Meet Rand Paul’s New Campaign Manager

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Kentucky’s GOP senate candidate Rand Paul has reshuffled his campaign team in the wake of last week’s Civil Rights Act imbroglio. Former campaign manager David Adams has been replaced in that role by Jesse Benton, who also served as spokesman in 2008 for Paul’s father, then GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul. I had occasion to interact with Benton that year for a feature I wrote on Paul’s campaign and followers. Though “interact” is probably too expansive a term. Benton steadfastly refused to comment (with one small exception) or make Paul available, even though my feature was far from hostile to Paul. His reasoning was that somebody in the campaign had dealt with Mother Jones in the past and had decided we weren’t to be trusted.

Benton’s approach struck me as odd, given that Paul portrayed himself as a different kind of politician, someone who wasn’t stage managed or afraid of telling voters what he really believed. And Benton’s policy wasn’t reserved for Mother Jones. When I wrote a profile of Paul for Duke Magazine, the alumni magazine of Paul’s alma mater, Benton also denied me access.

Benton’s restrictive approach makes sense, of course, in the context of Rand Paul’s missteps on the Rachael Maddow show last week. My bet is that Rand Paul will now do his best to steer clear of reporters who are likely to pose uncomfortable questions.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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