admires him greatly. Dr. Paul opposes using public monies for any and all of these gold medals given to private citizens, just on principle. Not to mention, it is unconstitutional to use taxpayer dollars in this way. He even suggested on the House Floor before he voted against Rosa Parks's medal that if it meant so much to the Members of Congress, why not fund the award out of their own pockets? He pulled $100 out of his own wallet, but had no other takers. At a time like this when all budgets are stretched so thin, it seems especially inappropriate to lavish gifts like this on private citizens, as much as he may admire the individual."

If Paul voted against Rosa Parks, Arnie never had much of a chance.

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