WASHINGTON (AP) – Ron Paul’s head-snapping fundraising puts a new face on a campaign that the media, politicians and much of the public had relegated to the sidelines. The Texas congressman is now the presidential candidate tugging at the establishment’s coat. Funneled through the Internet, Paul’s one-day loot totaled $4.3 million from about 37,000 donors, considered the largest sum ever collected online in a single day by a GOP candidate.
Paul is indeed an online force who attracts support from people who do not fit easily into the standard Democratic and Republican political pigeonholes. His fame, as much as it is, stems from the political shorthand that has defined his candidacy: The only Republican opposed to the war in Iraq.
But Paul leans libertarian in his ideology and cites the Constitution as his guide. He opposes law enforcement or anti-terrorism measures that he believes encroach on civil liberties. His views on small government extend to weakening if not eliminating the Education Department. He favors limiting immigration and strengthening border security. In that sense, he appeals to voters who may be happy mixing and matching their political views.
To other Republicans, Paul represents an enigma. Does his support suggest a potential base of support that could surprise them two months from now on caucus day in Iowa or primary day in New Hampshire? Or does the money he is collecting from this below-the-radar base buy him support among more traditional, mainstream voters?
New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Fergus Cullen said Paul has the potential to upend the early primaries with a third or fourth-place finish in the state, above some of the candidates who are expected to be among the top contenders. “He’s got potential because there is a segment of the Republican electorate that is opposed to the war and is maybe anti-internationalist,'” Cullen said. “The Pat Buchanan wing of the party, if you will.'” Pat Buchanan used an isolationist message and opposition to international trade deals to win the 1996 Republican presidential primary in New Hampshire.
“He has that segment of the electorate all to himself,”‘ Cullen said. Cullen said Paul does not appear to be pulling support away from any of the leading Republican candidates, and that his backing is coming from new or disaffected voters. It’s an assessment the Paul campaign does not dispute.
“My hunch would be that a lot of the new donors who are coming in are people who have not been involved in politics,”‘ said Jonathan Bydlak, Paul’s fundraising director. A check of Paul’s Internet support shows a vast array of fans. Libertarian sites sing his praises, as do anti-war veterans and voters angry at the Internal Revenue Service and at what they perceive is government intrusion. He also attracts support in some fringe, anti-Semitic or white supremacist Web sites, even though Paul himself strongly rejects those views.
“He has this very small but very enthusiastic group of supporters,”‘ said Republican strategist David Winston, who has studied the political use of new media. “It gives him the resources, but his problem is what’s the message that grows his support? That he has been unable to solve.'”
Monday’s fundraising event was conceived by Paul supporter Trevor Lyman, a musician who runs a music promotion Web site and who is not affiliated to the congressman’s presidential campaign. Lyman created a Web site, ThisNovember5th.com, using the British observance of Guy Fawkes Day as a hook to generate money. Fawkes, a mercenary who participated in an unsuccessful plot to assassinate King James I on Nov. 5, 1605, is the model for the protagonist in the graphic novel and movie “V for Vendetta.”‘ Using clips from the movie and the English schoolyard refrain “Remember, remember the 5th of November,” Lyman’s Web site spread the word.
A new Web site is now calling on veterans to donate to Paul on Sunday, Veteran’s Day. And Lyman promises another fundraising event in mid-December. “We’ve accomplished much and have added greatly to the Ron Paul advertising arsenal,”‘ Lyman declared online Tuesday.
Paul, who raised a stunning $5.2 million in the third quarter of the year, is devoting a significant amount of resources to New Hampshire. He is running a $1.1 million television advertising campaign and his lawn signs are common. He recently sent out a 12-page piece of mail throughout the state as well. He plans to be in the state on Wednesday and again on Friday. He stops include visits to The Telegraph, the newspaper in Nashua, and a taping with the state’s dominant television station WMUR-TV in Manchester. He has eight paid staffers in the state.
Members of the libertarian Free State Project, which adopted New Hampshire in 2003, were Paul’s initial toehold in the first-primary state, whose motto is “Live Free or Die.”‘ But spokeswoman Kate Rick said that base has grown. “There’s a lot of irritated social conservatives and traditional conservatives,”‘ she said. “I think we’re also drawing support from independents in the state whose issues may be everything from anti-war to anti-tax or disliking things like No Child Left Behind or how Social Security or Medicaid is being run.”
The challenge for Paul is to resolve the axiom posed by Winston: “Money is a resource, not an outcome.”
– Article from The Guardian
Visit the following Ron Paul for President websites!
Preview from CC #68 – Your Next President on Drugs, Ron Paul section
There is one outstanding Republican and two excellent Democratic candidates that we believe are worth voting for.
In our opinion, Republican Ron Paul is the best Presidential candidate to emerge from either party in 50 years. If George Bush has you rightly disgusted for his drug war, his Iraq War, for letting neo-cons usurp the US government, then Ron Paul is the anti-Bush. Ron Paul has been a Congressman for 20 years, and votes on every occasion with 100 percent consistency against the drug war, against the drug czar’s office, and in favor of medical marijuana; he’s also chief sponsor of the 2007 Industrial Hemp Act. Ron Paul is the only one of all the Republican Presidential candidates to continually oppose the Iraq War in Congress, since before the first vote in 2002. Ron Paul voted against The Patriot Act, and against regulating the Internet.
Ron Paul believes this: “While recognizing the harm that drug abuse causes society, we also recognize that government drug policy has been ineffective and has led to frightening abuses of the Bill of Rights which could affect the personal freedom of any American. We, therefore, support alternatives to the War on Drugs. Per the tenth amendment to the US Constitution: matters such as drugs should be handled at the state or personal level. All laws, which give license to violate the Bill of Rights, should be repealed.” (Republican Liberty Caucus Position Statement 00-RLC13 on Dec. 8, 2000.)
Ron Paul promised in the Detroit Free Press on September 21, 2007 that he would pardon non-violent drug offenders, also saying “mandated life sentences are insane. I’d release them. I’d pardon them.”
As I wrote in the Letter From the Editor of CC number 66, I believe Ron Paul would have his Attorney General rescind the extradition request for myself, Michelle Rainey, and Greg Williams. Ron Paul – whom the mainstream media has, until recently, largely ignored – is the true Champion of the Constitution. He is the number 1 defender of your civil liberties in the US Congress. You can see many outstanding speeches and debates with Ron Paul at Youtube.com. Google Ron Paul and listen to or read any of his major speeches; you will be amazed.
This is a video of Ron Paul confirming his support of medical marijuana.
Here Ron Paul says on a TV debate that he would REPEAL THE ENTIRE FEDERAL WAR ON DRUGS
Find out what Ron Paul is about 24 hours a day by listening to www.ronpaulradio.com. My wife and I have a show on Ron Paul radio, the most recent episode called “A Ron Paul Presidency and Prohibition”. If, after investigating Ron Paul yourself, you are convinced to support him in your state primary, you must affiliate Republican on your voter registration form available at www.rockthevote.com.