The 2016 election cycle may be years away, and the Republican party may still be reeling from the aftershocks of 2012, but some of Rand Paul’s supporters aren’t waiting any longer to press their case for his presidential candidacy.
Even though Paul hasn’t officially declared his intention to run for president, and won’t for at least a year, a fledgling pro-Rand Paul super PAC is aggressively pushing for the Kentucky senator to lead a revolution within the GOP, calling for the expulsion of what they call “statists, do-gooders, planners, and neoconservatives.”
This new super PAC, called Human Action PAC, describes its mission in the starkest possible terms:
It is an open secret that those in the establishment have no loyalty to the scolds, the bigots, the defenders of the gerontocracy and the people for whom “big government for me, but not for thee” is a rallying cry. In fact, their leaders seem to acknowledge, deep down, that those people are killing the Republican party.
To those leaders looking for a way to excise that cancer, we offer a candidate who can purge those people’s ideas while still holding onto the mantle of principle.
Senator Paul’s office has not commented on these claims.
Human Action PAC, which launched its Web site officially this Monday but has been live for several months, has raised a little over $1,000 and lists more than $8,000 in debt, according to OpenSecrets.org, and their first FEC filing. The organization first began spending money on December 31, 2012, when they spent just over $3,000 to support Rand Paul for President, according to the same FEC filing.
Anthony Astolfi is the leader of Human Action. Astolfi is a 12-year veteran of political campaigns who started his first political organization at the age of 16, and now works out of the marketing firm Campaign Seeds in California. His bio lists the following political candidates/organizations as being beneficiaries of Astolfi’s help:
After getting a taste of the corporate world Anthony decided to go back into business for himself and created an online marketing company.
It was towards the end of this period that he started using his previous skills to influence the political landscape. Anthony was responsible for two large rallies and a fundraiser in support of Ron Paul for President in 2008, Anthony was lucky enough to be able to introduce Dr. Paul before his speech at the event. Following this successful fundraising event Anthony was asked by the campaign to create a “Students for Ron Paul” website responsible for organizing the outreach and fundraising efforts of college age supporters of Dr. Paul’s candidacy.[...]
Next Anthony started Campaign Seeds to service the marketing and fundraising needs for politicians & activists and PEACPAC, a political action committee, to draft candidates to run for office. Campaign Seeds’ first project was to create an online news network for CAIVN (California Independent Voter Network), in order to help CAIVN influence the electoral process in California. CAIVN used this tool successfully to influence the electorate to vote the way they wanted winning two ballot measures. During this project PEAC PAC launched campaigns to draft Peter Schiff to run for U.S. Senate in Connecticut and Rand Paul to run for U.S. Senate in Kentucky.
Some other figures who have benefited from Astolfi’s help include John Dennis of California, who challenged Rep. Nancy Pelosi for her seat both in 2010 and 2012, as well as other libertarian leaning candidates, mostly at the House level. Without a doubt, Astolfi’s biggest success story is his success with the “Draft Rand Paul” effort, which eventually persuaded the man who would become Kentucky’s Junior Senator to run for his post.
TheBlaze put in some emails and managed to get Astolfi himself to sit down and answer a few questions via email. The full interview follows below.
1. Give the readers some idea of your background. What qualifies you in particular to be leading this effort?
I am a part of a team of passionate professionals that founded Human Action Super PAC. Our founders have skill sets ranging from programming, to volunteer coordination, to copywriting and branding.
My particular skill set and my involvement with the PAC is centered around marketing. I co-founded the effort that drafted Rand Paul to run for U.S. Senate. I consulted for the Ron Paul 2008 campaign and did fundraising for Campaign for Liberty.
In both the 2010 and 2012 election cycles candidates under the direction of my firm raised millions of dollars online, generated hundreds of thousands of supporters on facebook, and generated hundreds of thousands of leads (by way of petitions, pledges, etc.).
I plan to use my particular skill sets and proven experience in branding, design, lead gen, marketing, online advertising, social networking, and fundraising to haul in similar results for Human Action Super PAC.
2. Why Rand Paul?
We believe Rand Paul will be the leader to take the liberty movement to the next level and accomplish the tangible results needed to shift our country back toward laws based on the Constitution and sound free market economics. Rand can reach across the aisle, communicate to a larger audience, and make the liberty message even more palatable. He is an incredible communicator, and has what it takes to change Washington from the inside out.
Rand Paul has strong positions on the issues that are going to make or break America’s future: He will stand against further bailouts, every time! Rand Paul understands that our currency is being destroyed by the Federal Reserve and will fight for it to be fully audited. Rand gets that over-regulation and over-taxation hurt the middle class and make our economy weaker. Rand Paul knows ObamaCare is unconstitutional and as a physician like his dad, he knows it is bad for patients. A Rand Paul presidency will be one where we can be sure that ObamaCare will be ended – unlike the recent GOP nominee who foisted government controlled healthcare in Massachusetts.
In addition, “Rand Paul for President” looks awesome on a bumper sticker! As a way to help kick-off Human Action Super PAC we’ve decided to give away free Rand Paul for President bumper stickers.
3. You worked on the “draft Rand Paul” effort in 2010. Do you think Paul will prove as amenable to the idea now as he was then?
I think even more so! One of the keys to wooing Rand to run for U.S. Senate the first time around was showing him that he could amass a huge support base. To do do this we set up live tickers of sign ups in support of his candidacy as well as a live “moneybomb” ticker to show the financial support we were tapping.
Soon after the Draft Rand campaign launch he called me in disbelief of the overwhelming support.n Initially this support was made up of a lot of his father’s supporters, then they grew to tea party supporters, then Kentucky based conservatives… This support continues to mount and will eventually sweep the nation.
We believe that the more people learn about Rand Paul the more support that we can show, the more excited he will be to tap this energy and manpower to make a lasting difference in our Country.
4. How much do you think Ron Paul’s legacy is going to affect Rand Paul’s candidacy if he runs?
It was Ron Paul who brought me into the political universe and changed the course of my life, and MILLIONS of others just like me. If he did that much for me in the last eight years, imagine being raised from birth by the man like Rand Paul. It is important to remember that Rand has been campaigning for his father since he was in his twenties and this experience makes him well polished on the campaign trail.
Ron Paul as a philosopher and educator championed a movement and woke up a generation. However Ron’s massive success in spreading the message of liberty has not yet translated into many political victories for this movement. We believe Rand Paul will be the leader to take us to this next level and accomplish the tangible results needed to shift our country back toward laws based on the Constitution and sound free market economics. Rand gives us a chance to reach across the aisle, communicate to a larger audience, make the message even more palatable. With our help he’ll get more people on our team. He is an incredible communicator, and will help us change Washington from the inside out.
The vast and deep groundwork laid by Ron along with 4 more years of bad policies and disastrous overspending creates an environment in which a candidate like Rand Paul can leverage to a victory and reclaim the White House for the American people in 2016.
5. Does the GOP need to change? Would Rand Paul’s candidacy change the GOP? How?
Human Action Super PAC believes that GOP needs to get back to the basics, and by that we mean the principles of our Founders.
The statists, do-gooders, planners, and neoconservatives have moved the political spectrum so far to the left that many of the Republicans of today would have been considered Democrats 50-60 years ago, especially considering fiscal matters such as the bailouts.
Rand Paul’s candidacy would have a major effect on the GOP. Rand isn’t considered one of the good ‘ol boys of the Republican party, and for good reason, because he isn’t. The thing that Rand can deliver most to the GOP (outside of independent voters) is a reality check. There is a lot of finger pointing and blaming of Obama going on, and “evil” democrats… but the party has a lot to do with the problems we have today. It was George Bush that got the bailouts rolling, lets not forget that Romney, Boehner (he even cried in favor of it) and McCain all supported and continue to support those bailouts. Before Obama started setting spending and deficit records it was G.W. Bush. We can keep up the blame game, but it didn’t work last election, and it isn’t going to work next one.
Rand is the type of principled leader that suggests we first get our house in order before we start chucking stones.
Lastly, its time some principle was brought back into the party. Its time someone with a philosophy stood up and was consistent on the issues, even when it wasn’t popular, because it was right. It can’t be argued that both of the Paul’s aren’t known for voting on principle.
6. Paul holds beliefs that would upset people in both the Democratic and Republican parties. Do you think that hurts his ability to pick up endorsements and fundraising?
I think this is a two way street, yes there are a few things that might upset people on different sides of the aisle. When you answer questions with actual answers and not cryptic talking points it can tend to cause a reaction.
We think Rand’s philosophy has more attributes that will actually attract people from not only both parties, but the key voting block of independents. To win the presidency it is key to attract support from more than just your own party. Rand’s positions on the issue are in line with what the average American believes…
Often the Republican party champions liberty in economics (well they used to) and the Democratic party champions liberty in personal matters (well they pretend to). Rand Paul champions liberty and the personal responsibility that comes with it in both areas, that is common sense, that is what will return our Country to greatness.