Rand Paul Lies Again, This Time About A Man Being Imprisoned For Dirt – Yes, Dirt

Rand Paul
The 2016 presidential election season is still young, but one clear winner seems to be emerging. The (so far) winner for biggest fabricator goes to Rand Paul, who has may have been caught in almost a lie a week. This time, his lie is a favorite anecdote of a man who was imprisoned for putting dirt on his land.

According to Paul, 70-year-old Robert Lucas of Mississippi was charged under RICO (racketeering and organized crime) laws and sentenced to 10 years in prison just for putting dirt on his land.

To anyone with an IQ exceeding that of iceberg lettuce (or your average Rand Paul voter), Paul’s assertions would lead to more questions than conclusions. A man can’t be imprisoned for going to Home Depot and dumping a 20 pound bag of potting soil in his garden, right? No, he wasn’t imprisoned for dumping a 20 pound bag of potting soil or anything like that. What Lucas did was far more akin to Cliven Bundy than a hobby gardener.

The Washington Post‘s Fact Checker also thought Paul’s claims were fishy, so they researched them.

Lucas wasn’t a gardener or even a commercial farmer. Lucas was a real estate developer and in 1994, he began buying a lot of land to build mobile home lots. About half the land he bought, though, was federally protected wetlands, which meant the government had final authority over whether the land could be developed.

Any title company worth its salt would have informed Lucas he was buying protected lands, so ignorance was probably not a factor. Still, he continued to develop, without government permission.

Here’s where the “dirt” part of the story comes in:

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.

So, it’s not that Lucas was just putting dirt onto his land, he was potentially poisoning poor people. I guess it makes sense that Paul would relate to this guy – libertarianism is all about buyer beware.

Eventually, Lucas, his daughter (a real estate sales person) and the engineer were charged with 41 counts of conspiracy to defraud, environmental violations, and mail fraud because payments were delivered by mail.

Despite the defendants’ claims that the property shouldn’t have been wetlands and that it was the homeowners’ faults for not maintaining their septic systems, the jury found them guilty, and they were all sentenced to prison and ordered to pay hefty fines and penalties.

Even while Lucas was released on bond, he continued selling the property, which seems to have violated the terms of his bond. But Paul thinks Lucas is a victim, saying:

“These bureaucratic tentacles of the federal government had made their decree, and the EPA was determined to make an example out of Lucas and his family — even if Lucas hadn’t violated a single law. This wasn’t about justice, but power and government control. Lucas fought this bureaucratic army with all his might. Unfortunately, his daughter was caught in the cross fire.”

Of course, this is far from the first time during this short campaign that Paul has lied to or misled his audience. In fact, he wrote an entire book that appeared to be almost nothing but made-up Thomas Jefferson quotes. Paul has been accused of plagiarism. Even his pet issue of a flat tax will cost taxpayers an astonishing $15 trillion.

Interestingly, Paul told almost the same story in 2012, only this time, it was an Amish farmer who was milking cows and moving dirt.

Reprinted with permission from Addicting Info