Rand Paul aide known as 'Southern Avenger' steps down
July 22nd, 2013
11:52 AM ET
9 months ago

Rand Paul aide known as 'Southern Avenger' steps down

(CNN) - An aide to Sen. Rand Paul who had taken heat recently for his past as a pro-Southern secessionist has resigned his position as the senator's new media director.

Moira Bagley, Paul's spokesperson, confirmed Monday that Jack Hunter had submitted his resignation and the senator has accepted it.

Hunter, who once used the persona "Southern Avenger" while hosting a radio show, will resume his career as a political pundit, according to the Daily Caller.

"I've long been a conservative, and years ago, a much more politically incorrect (and campy) one," Hunter said in an email to the conservative news outlet. "But there's a significant difference between being politically incorrect and racist. I've also become far more libertarian over the years, a philosophy that encourages a more tolerant worldview, through the lens of which I now look back on some of my older comments with embarrassment."

Hunter had made a number of provocative comments about race and was also a member of the pro-Southern independence group League of the South before he started working for Paul.

Hunter had previously written articles praising John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Abraham Lincoln, and acknowledged that he toasts Booth's birthday annually.

The character "Southern Avenger," which Hunter described on his website as an "anonymous super hero/ pro-wrestler persona," wears a mask printed with the Confederate flag. The website is temporarily offline.

Paul, who is considering a bid for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, has spent much of his trips to early voting states this year encouraging a more welcoming attitude among Republicans. The Kentucky Republican told a crowd of New Hampshire GOP activists the party needs to "grow bigger."

"If you want to be the party of white people, we're winning all the white votes. We're a diverse nation. We're going to win when we look like America," he said in May.

– CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: Rand Paul
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    If you ever get a chance to see the movie "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance", starring Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Lee Marvin and many others, check it out. Liberty Valance was a hired gun, hired by a group that talks just like the Libertarian wing of the Tea Party. They talk the same talk as Rand Paul. The movie is a near unaninmous four stars.

    July 22, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  2. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    I guess unfunded pensions must be the right wing talking point of the week. Seems to be a popular topic.

    Big cities are not unique to the problem of unfunded pensions. There are smaller cities and towns, companies big and bigger, and even some states with unfunded pensions. But pensions everywhere took a major hit when Wall Street collapsed. The pensions lost money, but the pension providers still had to make payments.

    I call that poor management by the trustees of the pension funds. Pension money should have never been invested in high risk investments like the stock market. The high cost of pensions story has been repeated hundreds of times around NYC. True, some pensions were underfunded. Matching deposits were promised, but never made. Again, that is poor pension management, not the fault of the workers.
    --------
    No one is blaming the workers. I feel sorry for them, actually.

    But you continue to, and continue to fail, to place blame somewhere – ANYWHERE – other than where the blame lies. And that is shady backroom deals between corrupt politicians and fat cat union bosses, neither of which are around to pay the consequences. And MATCHING deposits? You've got to be kidding... these are employer-funded defined benefit pensions – unlike 401(k), the employees contributed nothing to them. Funny, Rudy... some pretty influential and knowledgeable officials are all saying the same thing, and YOU'RE the only one blaming pension fund managers / teustees. Now why is that?

    July 22, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "No one is blaming the workers"

    Yes you are. Whenever you blather your acculturated hatred for the unions and make all sorts of ridiculous assumptions that the unions are at fault for unfunded pensions that were "too big" etc., you are blaming the workers. There's no way around that. Union workers frequently give up larger paychecks and raises in order to negotiate for better benefits. That's how it's worked for decades. But the ingrained conservative resentment towards government and government workers, coupled with their mindless hatred for unions, dictates that it simply MUST be the fault of the unions and the workers who paid them for creating "out of control pension liability." Anyhoo, yes, yes conservatives are blaming the workers.

    July 22, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  4. Sophie Meyer

    It doesn't matter if that neanderthal steps down or stays on. The Paul's view on race has a well documented history. This is not a one-off type of thing with the Pauls. Look at Daddy's newsletter – it's chocked full of racist crap – and the apple obviously hasn't fallen far from the tree.

    July 22, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "the employees contributed nothing to them"

    There you go again, blaming the workers. They contributed their work. They contributed lower salaries and less raises in order to obtain better benefits. Just because the employees don't put a certain percentage of their own money into the pension, like with a 401(k), doesn't make the pension benefit any less of a form of compensation for their labor. But, then again, you conservatives operate with the rigid dogmatic belief that their labor is inherently valueless because they are public employees and you were raised to believe government is broken, doesn't work and should be done away with. It all creates a nice little ideological feedback loop that drives conservative tantrums that essentially amount to "how dare these peons fight for a better living and retirements and the ability to obtain health care!!!???? This is an outrage!!!!"

    July 22, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  6. Jake from Canada

    Secession is a silly idea. First of all, it was tried before and it didn't work out too well. The South, prior to secession, was doing fairly well and had a good and productive economy. Sadly, it was largely based on slave labour. However, the threat, not the fact, of a Northerner abolishing slavery led to the States seceding. The war was extremely difficult for the Southern people, they could not feed themselves and the economy wasn't varied enough to weather the economic effects of the war. This lead to almost 70 years in which the south was dramatically economically disadvantaged compared to the North. Things really haven't changed that much. In many ways, the situation hasn't really changed that much. Also, a big reason that the Southern war effort failed was because the system of the Government that they set up had given inordinate amount of power to the States and the Confederate Government had difficulty administering their territory throughout wartime. The same idea is throughout the secessionist ideal now, where the Federal Government is perceived to have too much power. Since conditions are relatively unchanged, ideals and economy, does anyone seriously believe that Secession is a good idea? I think that anyone who seriously considers it needs to refresh their history a little and take a look at the current economic situation in the northeast versus the Southern economy. Besides, MOST of the Southern people I'm sure, don't want to destroy a Country that they profess to love more than their Liberal friends. And, honestly, I think that most southern people are good people and don't believe that Liberals are stupid and that they want to destroy the Country. I'm sure that most of them just have an honest disagreement with the principals that Liberals extol. I think that most of them are worried like the rest of the Country about where their next paycheck is coming from and where there kids are going to school. They worry about the future of the Country and the direction that it's headed. And I think those are legitimate worries for most people. But, people like Hunter are an embarrassment to the South and the good people there. And I'm glad that Rand accepted his resignation, even though in many ways I think that he agrees with what Hunter has said. I just want to say as well, that we should really have an honest discussion about disagreements without resorting to jingoistic comments about who loves America more and who wants to destroy the Country. It's time to start solving problems and not blame each other for what is going wrong. It's time to see what we can do to fix things. Right?

    July 22, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. Homer

    Just hiring Hunter in the first place shows his Paul's values.

    July 22, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    No one is blaming the workers. I feel sorry for them, actually.

    But you continue to, and continue to fail, to place blame somewhere – ANYWHERE – other than where the blame lies. And that is shady backroom deals between corrupt politicians and fat cat union bosses, neither of which are around to pay the consequences. And MATCHING deposits? You've got to be kidding... these are employer-funded defined benefit pensions – unlike 401(k), the employees contributed nothing to them. Funny, Rudy... some pretty influential and knowledgeable officials are all saying the same thing, and YOU'RE the only one blaming pension fund managers / teustees. Now why is that?
    -----------------------
    I'm blaming everyone, Fair. Unions have people who failed the pensions. Politicians have people who failed the pensions. Even the hands on pension managers failed to raise red flags. There are some pensions where the employees do make contributios. You talk like every pension out there is a give away, where employees make no conributions and that is simply untrue.

    You talk about 401k's, which are a recent developement as far as pensions go. These old pensions worked nearly like Social Security. Problems arise when companies, or cities, or states do not fulfill their promised obligations. Other pension problems arise when vulture capitalists come into the picture. The problems have one root cause. Greed.

    July 22, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. Fair is Fair

    @ Sniffit -

    First, stop putting words into my mouth, OK? If the workers are to be "blamed" for anything, it's for allowing themselves to be led by the nose like sheep by the unions who made promises to them and now can't deliver. So what good is having a union "bargain" for better benefits if they can't deliver? You're irrational loyalty to anything union and anything government proves you're either (a) some hack yourself or (b) unable to do anything for yourself and need a major league mommy figure in your life. Pretty sad for a grown man if you ask me.

    July 22, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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