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texasliberty
01-16-2008, 12:22 AM
I realize that most people out in the Ron-Paul-o-sphere do not follow the blimp closely and do not necessarily understand how valuable the blimp has been. I wrote a fundraising appear making the case for keeping the blimp in the air and posted it to the Ron Paul War Room. Please feel free to post this anywhere else you think it would be of assistance.

---

Many, if not most, Ron Paul supporters are aware of the Ron Paul Blimp. But I find that not many people understand the full depth of accomplishment associated with the blimp, and what a tremendous campaign tool it is. We are coming to the end of the first month’s flight time, and fighting hard to raise money for a second month. If we do not raise this money, the blimp will cease flying. For many reasons, I think this would be a true loss - in media, symbolic, and actual financial terms. We must all make decisions as to where to put our money to best support Dr. Paul. As an enthusiastic supporter of the project, I thought at this time it would be helpful to lay out the full scope of the blimp’s value, so those who have not been actively following it can see what worth it brings. I would like, therefore, to make the case for the blimp.

Let us begin first with hard numbers. The blimp is a smashing financial success. Specifically: - It costs $400,000 per month to run. It generates $350,000 worth of direct advertising (people seeing it)

- Its media coverage, as of today, is worth at least $751,666 more (See http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?p=969938#post969938) using the most conservative calculation. - Ron Paul himself has noted that the blimp is “worth millions of dollars in advertising” (see the video on http://www.ronpaulblimp.com).

- A reasonable estimation (available on http://www.ronpaulblimp.com) projects the rate of return at 620%. If we stop funding the blimp, we would then need to raise $6.20 for every $1 of advertising we did not spend on it, or lose advertising power. Unless we are prepared to fold up our tents and not advertise next month, it would literally cost us money to stop flying the blimp.

I would now like to address what this earned media that the blimp gets us looks like. I would encourage you to go to http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?t=89114 right now and look at the list. As of today, you will find over 400 media articles of various types. However, those numbers do not really convey the scale of the coverage. If you are considering whether your hard-earned money should go to support to blimp, please go to the link above and scroll through the list to see what it looks like directly.

Returning to the direct advertising effect, the blimp contains a message to “google Ron Paul” and people quite literally do that - see, for example, this video testimonial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bDk_rcsQfo.

I would now like to move on to discuss some of the softer, but just as important, aspects of the blimp. I would first like to comment on the blimp’s power as a positive symbol. To put it straightforwardly, people like blimps. They are fun and interesting and positive. Talking about politics can turn people off, but talking about Ron Paul’s amazing airship comes at things from an interesting and positive angle. For this reason, most of those media mentions are positive, at a time when wringing a positive article on Ron Paul from the mainstream media can be very difficult. The blimp is photogenic and its pictures make voters smile and win a place in their hearts.

Furthermore, the blimp serves as a dramatic physical symbol of the growing power of the grassroots movement to restore our Constutition. It is literally the largest airship in the United States, with an envelope (gasbag) the size of the Goodyear blimp and a larger gondola for passengers. It is 190 feet long and 60 feet high, generates a loud hum that can be heard for some distance, and seen in person it is absolutely stunning. When, for example, parked over a primary (as done in South Carolina), it sends a loud and clear message to our would-be masters that keeping us off television as much as possible will not make us go away. The fact that we now fly our “dark horse” candidate around in private jets raises eyebrows. But the fact that we raise record-setting amounts of money for him, get hundreds of thousands of people to contribute to his campaign, and lease expensive giant airships for advertising all make a dramatic statement that we are here and we are powerful and we are growing in power every day.

Continuing on, I will note that the blimp has achieved a series of innovative record-setting firsts, showing clearly the innovative free-market power of our movement. It is the first blimp to be used in a Presidential campaign (the Dean campaign wished for, but was unable to obtain, one). It was secured entirely by private grassroots activists. The private company set up to run the blimp is an innovative and direct counter to the FEC’s attempts to stifle our right to free speech, and has obtained respectable press in its own right.

The blimp has inspired itself as a viral social meme. Dozens of YouTube videos and entire lines of internet parody press releases now reference the blimp. Television commentators frequently mention it in passing. And Meetup groups in several cities have deployed 25′ mini-blimp copies, which themselves have generated more media. All of this further contributes to the realization that the Ron Paul Revolution is everywhere.

To those in the Southern states, I will make the particular point that whether or not you get to see the blimp - or even ride in it, as several Meetup activists have done - depends directly on whether the blimp gets funded for a second month. I have seen the schedule laid out for a second month of flight and it brings the blimp along the Gulf all the way out to Texas, stopping in every major city along the way for a few days. You can have the blimp over your city - but only if we have the blimp!

In closing, I would like to discuss the innovative funding structure. Because the blimp is a direct advertisement like a billboard paid for by thousands of pooled supporters and run by a private company, rather than a campaign contribution, it is not subject to campaign contribution limits. This means that if you are a wealthy individual, you have the unique opportunity to put as much money behind the project as you like. If you have done well under the free-market system that is currently being dismantled, I would submit to you that it is a matter of your own financial survival that you do so! I would further note that a $5,000 purchase allows you to ride the blimp. Because blimps are all used for advertising, it is literally impossible to purchase a blimp ride on any other airship, so this is a unique and rare opportunity as mentioned in this New York Times article: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=travel&res=950DE5DD1030F937A25756C0A96F948260

However, as a less wealthy Ron Paul supporter, you and those like you have carried most of the cost. And I submit that you may have even more to gain than the wealthy from supporting the blimp. At this point in the election it should be clear to you that there is no other candidate willing to support your interests. If it were not for Ron Paul, who would speak to the inflation that is eating you alive? Who would call out the Federal Reserve that steals your wealth every day as you work harder and harder? Who speaks to stop not only the Iraq war, but the would-be war in Iran, that would consume your sons and daughters? There is no one else. Ron Paul stands alone behind you, as he always has - but now millions of us stand behind him and refuse to be ignored.

And it should also be apparent to you that the corporate media will do everything that can be done to keep Ron Paul off of television as much as possible. They will literally exclude him and not even bother to give a reason! But one cannot censor a giant blimp. It comes to a city and picks up reporters and flies them around and then their editor expects them to write about that. Even if one keep all the cameras and reporters away from it, it hangs there in the air, huge, parked above major freeways, causing traffic to slow and office workers to crowd the windows. The blimp sends a message - we are here! We will not be ignored! Ron Paul speaks for me, for you, for all of us. But who speaks for Ron Paul?

You can.

If you do not use those dollars, you will lose them to the ravening maw of an ongoing currency debasement. Send them where they can do good, while they still can.

Only four days remain until the next downpayment. I humbly submit to you, my fellow Ron Paul supporters, that the blimp is a worthy expenditure of your hard-earned capital. I urge you to go to http://www.ronpaulblimp.comand purchase advertising to make your voice heard.

- TexasLiberty, a blimp advocate

hueylong
01-16-2008, 12:24 AM
blimp

gecko42
01-16-2008, 11:25 AM
That really spells it all out :D Save the blimp!

FreeTraveler
01-16-2008, 11:35 AM
The Blimp pays off $6.20 to $1 in media exposure.

The Blimp makes a great conversation starter instead of politics. ("How about that Blimp, ehh?")

The Blimp is a dramatic symbol of the power of Grassroots!!

The Blimp has inspired itself as a viral social meme.

It's HEADED TO TEXAS if funded!

One cannot censor a giant Blimp.

The Blimp sends a message - we are here! We will not be ignored! Ron Paul speaks for me, for you, for all of us. But who speaks for Ron Paul?

liberteebell
01-16-2008, 11:44 AM
Great post, texasliberty!

I wish I had the funds to support the blimp with large donations but I'm doing my best and hope others will too!

If you have a myspace, be a friend of the blimp and help spread the word.

http://www.myspace.com/theronpaulblimp

Mckarnin
01-16-2008, 01:42 PM
I realize that most people out in the Ron-Paul-o-sphere do not follow the blimp closely and do not necessarily understand how valuable the blimp has been. I wrote a fundraising appear making the case for keeping the blimp in the air and posted it to the Ron Paul War Room. Please feel free to post this anywhere else you think it would be of assistance.

---

Many, if not most, Ron Paul supporters are aware of the Ron Paul Blimp. But I find that not many people understand the full depth of accomplishment associated with the blimp, and what a tremendous campaign tool it is. We are coming to the end of the first month’s flight time, and fighting hard to raise money for a second month. If we do not raise this money, the blimp will cease flying. For many reasons, I think this would be a true loss - in media, symbolic, and actual financial terms. We must all make decisions as to where to put our money to best support Dr. Paul. As an enthusiastic supporter of the project, I thought at this time it would be helpful to lay out the full scope of the blimp’s value, so those who have not been actively following it can see what worth it brings. I would like, therefore, to make the case for the blimp.

Let us begin first with hard numbers. The blimp is a smashing financial success. Specifically: - It costs $400,000 per month to run. It generates $350,000 worth of direct advertising (people seeing it)

- Its media coverage, as of today, is worth at least $751,666 more (See http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?p=969938#post969938) using the most conservative calculation. - Ron Paul himself has noted that the blimp is “worth millions of dollars in advertising” (see the video on http://www.ronpaulblimp.com).

- A reasonable estimation (available on http://www.ronpaulblimp.com) projects the rate of return at 620%. If we stop funding the blimp, we would then need to raise $6.20 for every $1 of advertising we did not spend on it, or lose advertising power. Unless we are prepared to fold up our tents and not advertise next month, it would literally cost us money to stop flying the blimp.

I would now like to address what this earned media that the blimp gets us looks like. I would encourage you to go to http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?t=89114 right now and look at the list. As of today, you will find over 400 media articles of various types. However, those numbers do not really convey the scale of the coverage. If you are considering whether your hard-earned money should go to support to blimp, please go to the link above and scroll through the list to see what it looks like directly.

Returning to the direct advertising effect, the blimp contains a message to “google Ron Paul” and people quite literally do that - see, for example, this video testimonial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bDk_rcsQfo.

I would now like to move on to discuss some of the softer, but just as important, aspects of the blimp. I would first like to comment on the blimp’s power as a positive symbol. To put it straightforwardly, people like blimps. They are fun and interesting and positive. Talking about politics can turn people off, but talking about Ron Paul’s amazing airship comes at things from an interesting and positive angle. For this reason, most of those media mentions are positive, at a time when wringing a positive article on Ron Paul from the mainstream media can be very difficult. The blimp is photogenic and its pictures make voters smile and win a place in their hearts.

Furthermore, the blimp serves as a dramatic physical symbol of the growing power of the grassroots movement to restore our Constutition. It is literally the largest airship in the United States, with an envelope (gasbag) the size of the Goodyear blimp and a larger gondola for passengers. It is 190 feet long and 60 feet high, generates a loud hum that can be heard for some distance, and seen in person it is absolutely stunning. When, for example, parked over a primary (as done in South Carolina), it sends a loud and clear message to our would-be masters that keeping us off television as much as possible will not make us go away. The fact that we now fly our “dark horse” candidate around in private jets raises eyebrows. But the fact that we raise record-setting amounts of money for him, get hundreds of thousands of people to contribute to his campaign, and lease expensive giant airships for advertising all make a dramatic statement that we are here and we are powerful and we are growing in power every day.

Continuing on, I will note that the blimp has achieved a series of innovative record-setting firsts, showing clearly the innovative free-market power of our movement. It is the first blimp to be used in a Presidential campaign (the Dean campaign wished for, but was unable to obtain, one). It was secured entirely by private grassroots activists. The private company set up to run the blimp is an innovative and direct counter to the FEC’s attempts to stifle our right to free speech, and has obtained respectable press in its own right.

The blimp has inspired itself as a viral social meme. Dozens of YouTube videos and entire lines of internet parody press releases now reference the blimp. Television commentators frequently mention it in passing. And Meetup groups in several cities have deployed 25′ mini-blimp copies, which themselves have generated more media. All of this further contributes to the realization that the Ron Paul Revolution is everywhere.

To those in the Southern states, I will make the particular point that whether or not you get to see the blimp - or even ride in it, as several Meetup activists have done - depends directly on whether the blimp gets funded for a second month. I have seen the schedule laid out for a second month of flight and it brings the blimp along the Gulf all the way out to Texas, stopping in every major city along the way for a few days. You can have the blimp over your city - but only if we have the blimp!

In closing, I would like to discuss the innovative funding structure. Because the blimp is a direct advertisement like a billboard paid for by thousands of pooled supporters and run by a private company, rather than a campaign contribution, it is not subject to campaign contribution limits. This means that if you are a wealthy individual, you have the unique opportunity to put as much money behind the project as you like. If you have done well under the free-market system that is currently being dismantled, I would submit to you that it is a matter of your own financial survival that you do so! I would further note that a $5,000 purchase allows you to ride the blimp. Because blimps are all used for advertising, it is literally impossible to purchase a blimp ride on any other airship, so this is a unique and rare opportunity as mentioned in this New York Times article: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=travel&res=950DE5DD1030F937A25756C0A96F948260

However, as a less wealthy Ron Paul supporter, you and those like you have carried most of the cost. And I submit that you may have even more to gain than the wealthy from supporting the blimp. At this point in the election it should be clear to you that there is no other candidate willing to support your interests. If it were not for Ron Paul, who would speak to the inflation that is eating you alive? Who would call out the Federal Reserve that steals your wealth every day as you work harder and harder? Who speaks to stop not only the Iraq war, but the would-be war in Iran, that would consume your sons and daughters? There is no one else. Ron Paul stands alone behind you, as he always has - but now millions of us stand behind him and refuse to be ignored.

And it should also be apparent to you that the corporate media will do everything that can be done to keep Ron Paul off of television as much as possible. They will literally exclude him and not even bother to give a reason! But one cannot censor a giant blimp. It comes to a city and picks up reporters and flies them around and then their editor expects them to write about that. Even if one keep all the cameras and reporters away from it, it hangs there in the air, huge, parked above major freeways, causing traffic to slow and office workers to crowd the windows. The blimp sends a message - we are here! We will not be ignored! Ron Paul speaks for me, for you, for all of us. But who speaks for Ron Paul?

You can.

If you do not use those dollars, you will lose them to the ravening maw of an ongoing currency debasement. Send them where they can do good, while they still can.

Only four days remain until the next downpayment. I humbly submit to you, my fellow Ron Paul supporters, that the blimp is a worthy expenditure of your hard-earned capital. I urge you to go to http://www.ronpaulblimp.comand purchase advertising to make your voice heard.

- TexasLiberty, a blimp advocate


Thank you for this post Tex. It's nice to pull back from the project on occasion and look at it from the angle you describe in this thread. It's really amazing that we were able to do this together. I'm not sure if the enormity of it will ever sink in for me.


Katharine

gecko42
01-17-2008, 10:41 AM
Great post, texasliberty!

I wish I had the funds to support the blimp with large donations but I'm doing my best and hope others will too!

If you have a myspace, be a friend of the blimp and help spread the word.

http://www.myspace.com/theronpaulblimp

That's okay, we only need a few thousand people to give $20 and we'd be done for this week. The average donation to the campaign this quarter is about $72 but it all adds up :)

gecko42
01-18-2008, 11:26 AM
blimp

gecko42
01-20-2008, 06:26 PM
We need less than $10K to keep the blimp in the air! Save the blimp!

LukeNM
01-20-2008, 06:28 PM
After tomorrows MLK Day max out I will be converting funds to the blimp and other projects.

Thomas Paine
01-20-2008, 06:59 PM
Whether the blimp is worth millions of dollars of free media or not is irrelevant. The question is whether the blimp is getting people to vote for Ron Paul. I submit that the blimp is not convincing a sufficient number of people to vote for Ron Paul to justify the expense of keeping the blimp airborne. Case in point, Ghouliani has spent tens of millions of dollars and has finished behind Ron Paul in four out of five states. Thus, even though Ghouliani has spent more money than Ron Paul, Ghouliani is getting less bang for his buck. Similarly, we are getting less bang for our bucks spent on keeping the blimp airborne than we would if the same donations were utilized for GOTV efforts on the ground. In short, the blimp has passed the point of diminishing returns and is draining money away from the national campaign.

gecko42
01-22-2008, 12:51 PM
Less than $8K to go. If you are maxed out to the campaign after the moneybomb this is a good way to get over $6 of advertising value for every $1 spent.