Paul’s fundraising turns heads

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,, 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.”


Associated Press writer Beverley Wang in Concord, N.H., contributed to this report.


  1. Stratocaster

    I wasn’t going to use that word, but since Sandra said bullshit first, that is what all of this sounds like to me.

  2. Stratocaster

    What a politician tells the public and what a politician wants to do are always two different things. If you look hard, you can always see the hidden agenda beneath the facade.

  3. Sandra Price

    Then stick with the same socialistic plans of the Democrats and Conservatives. If you want something more in the line of freedoms and rights, consider Ron Paul.

    The GOP is running scared after all the money came in on 11/5. Pat Robertson just endorsed Rudy Giuliani but only with his promise to appoint pro-life judges. Even the Religious Right realizes that Hillary is wearing the gold metal in November 2008.

  4. almandine

    Ron Paul’s most ardent proposals are to reform our monetary policy to rescue the value of the dollar and to rescue our foreign policy from the preemptive warmongering that now seems our way. These, like his other initiatives, are based on adherence to the Constitution – or that “goddamn piece of paper” as our current President likes to call it. Paul’s voting record over the last 20 years or so demonstrates that he not only talks-the-talk but walks-the-walk, something almost totally absent in US politics. Of course there will be many, many things he would not get accomplished as president… those other pols in DC would see to that. Perhaps, however, he would be able to instill a new zeitgeist in the US by which our citizens would regain the foresight, ability, and desire to govern themselves instead of looking to Uncle Sugar for every need. Perhaps, too, this new approach would eliminate the terrorist threat – both real and perceived – that bedevils us from without and within. Certainly, he could do no worse than the despots and crooks we now have “representing” us.

  5. remoran

    At least he stands for something, a quality not forthcoming on any of the other bozos running for President. I, for one, am glad this is happening as it is so refreshing to hear somebody that is not “handled” to death when somebody asks him a question. I don’t agree with everything he says but at least he says things with conviction. Goldwater was another pol that did this and I, as a liberal, respected him greatly for that quality. Right now, I like what Paul is saying and I would have no problem voting for the guy if he gets the nomination, something I could never say with the rest of these non entities running on the GOP side of things. As for the Dems, let’s not go there. :)

    “Never stop questioning.” Einstein

  6. Paolo

    Ron Paul may be the last, best hope for this country.

    On the Republican side, we have a bunch of warmongering imperialists who would nonetheless gladly keep up the domestic welfare programs in order to garner votes and consolidate power.

    On the Democratic side, we have a bunch of welfare state socialists who would gladly keep up the imperialist programs in Iraq and elsewhere in order to garner votes and consolidate power.

    In short, to quote George Corley Wallace, “there ain’t a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties.”

    Ron Paul would make a difference. No imperialism, no welfare state! Let the people keep their own money. Cut the government down to a tenth its current size.

    Sounds good to me–for a start.

  7. yarply

    What gets me is,,,That from the polls taken the majority of the US people say they want, 1. An end to the Iraq war and the troops brought home. 2. Something done about the immigration issue. 3. Something done about border security. 4. Want the return of jobs to this country. 5. An end to NAFTA. 6. An end to out sourcing of US jobs overseas. 7. The economy fixed. 8. The income crisis (devalued dollar) fixed. 9. A return of liberty and privacy.
    10. An end to the Patriot Act and 11. Many other of these type of issues fixed, and YET,,, they fail to or seem to fail to rally behind the ONLY candidate which has an honest reply, and a plan to solve these problems, but follow after the ones who continue to propagate the same BS. They keep following the same ones who lie and get caught lying, over and over again. They keep following these multimillionaire elites who do not give a crap about them. They keep following after people who support torture and would take the last vestiges of freedom from them. They keep saying; we want freedom; we want this and we want that, but they will NOT follow after the ONE GUY who seems to truly stand for and wants the return of what these people say they want.
    I guess its the old adage that holds true, birds of a feather flock together,, and deep down these people are morally sick, and that is why they keep following after what is false, and ridicule what is true. When you look at the records of all the people running for office,, only Ron shows a consistent stand in his voting record and stance in what he believes in. No one has called him a waffler or a flip flopper. Nope they call him,,, Mr. NO….. They mean this as an insult but I believe it is a compliment. He does not have a “public” view to the people and a “private” view to the rich elite.
    That is what some people call integrity……
    Which means a steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.

    I think Ron Paul has integrity.

  8. SEAL

    The Ron Paul supporters rave on about all the wonderful things Paul stands for such as an end to the war, small government, more individual freedom, and so on. But they never reveal how he plans to accomplish all these things. I can understand why because his proposals are insanity. Like selling off all the public land to the highest bidders. Right. Big oil would by it all and start drilling. That is just one of his crazy ideas. Wake up people.

  9. LurkingFromTheLeft

    Thank you for saying that –

    …I mean, he can plan all he wants, but he is just trying to be PRESIDENT – not KING –

    …we’ve got one of them already – ain’t working for us either –

    …he’ll still have the same motley crew of assorted idiots in Congress –


  10. Sandra Price

    Ron Paul stands firmly on the 10th Amendment giving the individual states authority over all actions not called out in the U.S. Constitution.

    Individual freedoms are not insane SEAL but the foundation of our Nation for 230 years. Paul has the courage to call out those parts of the Bill of Rights and support them; such as the 4th Amendment that provides all Americans privacy within their homes and correspondence.

    The problem with Paul’s designs is that they are focused on freedoms and many Americans may have been dumbed down to not understand freedoms. Freedoms are not excuses to break the laws as the Conservatives are saying, but that the individual State’s have the social laws covered without the Federal Government’s oversight.

    Many of us over the age of 70 and up remember the promises of freedom from the government that was part of the 60’s generation. But this Fiscal Conservative movement was not possible as Americans were getting used to handouts from the government and LBJ gave them all they wanted.

    It is time to return to individual freedoms and get the enormous government out of our bedrooms and classrooms. Most Americans are afraid of living by their own moral values and seem to want Big Daddy to lead them like sheep. Ron Paul would be our key out of this social jail we have designed for ourselves.

  11. Jeffers

    Already had one from Arkansas, too. Lying, cheating, raping, … And from the same family now.

    How can you compare Ron Paul to Bush? I can’t imagine that either of them would.

    Now like LBJ, (or Perot for that matter), though some similarities.


    Peace without freedom is still slavery.

  12. keith

    Regardless of whether you love hate his politics, you simply gotta love what Ron Paul is doing.

    He and his growing list of (primarily Internet-based) followers are poking their fingers squarely in the eye of all the well-heeled, corporate conglomerates and other media elites that currently have an absolute stranglehold on our country.

    And, despite their very best efforts to squelch his message at every turn, they haven’t yet figured out a way to effectively do that because they haven’t yet figured out a way to control the Internet.

    Fortunately, THAT particular genie is already out of the bottle.

    Clearly, Mr. Paul doesn’t have a snail’s chance in hell of winning the Republican nomination. However, running as a Republican, he HAS now been able to raise enough cash to eventually buy his own media coverage to be heard.

    And once the “Republicrats” pick their nominees (a process that will be all over but the shouting by this coming February) I predict we may see Mr. Paul drop his Republican label and then emerge as a very strong “grass roots” candidate (similar to what Ross Perot did a few years back) using the money and growing attention he’s already earned in the primaries.

    However, as a self-supporting, independent candidate for the Presidency, the media elites will then absolutely have NO CHOICE but to include him in the mix. And, THAT, my friends, is what’s REALLY scaring the living daylights out of both the “Repbublicrat” crooks AND the corrupt, corporate media barons keeping them all in power at the moment

    For, thanks largely to the awesome, “grass roots” power of the Internet, candidates like Mr. Paul may now actually have a real chance of winning.

  13. thirty3na3rd

    He plans to draw down our military presence overseas (what George Washington referred to as “foreign entanglements” in his farewell address – in other words, although the article calls avoiding foreign involvement “isolationism”, it’s actually “non-interventionism”). He will use the huge savings from redirecting our military to its original “defense” posture to honor Social Security payments to those who had played by the rules and paid into the program. He plans to allow young people the option of foregoing participation in the Social Security program if they choose. Ironically, in addition to being falsely accused of planning to cut the program off at the knees, he has on the floor of Congress actually fought against taxing Social Security benefits.

  14. Sandra Price

    That’s great! I think that after all the campaign bullshit is aired for all to see by both parties, Paul, could very well pull a Perot. Even though Perot lost, he added a lot of inspiration to the GOP who began to look like Fiscal Conservatives for a couple of years.

    Paul is beginning to wake up the great annoyed voters of America and again we may have a real choice. I felt running as a Republican may have been an anchor around his campaign. If he splits from the GOP he will have my support!

  15. Sandra Price

    Strato. Paul will not discontinue Social Security but give people a choice to join up or not! Nobody who is on S.S. at this time will be deleted from the program. This could have been done at any time except the government got their greedy hands on our retirement funds. It destroyed Enron when Lay did this but our own government has been doing it for many, many years. If you want, you can stay in the system and take your chances there will be anything left when you reach 65.