View Full Version : Ron Paul Roundup (11-27-07)

11-27-2007, 01:20 PM

Ron Paul Roundup (11-27-07)
by RS Davis (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=194780914&blogID=332520102&Mytoken=2D802856-D4D5-40DF-9F239285249A1C2138677270)

Hello Freedomphiles. There's a lot of follow up in this Roundup. It seems a lot of the hit pieces have generated responses from all quarters, and there was a head-scratching response (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-rlc/1928600/posts)from Jesse Benton regarding Mona Charen's smear trying to link Ron Paul to white supremecist neo-NAZI Don Black:

If a handful of individuals with views anathema to Dr. Paul's send in checks, then they have wasted their money. I cannot profess to understand the motivations of Don Black as neither Dr. Paul nor I know who he is, but a simple Google search shows that his $500 contribution has netted him at least 88 news hits, including Charen's column. Perhaps a better explanation for his "contribution" is not support for Ron, but the attention he knew he would receive.

Look, Jesse. I know a lot of Paul support comes from conspiracy-minded people, but I think even they would call bullshit on this one. Why not just say, "Every candidate has fringe support. We didn't court him, but if he wants to throw away his money to a candidate that is going to promote tolerance over divisiveness, that's his business."

David Freddoso of National Review Online also makes his opinion (http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MTNjZmU1NmNmM2ZhNDY4ZjgxZjY4YWQxMDRjZGQ2ZmU=&w=MQ==)known about Mona Charen's tactic and Dr Paul's response:

This is an exercise in "guilt by association" the idea that a backdoor connection to an unsavory person implies impropriety. In political campaigns, this fallacious argument often works, which is why candidates usually dump the money just to avoid trouble. But in principle, should they? If Mark Foley is exposed as a pervert, does the money he gave other politicians suddenly acquire a different moral status? Assuming the worst about Haven Healthcare, do its executives' contributions pollute Chris Murphy's reelection campaign? (And given that money is fungible, can't Murphy argue that he's already spent the money on, say, his employees' health care?)

Paul's line probably the correct one, if not the wisest politically is that no matter how evil the donor, the return of a political contribution is a purely symbolic act undertaken for public-relations purposes...

...as with Clinton's case, no one really thinks that Ron Paul is a racist or an anti-Semite. Yet he won't return the money because his "pain threshold" has always been very high he hardly cares what anyone thinks, as his maverick voting record in Congress demonstrates. The Paul campaign needed to address this particular contribution somehow, but I never expected him to return the money. It would have been a concession to the big public-relations game that he abhors (and therefore plays very poorly).

In principle, Benton's reply addresses the issue and absolves Paul of any real relationship with Black. Paul never asked for Black's contribution or those of any of the thousands who have donated to him in fact, Paul's campaign bears almost no responsibility for its fundraising success at all.

Yet even if Paul is in the right, he continues to display the political artlessness that constitutes part of his appeal, yet could now harm his campaign. Few would have expected negative ads or mailers against Paul, long-shot candidate that he is. But after an incredible month of fundraising, he probably has more cash on hand than any of the other GOP candidates right now. He has also registered at eight percent in two consecutive polls in New Hampshire the word is that people there are nearly drowning in his mailers already, and he has at least two ads running.

The next interesting bit is in regard to the story I blogged earlier about the support Dr Paul is getting from the owner and the working girls at Nevada's famous Bunny Ranch. Many outlets have picked up on the story since I wrote about it, including CBSNews (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/11/26/politics/main3539640.shtml).

Mostly, they just regurgitate the original AP story, word for word. But FoxNews, not to be outdone, has done some tinkering with the story. Here's a link (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,312872,00.html) to their version of the story.

But Chadwick Matlin at Slate noticed some differences (http://slate.com/blogs/blogs/trailhead/archive/2007/11/26/doctored-paul.aspx) between those two stories that shows an anti-Paul bias:

Changes include:

The headline: "Paul Endorsed by Nevada Brothel Owner" became " 'BunnyRanch' Brothel Owner Endorses Underdog GOP Candidate Ron Paul." Note that Fox News thinks you need more detail to know who Ron Paul is. Also, they add the brothel's name in the headline--the Playboy bunny allusion makes it a bit sexier. It's common practice for news organizations to spice up AP headlines.
The donation box: One of the best details in the AP story is Hof's plan to put a "collection box" outside the brothel's door for patrons to donate money to Paul. It's not in Fox's story.
The kicker: In the most curious change, Fox took a sentence from the middle of the AP's article and stuck it at the end. By concluding the piece with the true statement, "Paul also is a devout Christian who opposes abortion," it makes Paul sound like a hypocrite for accepting the brothel owner's endorsement. You don't get that impression reading the AP's article, which is more about the oddity that a political candidate isn't trying to distance himself from Nevada's brothel industry.

In principle, Fox hasn't done anything wrong. News outlets edit AP content all the time, and the AP's senior managing editor told me that Fox was within its rights to make changes to the copy. He added that he doesn't think Fox's tweaks change the fundamental tone of the story.

I disagree. The emphasis on its home page and the altered kicker suggest Fox is getting in a dig at Paul, however minor it may be. But if Fox wanted to make Paul look like he was taking money from prostitutes and their patrons, why remove the detail about the donation box? I'm not asking for fairness or balance--just consistency.

Now, both the FoxNews and the Slate commentary were posted yesterday. So, imagine my surprise when I found yet another story on this from FoxNews this morning in my giant stack of stuff, entitled Guess Who's Supporting Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul: (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,312984,00.html)

Supporters of political candidates sometimes employ unusual fundraising methods but few can rival the efforts by one proponent of Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul.

Carson City, Nevada businessman Dennis Hof says he will place collection boxes at his establishment so that patrons can leave contributions for Paul.

What makes this noteworthy is that Hof runs the Moonlite Bunny Ranch a world famous brothel. It seems Hof was intrigued by Paul after receiving a call from his good friend TV host Tucker Carlson who was trailing Paul for a story. Carlson called up Hof and told him to check out the candidate.

A spokesman for Congressman Paul says he does not condone prostitution on a personal level but says he feels it is not the role of the federal government to regulate it.

So, did Chadwick Matlin get a new job on the editorial board at FoxNews, or does FoxNews read Slate for tips on proper journalism? I'm just reporting - you decide.

Remember the Wall Street Journal hitpiece (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119587208818602847.html?mod=googlenews_wsj) I blogged about a couple of Roundups ago? It detailed the exploits of "Taco John," a Ron Paul supporter:

Taco John, the online moniker of Isaac Lopez, a 32-year-old technology marketer in Vancouver, Wash., is one of many cyber-soldiers for Dr. Paul, the Texas congressman, gynecologist and vociferous opponent of the Iraq war. The Paul brigade has largely drawn attention for its fund-raising prowess, raising a record $4.2 million online in a single day in November and leaving the 72-year-old politician with more cash on hand than several rivals and a $1 million TV ad budget for New Hampshire. But some Paul supporters are displaying an aggressive side that seems to spill beyond advocacy into harassment of those who disagree or fail to show Dr. Paul sufficient respect.

Taco John, for example, posted contact information for a university professor who called Dr. Paul "unqualified to be president." He also provided information on how to reach several reporters with whom he quibbled, as well as the Iowa Republican Party after it helped set rules for a debate -- later canceled -- that could have excluded the low-polling Dr. Paul.

Taco John -- the handle comes from Mr. Lopez's appreciation of former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway and tacos -- is a neophyte activist, who says he was inspired by Dr. Paul's libertarian platform.

The Wall Street Journal used this as a launching point to attack Paul, not for his positions on the issues or his voting record, but on the zealousness of his supporters. Well, in RonPaulForums.com (where this blog is reprinted daily), Taco John speaks back (http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?t=41793):

I got a PM the day after 11/5 from a reporter from the WSJ saying she wanted to talk with me about online campaigning. We connected, and when we spoke, she sounded very sympathetic, like she understood that there was a lot of unfairness in the media with how we are being treated. About halfway through the call, when Huckabee's name came up, she started to get a bit defensive and thus put me on the defense. I then had the feeling that this was going to be a smear peice.

Apparently she thought it was "extreme" for us to be going around and finding contact information for the reporters and public commentators who were out there painting a negative picture about Dr. Paul, and his chances to become president. So she used a post that I made trying to rally the troops to fight the slander to make all Ron Paul supporters look off their rockers.

In any case, I got a call this morning from Fox Business News. They want to have me in studio to discuss (supposedly) the phenomenon of online campaigning. It actually sounds legit, because they have me on opposite of Andrew Saeij of Tech President and PersonalDemocracy.com.

I expect to be going on to talk about the concept of a decentralized campaign and why no other candidate "gets it" when it comes to online campaigning. They assured me that this wasn't going to be a contentious peice, and that the host might play a little devil's advocate, but that I'm not going on to be smeared. So that probably tells me that I should expect to be smeared (cynic that I am).

Wanna see how he did? Look no further than your daily Ron Paul Roundup:


You know, I provide links all the time to articles on a website called The Nolan Chart, and I wonder how many of you know what The Nolan Chart is. It's a three-dimensional representation that abandons the anachronistic left-right paradigm, adding two more planes - authoritarian and libertarian. You can take the test here (http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz.html) to see where you fall on the chart. And of course, the image at right represents where I fall on the chart.

Today's entry by The Nolan Chart is a great interview (http://www.nolanchart.com/article324.html)with Trevor Lyman, the genius behind the money bomb funsdraisers. Here's an excerpt:

"Well [with the 5th of November project], 18,000 pledges brought us roughly $4.3 million. So I'd say we need about 9,000 to 10,000 pledges. We've got a ways to go....It's all about repetition.

"I put out a letter today and posted it to the forums, and it's getting a great response. The goal is to try to tie it to the major media. I did a little quick research today and found 25 stories that all reference fundraising efforts to reach $12 million for the quarter. Ron Paul just appeared on Bloomberg TV, and the very first questions was, 'Are you going to reach $12 million?' So it's a bit of a sensation. I've been trying to sell the idea to the people in the forums that we don't have to have a killer day. We just have to break $12 million [for the quarter], which [will require] just half of what we did before, and that media buzz will bring people to Rudy's Reading List which will help give Ron Paul such a jolt of energy.

"One of the main objections people still have to Ron Paul is that they still believe in the war on terrorism, as told to them by most of the mainstream media. So we can sort of crumple that a little bit more and get a little more coverage. It's one more repetition after the impressions left from the 5th of November coverage."

"Also, unlike with the 5th of November, this time we'll have the next fundraising day in place. So I believe we can funnel a lot of energy that way into the Tea Party fundraiser."

And how well is that December 16th money bomb going to work? Let's ask someone who really knows - no, not Trevor or Ron Paul, but the good folks in the political futures markets (http://www.gambling911.com/Ron-Paul-112707.html) at Gambling911.com:

The oddsmakers have spoken and so have the gamblers and 2008 US Presidential hopeful Ron Paul supporters: The Texas Republican Congressman is destined to take in more than $6 mil during an upcoming "money bomb" scheduled for December 16...

...the Vietnam veteran who was the only Republican running for President who voted against the going to war with Iraq, previously raised a remarkable $4.2 million during a 24 hour period on November 11.

The Ron Paul campaign had a goal to raise $12 million during the 4th quarter of 2007, however, it now appears they will exceed this goal with December 16th's planned "money bomb", assuming gamblers and the bookies at Sportsbook.com are correct. The Congressman's campaign has already raised just over $9.2 mil this quarter.

The folks at Sportsbook informed Gambling911.com that the Ron Paul OVER/UNDER bet was witnessing "tremendous action", enough to push the line from $5 mil to $6 mil.

Politico is talking (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1107/7055.html) about Trevor's plan, as well:

Ron Paul's pioneering e-bundler is pushing an audacious plan to raise $2.5 million this week to help the dark-horse Republican presidential candidate get ads up pronto.

The plan, hatched just days ago by 37-year-old music promoter Trevor Lyman, is to get Paul's campaign past its $12 million fourth-quarter goal a full month before the quarter ends.

The vehicle is a website intended to solicit pledged contributions to be delivered online to the Paul campaign on Friday. Lyman is also hoping to score a twofer.

The appeal used to attract the money is designed to bring more attention to Paul's noninterventionist foreign policy philosophy, compared with that of his rivals for the GOP presidential nomination.

This is going to be great, because in response, via reason magazine's hit n' run blog, we see this essay (http://www.changewv.com/2007/ron-paul-attempting-to-hijack-republican-convention) out of West Virginia:

First, let me debunk a few myths.

That Ron Paul's fundraising is unbelievable. Please. Lyndon LaRouche would haul in millions as well and his candidacy probably had a better chance of winning than Paul, meaning 0.001%.

reason responds (http://www.reason.com/blog/show/123667.html):

Risible! But a pretty good smear nonetheless. In his final, 2004 run for the White House (he's going cold turkey this year) LaRouche started raising money in early 2001 and could brag, by April 2003, that he'd outfundraised Joe Lieberman and Howard Dean. The subtle difference is that LaRouche bilked a decades-old money network over a period of two years, whereas Paul has raised more than $9 million in just the last two months. (Sprouse's post is a cornucopia of chuckles, but note his worry about Paul supporters winning West Virginia's at-large delegates.)

SCNow.com is reporting (http://www.scnow.com/midatlantic/scp/news.apx.-content-articles-BTW-2007-11-26-0013.html) about a campaign stop in Myrtle Beach:

They said Paul raised a record breaking $4.2 million on Nov. 5 and on Nov. 21, raised $85,000 with a full page ad in USAToday, donated by supporter Lawrence Lepard.

Organizers also said Paul has received more donations from active military personnel than any other candidate.

Paul said South Carolina is a very important state because it represents the South and that's why he's spending more time and money in the Palmetto State.

"I wished I could've spent a lot more time here, but the enthusiasm is growing, the organization is growing, the volunteers are becoming more numerous so the support here has really been very, very good and I'm very pleased with it." Paul said.

On Townhall.com, Patrick Ruffini blogs (http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/blog/g/7bec946b-bc0e-4a5f-a73f-5eef4f7913dd&comments=truecommentAnchor) about the Nick Gillespie-Matt Welch op-ed (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/23/AR2007112301299.html?sid=ST2007112600769) in Sunday's Washington Post:

Assuming Paul loses, where does small-l libertarianism go from here? His movement already did the smart thing by making peace with social conservatism. Libertarianism is no longer aligned with libertine stances on abortion and gay rights.

To become the ascendant ideology within the GOP, I suspect they'll have to find a way to do the same thing on national security. The war on terror writ large is the one big thing social and economic conservatives agree on, and Ron Paul is vocally aligned against both.

Mainstream Republican libertarians might be gung-ho for Paul's small-government idealism, they might adopt Glenn Reynoldsish skepticism of the homeland security bureaucracy, and even John McCain has lately made a thing of ripping the military-industrial complex, but there is no way I repeat NO WAY they will embrace Ron Paul if he continues to blame America for 9/11 and imply that America is acting illegally in defending itself around the globe. Even if they aren't the biggest fans of the war, most people that are available for Ron Paul on the right are by temperament patriotic and will never vote for someone who sounds like Noam Chomsky.

National Review Online disagrees (http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MjFhMzg1MzM5NjgwZmQ5NjBiMDJkMzE2ZTg5YzQyNGU=) with both Patrick Ruffini and the boys from reason:

For starters, the Ron Paul crowd will never throw their weight behind another GOP presidential candidate this cycle, even to reject the least libertarian candidate, as they see the field in binary terms: Ronpaulian perfection and statist sellout warmonger scum. There's no guy in the field who they see as almost as good as Ron Paul, with a better shot at winning the nomination.

And while Ron Paul's fans are full of energy, drive, and willing to open their wallets, they do not so far - seem eager to do the "blocking and tackling" basic political activities to become a force at all levels of the government, local offices, state offices, Senate and House races, etc. (They're libertarians; in the end they would rather not deal with the government.) The thought of putting enormous effort to nominate a libertarian-leaning Republican in a Senate primary won't energize or enthuse a large enough segment of the Paul base, which is, let's recall, so far demonstrated to be about eight percent of the Republican primary electorate in some states.

Contrast this to the Christian conservatives they were eager to get their candidates running at all levels of government with a fairly coherent platform anti-abortion, anti-pornography, anti-gay-marriage, school prayer, no condoms in schools, etc.

I agree more with my boys at reason, even if I am a bit more cautious in my optimism. Let's finish up with this video that was on the reason blog: