What Will Ron Paul Do With All This Money?

In follow up to my earlier post on yesterday’s fund raiser for Ron Paul, the question remains where Paul goes now that he has so much money at his disposal. While I’m sure it will be helpful, I wonder if this latest influx of money is too late to have any impact in Iowa and New Hampshire, but it certainly guarantees that Paul will remain in the race well beyond other more mainstream Republicans are forced to drop out. Paul also has the ability to launch a third party bid, and he has always left the door open a crack when denying this intention.

Assuming Paul remains in the Republican Party, one question is whether he can be successful in changing the nature of the party. Andrew Sullivan has endorsed him for the Republican nomination, and, despite my disagreements with Paul, he would also be my first choice considering the opposition. Sullivan writes:

But the deeper reason to support Ron Paul is a simple one. The great forgotten principles of the current Republican party are freedom and toleration. Paul’s federalism, his deep suspicion of Washington power, his resistance to government spending, debt and inflation, his ability to grasp that not all human problems are soluble, least of all by government: these are principles that made me a conservative in the first place. No one in the current field articulates them as clearly and understands them as deeply as Paul.

If we accept Sullivan’s somewhat rosy view that “freedom and toleration” have previously characterized the Republican Party, the question is whether Paul’s influence can move them back in that direction. At present, despite the various theories spread by his supporters that the polls greatly underestimate Paul’s support, Paul only receives the support of a small percentage of Republicans. Such polls are sometimes misleading, as when John Kerry trailed Al Sharpton in some polls in the fall of 2003, but Paul’s problem is that his views differ so radically from those of the rest of the party. Democrats had no problem backing Kerry after he made a come back, but most Republicans would not be willing to back Paul should he manage to use his new money to start winning primaries. The Republicans would quickly unite behind a candidate who supports the war and has little respect for civil liberties. It’s practically in their DNA.

There has always been a small libertarian faction in the Republican Party, but I’ve believed that the libertarians were deluding themselves in thinking they could actually change the party. (I’m not talking here about the conservatives who use the libertarian label because it sounds cooler while supporting Bush and the Warfare state). I’ve seen some claim that the support for Paul is evidence of a silent majority of Republicans who have been libertarians in their heart all along. Far more of the Paul supporters are actually people who have not been active before in the Republican Party. The Washington Times writes:

Mr. Paul is putting together a unique campaign that heavily relies on new voters, the majority of whom weren’t active in Republican politics until now.

Drew Ivers, chairman of Mr. Paul’s Iowa campaign, said he finds that only between one-fourth and one-third of supporters who show up at events for Mr. Paul in that state are registered Republicans. Mr. Paul posts the state-by-state deadlines for switching parties before the primaries on his Web site.

If Paul is to succeed and change the party, it will be far more a case of the party machinery being taken over from without. This assumes that the Republicans believe in democracy and will allow this to happen. My bet is that they will put up quite a fight, not necessarily clean, before giving up control. However, considering the number of people who have abandoned the Republican Party in recent months, maybe they have an outside chance. Despite my disagreements with Paul’s supporters over issues such as separation of church and state and their view of states’ rights, the overall views of the current Republican leadership are far worse.

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11 Comments

  1. 1
    Eric Dondero says:

    Probably the same thing he did in past campaigns:

    It could be embezzled as it was in his 1988 Libertarian Presidential run to the tune of at least $140,000. Insiders at the time suspected it was a lot more; promised TV ads to top donors to be used by the over $3.5 million raised never materialized.

    Or it could just be “withered away” as it was in Ron Paul’s brief 1992 Presidential Exploratory effort. Estimates of over $80,000 was raised in that particular campaign. When Ron Paul opted out at the last minute, using the excuse of a late night phone call from Pat Buchanan urging him to step aside, all the money raised just was forgotten about. There were vague references for a few weeks after by top Paul Fundraising Chairman Burt Blumert of Burlingame, CA, but nothing ever materialized.

    Of course, the liberal media loves to give Ron Paul a pass. Notice how they haven’t delved deeply into his fundraising shenanigans from the past, and have sidestepped the whole racist issues stemming from the 1996 campaign.

    So long as Ron Paul is bashing Bush and opposing the War in Iraq, the liberal media not only looks the other way on his failings, but quietly cheers him on.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Eric,

    Can you prove he embezzled any of the money?

    “Of course, the liberal media loves to give Ron Paul a pass.”

    It’s not because of any bias. It’s more a case of the media doing little real reporting, especially on a candidate who is doing so poorly in the polls. It is quite common for candidates to rise after getting little negative coverage. Then the reporters see stories in some of the negative aspects of the candidate and the candidate may or may not survive that. If Paul should wind up coming close to winning any primaries (and he might even win some in a divided race) then the media will look at many of the stories they are now ignoring.

  3. 3
    Allen Watson II says:

    Mitt is crying again because Ron Paul raised $6 million dollars in one day (soon the entire GOP field will be crying as Dr. Paul wins. Unfortunately it took segregationist Governor Wallace to reveal the truth that “there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between” Republicans and Democrats. The Democrats willingly went along with the War in Iraq, suspension of Habeas Corpus, detaining protesters, banning books like “America Deceived’ from Amazon, stealing private lands (Kelo decision), warrant-less wiretapping and refusing to investigate 9/11 properly. They are both guilty of treason.
    Support Dr. Ron Paul and save this great nation.
    Last link (before Google Books bends to gov’t Will and drops the title):
    America Deceived (book)

  4. 4
    battlebob says:

    Eric,
    A real liberal media would be all over Ron Paul like flies on crap. It is the conservative bias that gives Paul a free pass but is all over Edwards for his hairgate.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    Battlebob,

    As I said to Eric, the media will be all over Paul should he ever look like a viable candidate.

    What will really be amusing is when the Paul supporters respond to the members of the media when they report anything that is not 100% positive or which questions whether Paul can win. Assuming their email is anything like the responses I get to posts on Paul (which is a safe bet) they will get hundreds of email full of irrational rants. Virtually every comment from them, most of which never get past the moderation que, are based upon distorting what I wrote in order to respond. A large number are full of conspiracy theories as to why anyone would criticize Paul. A significant percentage express racism and/or Anti-Semitism.

    While it isn’t entirely fair to blame Paul for his supporters, and those who make all this noise might not be representative of the majority of his supporters, but most people’s reaction to seeing the lunacy sent out by his supporters will be to have a more negative view. Should he pull in enough votes to get the attention of the media, negative press will lead to such responses from Paul supporters, which will lead to even more negative press.

  6. 6
    battlebob says:

    Ron,
    There is a GR connection with Ron Paul. His brother David is an assistant pastor at a local church. When David had a minor stroke and was in rehab, his brother showed up. No one knew who the guy was. David was on TV recently talking about his brother and since then, the number of Ron Paul signs going up has skyrocketed.

  7. 7
    Eric Dondero says:

    Ron, I’ve got old issues of LP News and American Libertarian and Liberty in my extensive archives in my garage, full of articles about the “Nadia Hayes incident” from 1988. Nadia was Ron’s Chief Aide. I worked directly for Nadia. I was serving at the time as Ron’s Travel Aide. Him and I campaigned in over 40 states for almost 2 years, including Alaska.

    Well, the very last day of the campaign, election day, the entire staff was told to go into the storage room. We ended up staying there for 6 hours! They wouldn’t allow us to go out. Only the women escorted for bathroom breaks.

    The join was crawling with Lawyers, Accountants and local Police Detectives from the Nassau Bay PD (Clear Lake/Houston).

    They pinned it on Nadia. She ended up going to jail for 6 months, and had to pay like $200,000 in restitution.

    Many of us suspected that it was far more reaching than just Nadia Hayes.

    The Campaign Finance Chairman Burt Blumert (still with Ron til this day), was never implicated, neither was Ron’s new fundraisinger David Mertz, alias David James (he’s the John Bircher fundraising guy from Jesse Helms’s operation who is still with Ron after all these years.)

    This is just the tip of the iceburg. I’m not even talking about the 1992 campaign which is far more mysterious.

    But like I said, the media is not interested in any story that shows Ron Paul in a negative light. Ron Paul is opposed to the War in Iraq, and that’s all they care about. So, he gets a complete pass.

  8. 8
    Eric Dondero says:

    Ron Paul has another brother in Alvin, Texas. Forget his name. His somewhat handicapped. I met him only once.

    He’s a CPA or something.

    There were rumors of some funny financial dealings with some quetionable clients, but never heard anything hard on the allegations.

    There was also talk that he was some sort of “Irwin Shiff” style tax protester.

    Can’t confirm anything. Ironically, the one time I did meet him I remember him to be a very friendly and pleasant guy, though softspoken.

  9. 9
    EileenMac says:

    Traditional polls are to Ron Paul’s true chances in the Primary contests, as Newspapers are to Internet Blogs.

    I would think that, of all political pundits, those who are blogging and commenting on the internet would get this obvious truth. These traditional polls are about as relevant to Ron Paul’s candidacy as the number of subscriptions to newspapers are measure of where Americans are getting their information these days.

    Traditional polls, especially of the Republican Party, are conducted by calling those who were registered Republicans in 2006, or maybe 2004, on landline phones. And these traditional polls have not even included Ron Paul’s name as a choice.

    Ron Paul’s support is among those who have not bought a newspaper, do not have a landline phone and who, IF registered in 2004 or 2006, registered independent of any party.

    So, looking at these so-called “polls” as an indicator of what is going on in this Republican Primary is about as relevant as judging how popular this blog is by looking for mention of it in your local newspaper.

  10. 10
    Abaraxas says:

    I just stumbled on this in doing some research on what happened in 1988. I too want to know what happened to the money then and now. I’ve read that Paul is closing on a multi million dollar home on Galveston right now and he has been taking personal payments from his PAC. Technically this is legal as unused campaign funds can go to ones PAC and one can be an employee of the PAC, but it sure makes all the fundraising and motivation fishy.

  11. 11
    Anon says:

    Abaraxas: I’m curious where you got the information you mentioned about Ron Paul’s new home and the payments from his PAC.

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