In a recent article by the Washington Post, the writer talks about Rand Paul’s deceptive use of facts.
Paul is quoted at the beginning of the article:
“Over 40 years, we now define pollutants as dirt and your back yard as a navigable stream. It wouldn’t be funny if we weren’t putting people in jail for it. Guy named Robert Lucas, down at the southern part of Mississippi, 10 years ago was 70 years old. He was put in prison for 10 years. He just got out. Ten years without parole. Ten years without early release. He was convicted of a RICO conspiracy. RICO’s something you’re supposed to be going after gangsters for. You know what his conspiracy was? Conspiracy to put dirt on his own land. We’ve gone crazy. We’ve run amok.”
The article backgrounds the story that Paul told.
“The saga dates to around 1994, when Lucas, a southern Mississippi real estate developer, began buying land for his 2,600-acre property for mobile home lots.
In 1996, state and federal inspectors began telling Lucas that he did not have proper permits and warned him against developing more of his land. Lucas was told that nearly half of his property, Big Hill Acres, was federally protected wetlands — meaning he could not develop, drain or fill the land (with dirt, cement, pipes, debris or other items) without federal approval. But he continued to build and fill the land, despite cease-and-desist orders.
He hired an engineer to design and approve sewage systems, which were installed in the soil and then covered with topsoil (i.e., “dirt”). Inspectors warned Lucas that sewage systems in wetlands need to meet state and federal standards, so that waste is properly filtered and disposed without contaminating drinking water.
But no one had applied for or received any such permit, according to the 2004 grand jury indictment.
Big Hill Acres then was advertised and sold mostly to low- or fixed-income families. Lucas represented to potential buyers that the lots were “habitable and suitable for home sites when in fact they were not,” the indictment said. Some residents later testified that they were not told that their homes were on wetlands.
The area was prone to seasonal flooding. So homes flooded during major rainfalls, while raw sewage seeped up from the ground, and flowed through the subdivision.
Federal prosecutors accused Lucas, his daughter (who sold real estate) and the engineer of 41 counts of conspiracy to defraud, environmental violations and mail fraud (over the delivery of payments for the properties by mail). Prosecutors said Lucas, his daughter and the engineer knowingly sold properties with illegal and malfunctioning septic systems, and built and filled federally protected wetlands despite numerous warnings.”
Later in the story it is reported that a jury found the man, his daughter and the engineer working with them guilty. So much for government bullying when a jury of the man’s peers found him guilty of fraud.
If Paul were elected President, there would be no expectation that he would tell the truth to the public or that his team would research issues well enough to represent this country to the best of his ability. And if this is the best of his ability, his supporters should start worrying.