Rand Paul spokesman resigns over 'disturbing images' online

jbrammer@herald-leader.comDecember 18, 2009 

FRANKFORT — The Republican U.S. Senate campaign of Rand Paul confirmed Thursday night that its spokesman, Christopher Hightower, resigned after political blogs listed controversial materials related to him.

Paul's chief rival, Secretary of State Trey Grayson, immediately said Hightower's views and behavior "have no place in this campaign" and that "Paul's judgment is seriously in question at this point."

Grayson said Paul should make it clear where exactly he agrees and disagrees with Chris Hightower.

The blog, Barefoot and Progressive, reported that Hightower had posted on his MySpace page for two years a statement from someone else declaring "Happy N***** Day" near Martin Luther King Day and a photo of a lynching.

The Hill, a congressional newspaper that publishes daily when Congress is in session, picked up the blog's report.

David Adams, campaign manager for Paul, said Hightower resigned because of Internet postings.

In a statement, Adams said, "Today, the Rand Paul campaign became aware of some disturbing images on a social network site attributed to a campaign staffer.

"The images were not placed there by this employee but by someone posting on the site. These images in no way represent Dr. Paul or his campaign nor do they represent the beliefs of this staff member. These images are reprehensible and have no place in civil discourse."

Paul, in a statement, said, "I have never heard a single utterance of racism from this staffer nor do I believe him to have any racist tendencies. However, it is impossible to present the ideas and reforms we need in this country with this controversy present. Therefore I have accepted his resignation."

Recently, Hightower got into a controversy by making light of a video that portrayed Grayson as Hitler.

The Courier-Journal reported Thursday that Hightower resigned a few hours after he told one of its reporters that he had never been a member of myspace.com and that the words on the site were not his.

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