The House of Representatives last week approved legislation to award
Arnold Palmer the Congressional Gold Medal by a 422 to 1 vote. The lone vote
against Palmer was cast by Republican iconoclast and former
presidential candidate Ron Paul.
So what gives? Is Paul a Nicklaus guy? Did Palmer not concede Paul a
putt during a money match in 1974? Does Paul think golfers aren't real athletes? None of the above. As enterprising Press-Enterprise reporter
Ben Goad discovered, Paul votes against all Congressional Gold Medal
awards, no matter how deserving the nominee. Here's the explanation from Paul spokeswoman Rachel Mills: "It is certainly nothing personal against Mr. Palmer. In fact,
Congressman Paul admires him greatly. Dr. Paul opposes using public
monies for any and all of these gold medals given to private citizens,
just on principle. Not to mention, it is unconstitutional to use
taxpayer dollars in this way. He even suggested on the House Floor
before he voted against Rosa Parks's medal that if it meant so much to
the Members of Congress, why not fund the award out of their own
pockets? He pulled $100 out of his own wallet, but had no other takers.
At a time like this when all budgets are stretched so thin, it seems
especially inappropriate to lavish gifts like this on private citizens,
as much as he may admire the individual." If Paul voted against Rosa Parks, Arnie never had much of a chance.