From the February 2008 Idaho Observer:
Ron Paul Revolution Roundup
There has been a lot of concern regarding the rigged voting, media blackouts and even some murmurs that Ron Paul is dropping out of the Republican presidential nominee race to protect his congressional seat. Meanwhile, the donations keep coming in, grassroots dedication and creativity is unprecedented as is the awakening that is occurring in this country. It is our belief that Ron Paul is experienced in the ways of power and politics and that his intentions and his tactics are to be trusted. We see his current actions as analogous to Mohammed Ali’s "rope-a-dope" strategy that kept him the heavyweight champ years past his prime. He let the young contenders flail away at him while he leaned on the ropes and let them absorb some of the energy from the blows hitting his body. In between rounds, he rested and trusted the men in his corner to keep him in the fight. Then, when he sensed his opponents had tired themselves out, he knocked them down.
The top three contributors to Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul’s campaign are from the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force, respectively. "No matter how you measure it, Dr. Paul has the support of our nation’s brave servicemen and women," said Kent Snyder, Ron Paul 2008 campaign chairman. "His message of a strong national defense, and only going to war with a declaration of war—as mandated by the Constitution—resonates with those who risk their lives to defend that Constitution." No branch of the military appears among the "top contributors" to GOP frontrunner John McCain’s campaign. Additionally, Ron Paul’s military contributions are greater than those of all other current candidates—John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama—combined. The "Top Contributors" figures can be found at www.opensecrets.org.
The Ron Paul blimp flew around the southern states this winter. The blimp is headed back home to it’s hangar in Elizabeth City, NC. The blimp did not receive enough sponsorships to keep it aloft any longer. They will be keeping the banners in hopes of flying the blimp for "round 2" in a few months. The Ron Paul Blimp and Liberty Political Advertising are not affiliated with the official Ron Paul Campaign. For more info or to make a contribution go to www.ronpaulblimp.com
$25,000 for Ron Paul NASCAR
Ron Paul Racing, founded by grassroots supporters of Ron Paul, hope to sponsor Fitz Motorsports’ Kenny Wallace and teammate Mike Bliss in the 2008 Nationwide Series NASCAR season. These Ron Paul supporters were frustrated with Paul’s lack of news media coverage in his bid for the White House, so they decided to bypass the newsroom and go straight for the sports desk. The group is holding an online fundraiser at www.ronpaulracing.com for a season-long associate sponsorship of Fitz Motorsports’ #36 (driven by Kenny Wallace) and #22 (driven by Mike Bliss) in the Nationwide Series. The NASCAR Nationwide Series (formerly the Busch Series) kicks off on February 16th at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, Florida. Like the Presidential campaign, the season runs into November.
"The sport’s 75 million fans are a perfect demographic for Ron Paul," says Kathleen Hanover. "NASCAR fans tend to be conservative-leaning, patriotic, and pro-military. Since Ron Paul’s top three sources of campaign contributions are active duty members of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force respectively, we think it’s a great fit. And with an audience that’s 40 percent female, NASCAR reaches more women than any other sport. We think Ron Paul’s message of small government, secure borders, a strong national defense and low taxes will resonate with NASCAR fans. And we think this may be the first ever attempt at a season-long NASCAR sponsorship funded entirely by individual donors on behalf of a political candidate."
The $300,000 sponsorship package, put together on Feb. 7th, will take Ron Paul’s message of Peace, Prosperity and Freedom to over 75 million NASCAR fans for nearly 40 weeks. "The most valuable part of the deal is the TV coverage opportunities that come from being associated with Kenny Wallace. He has over 1.2 million viewers per week on The Speed Channel, plus millions more viewers every race weekend," Hanover says.
The deal includes Ron Paul signage on both cars, the team’s pit equipment, and both 18-wheel transport vehicles. "It also includes appearances by the team’s ‘Show Cars’ at special events," notes Hanover.
Ron Paul Racing hopes to schedule the appearance of a Ron Paul Show Car in Texas on March 4th, the day of the state’s primary election. Wallace, known as "The Hermanator," is a popular TV host on The Speed Channel, appearing on My NASCAR and NASCAR Race Day every week. In a recorded message to Ron Paul Racing supporters, Wallace stated his support for Ron Paul and his economic platform, calling the 10-term Congressman from Texas "a breath of fresh air."
As of Saturday morning, February 16th, the group had raised $24,409 from 357 individual donors. Supporters will sign the sponsorship contract with Fitz Motorsports once they’ve collected enough donations to fund a $50,000 deposit. The group will have to raise about $30,000 a month from then on to maintain its sponsorship. "We were hoping to raise the deposit in time for the Camping World 300 on Saturday, but it looks like we’ll have to aim for the Stater Brothers 300 next weekend at California Speedway as our first race," says Hanover. "Frankly, people were pretty skeptical that we could pull this off at all. Considering the fact that no one has ever done anything like this before—in the history of NASCAR or politics—we think we’re doing pretty well."
Ron Paul Air Corps
Launching what will be a nationwide campaign across America’s skies to raise awareness and support for Ron Paul’s candidacy for president, the Ron Paul Aircorps flew a huge "Ron Paul Revolution" campaign banner by helicopter for four hours on January 3rd over Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The Ron Paul Aircorps represents another facet to the overwhelming grassroots outpouring of support for Ron Paul. "In the weeks ahead, the Ron Paul Air Corps plans to put a hundred or more banner flights above American cities to get the message about Ron Paul out," says Ted Anderson, owner of Genesis Communications Network. "By the end of January, we plan to have 50 flights take to the air. You can buy as much ad time as you like. Flight time will be determined based upon the collective whole. The aerial advertisements will continue as sponsorship lasts."
Over $47,000 of the projected $200,000 has been collected. The Ron Paul Air Corps is not a PAC so contributions can be unlimited and in addition to any other donations made to the Ron Paul campaign. Visit www.ronpaulaircorps.com
First quarter fundraising
So far this quarter, the Ron Paul presidential campaign has raised $6.08 million, averaging $122,800 per day with an average donation of $49 per person. The first quarter projection for donations is in excess of $11 million. The Ron Paul President’s Day money bomb was able to bring in over $500,000 for the Presidential and Congressional Campaigns (roughly between $520,000 and $525,000 total). The goal for the congressional campaign was beat by nearly $350,000!
The congressional challenge
Ron Paul recently wrote about the challenge to his congressional seat: "The DC neocons think their old dream is about to come true. They think they can defeat me in the Republican congressional primary in Texas on March 4th. And you know what? They may be right. My opponent [Chris Pederson, a 43-year-old certified public accountant who is currently serving as mayor pro-tem in Friendswood, a city of 34,000 in the shadow of Houston’s metroplex], who describes himself as a traditional conservative, is a dedicated servitor of all the special interests who have given us the disaster of recent years, from unconstitutional wars to a looming recession, from huge deficits to massive new welfare programs. In my 10 terms in Congress, I have not only been able to serve my constituents and help them, for example, negotiate federal red-tape. I have also been able to defend our principles of less spending, lower taxes, no inflation, and strict adherence to the Constitution. Some people in DC laugh at the idea that I should obey my oath of office and ask first of any proposed legislation, is it constitutional? But I know that you share my support for the vision of the framers.
My friend, Congressman Wayne Gilchrest (R-Maryland) was just defeated in his primary election by a neocon fraud similar to the one I face. My friend Walter Jones (R-North Carolina) is under heavy pressure as well. People like our hand-picked opponents will do anything to gain and keep power. They represent everything that is wrong with DC. If I am defeated in the upcoming congressional primary, our ideas will be held to have been defeated as well. It will be proclaimed from the rooftops in DC that such "ridiculous and outmoded notions" as the free market, sound money, personal liberty, limited government, and a pro-American foreign policy are through. I am determined not to let this happen. All that you and I believe in is far too important to the future of our country, and to everyone and everything we love, to let the neocons dance on its grave."
The 14th Congressional District in Texas that Ron Paul has represented for 10 terms contains the longest stretch of Gulf coast in the state. Ron Paul recently switched his focus to his congressional race leaving many of his supporters concerned that he was abandoning his presidential bid.
From a short-term perspective this could appear to be the case, but we should consider that Dr. Paul is a veteran of political campaigns. He may well be using the rope-a-dope strategy that made Mohammed Ali such a successful fighter.