Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) will speak at an event in Arizona on Friday along with a state senator who made headlines last year for hosting a hearing on the environmental impact of "chemtrails."
The 2016 candidate will address a Maricopa County GOP event along with State Sen. Kelli Ward, according to a press release.
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Ward convened a public meeting with environmental agency officials last June to address constituent concerns about "chemtrails," the theory that government or military officials are using airplanes to spray chemical agents into the air, typically for mind-control and weather-manipulation purposes.
Ward clarified in April that she does not personally support the theory, after telling the Arizona Republic just a few weeks prior, "I don't really have any opinions about ‘chemtrails' one way or the other."
But the meeting gave Ward heroic status among conspiracy theorists.
Alexandra Hunter, a chemtrails activist who attended the hearing, called it a "precedent-setting event because no state or federal senator has had an open public meeting of this nature with the environmental quality folks."
"I’m so grateful to Dr. Kelli Ward," said Hunter on the Free Association Radio podcast last summer. "It was just a godsend, as far as I’m concerned, because [the state environmental agency has] been placed on actual legal notice now. It was a public meeting, it was recorded, it’s on the public record. So it’s a great thing for us. It’s a success story."
This is not the first time Paul has been associated with fringe ideas. His long-time political ally Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas) has questioned the official account of the September 11 attacks and headlined a conference hosted by a Holocaust denier.
Rand Paul has also promoted the theory that the Bilderberg Group is working to create a one-world government and appeared regularly on conspiracy peddler Alex Jones’s radio show before joining the Senate.
Proponents of the "chemtrails" theory maintain that the cloud-liked trails behind airplanes—known as "contrails" and generally believed to be made up of water vapor and jet exhaust—are actually composed of chemical agents released by the government.
Ward, who is potentially challenging Sen. John McCain in the state’s Republican primary, has yet to be embraced by national conservative groups.
"McCain’s going to call her ‘Chemtrail Kelli,’ or something like that. I worry about that," FreedomWorks CEO Adam Brandon told Politico in April.