The Shotgun Blog
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Where Did Ron Paul’s Money Go?
If I was a Ron Paul donor, I’d be feeling pretty ripped off these days. Plenty of guys (and they were mostly guys) were wandering around forums bragging about how they were scrimping and saving in order to ship money off to help fund the “Revolution.” While, as I’ve said before, I despise Paul and most of what he stands for, one can’t help but feel a degree of admiration for such ardent enthusiasm. Of course, when you scrimp and save to win, it’s empowering. When you do it to lose every single primary and caucus that you compete in, it’s got to be disheartening.
Some of the people who donated to the Paul campaign are surely wondering what happened to all of that money. Frankly, I’ve been wondering the same thing - $30 Million is a lot of money to blow through without visible effect. Sure, Mitt Romney blew through far more than that – but I saw plenty of evidence of where that money went. I don’t recall a single flashy ad campaign from Paul – certainly none that could have cost even a fraction of that amount.
After a discussion on this the other night, I decided to go and do some digging in Ron Paul’s finance reports. I didn’t expect to find anything too shocking. I figured that, well, the same thing probably happened to Paul as happened to Howard Dean in 2004 – he wasn’t prepared to run a national campaign and, when he did, expenses spiralled out of control, with plenty of unscrupulous consultants cashing in at the expense of a candidate in way over his head and, beyond that, with plenty of money being wasted on essentially improvising a Presidential campaign.
Certainly, there appears to be some of that. A lot of Ron Paul’s advertising dollars went to what seem to be second-tier companies with shoddy websites (something I’ve learned, over the years, is the be suspicious of any company which claims to be a modern firm but which has a website which appears to be at least ten years old).
For example, one wonders what exactly Paul’s donors got for the $120,000 paid to MPrinting Graphics, a firm controlled by Paul’s Congressional campaign manager which doesn’t even appear to have a website, for television advertising production in the week after Super Tuesday. I’m not suggesting that anything illegal or immoral occurred here, of course. One just wonders what ads those paid for and what experience that firm had in the field.
Indeed, paying $162,051 in the space of six days to a business controlled by your Congressional campaign manager in the week after Super Tuesday creates, at the very least, an appearance of impropriety. Especially when one recalls that, between Super Tuesday and the March Texas Primary, there was speculation that Paul was in trouble in his home district.
Nothing illegal about hiring your friends, of course, but one has to wonder how the people who donated money that they needed themselves to Ron Paul because they believed so strongly in the cause feel about their money being spent in such a fashion.
Even more interesting is the $994,339 that the Paul campaign spent – roughly 3.5% of all the money that the Paul campaign spent – at a firm known as “Campaign Marketing Strategies Inc.” based in Alexandria, Virginia. The firm has no website. It appears to have no phone number. I can find no description of what it does. The address provided by the campaign – and in what records of the company I could find – it for what appears to be a private home.
A Campaign Marketing Strategies Inc. was registered in Virginia on July 17th of last year. According to Virginia records, the firm’s registered agent is one “Chris Cupit.” I have no idea if this is the same Chris Cupit who was tied to the 2002 New Hampshire phone jamming scandal – and who was seemingly connected with the Constitution Party's 2004 candidate - but it seems possible.
The money is generically listed as being for “telecommunications” with no further elaboration. The other large expenses made under this heading appear to have been for robo-calling. Though, in the other examples I examined, the companies all had the basics of business – you know, things like offices, phone numbers, web sites, and so forth.
So, what was that $1 Million for? I don’t know. I couldn’t call up Campaign Marketing Strategies Inc. to ask what they do, since they don’t have an office, a web site, an e-mail address, or a phone number.
Now, let’s be very clear – I’m no t suggesting, hinting, or even implying that Ron Paul ran off with the money or that he blew it as a patron of the Emperor’s Club VIP or whatever else. I’m quite convinced that’s not the case. What I’m suggesting is, from a libertarian viewpoint, probably worse: I’m suggesting that he squandered it.
Caveat emptor, as the Romans used to say.
Paul’s personal history – marketing ghost-written ultra-right newsletters whose contents he disavowed as soon as they became inconvenient – ought to have been taken as a sign by his supporters. First, that he’s not a man above attempting to enrich himself through populist opportunism. Second, that someone whose entire life up until this point was strictly small-time might not be up to the challenge of effectively managing tens of millions of dollars.
Where did the money go? It evaporated. Some of it went to his friends. The rest of it – most of it probably – went to smooth-talking consultants who bamboozled him as effectively as Lyle Lanley did when he sold the people of Springfield a used Monorail.
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Great article and right on the money. Too bad the Paul-ites are too embarrassed to admit they squandered their moeny.
Posted by: vinnie | 2008-03-29 4:43:05 PM
Ron Paul is the only honest candidate running for President! The only reasons he didn't win any primaries is because of voter fraud. The MSM ignores him still...they know if they actually did their job, and the voting machines weren't rigged, Ron Paul would win by a land slide! He wins his Congressional seat by 70% of the vote, but gets 5% for the Texas primary? Even a moron can see it was fixed,lol. Nobody wants Clinton, Obama, or McCain. You are grasping at straws with this article.
Posted by: Judy | 2008-03-29 5:32:38 PM
Pitiful: you use his name to boost your own rating. However, every voice has a right to be heard.
My voice will continue to support his message of love of our country and the Constitution .
He believes in a strong national defense, but also thinks that war should be declared in accordance with the powers of the Constitution. He believes in fiscal responsibility. His campaign is funded by individuals. He has incurred no campaign debt. For this, he is labeled as a non-viable candidate, and a “nut”.
I don’t have to agree with everything that Dr. Paul stands for- I agree with the Constitution, medical rights, veterans’ rights, a strong currency, a free press, enforceable immigration, and limited government.
I am not alone. Dr. Paul has received more support from individuals in the American military than any other candidate in the 2008 Presidential election. His campaign may be silenced by the mainstream media, but not his message. Dr. Paul is not willing to “win at all costs.” He will not sell his “Hope for America“. He is still in the race. Make your own choice: every voice counts.
Posted by: DianneinVA | 2008-03-30 2:28:50 PM
Well we all know what opinions are like. But you sir truly are what is the worst in men. You despise a man who stands for civil liberties & limited government? So I find myself thinking "what does a person who fells like this dream of"? But as sure as your servitude, you no longer dream.
I think your next peice should be on caricatures of Islam. Just so you can learn the true meaning of despise. Who knows you just might learn the power of freedom of speech, and why we as Americans should never lose it.
To all my free American Brothers and Sisters out there keep informing the people! To the few sheeple on this blog who dont see Ron Paul as the greatest patriot in generations, just keep doing what you do best, nothing.
Posted by: KillKilKill | 2008-03-31 9:53:01 AM
Knox County, Maine spent more on the Iraq war than Ron Paul spent on his entire campaign. $41,894,289. If I lived in Knox County Maine, I'd be feeling pretty ripped off these days.
But for everyone here who's frustrated by The Naugajournalist, just remember:
"Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Where Did Ron Paul’s Money Go?:
Posted by: Pattern Recognition | 2008-03-31 10:08:44 AM
Travis, Dan, ew, Brandon, Cointelpro, , Jamie, Stuart, Brad, George, Gavel, Earthmother, Aaron, Byran, MJ, Puerto, Riz, 1440, David A, Charles, blakmira, , D, Crystal, Tom, Tim, Carl, Lance, Sharon, JC, Ozzy, Dave, Sean, Dennis, Rocky, Rachel, Laura, Jeffrey, and everyone else who came here, screamed at Adam, and left.
Adam is doing what he's supposed to do as a manufacturer of products. This is a blog. It's a warehouse full of products. The products are postings that draw traffic. Traffic that's supposed to drive ad-clicks, and thus revenue.
You all found this post, and came here. In that sense, Adam's doing his job.
On the other hand, because he's not drawing in positive traffic, he's driving down the click-through statistics on the site, which in turn dilute the per-impression value of the page, which cuts into revenue.
You all found this post, and came here, posted feedback, and left without visiting a sponsor. In that sense, Adam's undermining his career.
Google indexes this site weekly. The current cached page is dated the 22nd. Why does that matter? Because everything Adam has written along with every subsequent riot of negative responses have been indexed. Now Adam has a 5,200 page public supplement to his resume. It's full of accusations of shoddy research, evidence of clumsy style, examples of public tantrums, and above it all the enormous red flag of snide immaturity that hasn't gone away as he ages. He's pissing all of you off, but he's only hurting himself.
Given the enormous field of would-be journalists, would-be pundits, and even would-be politicians (there are some 50 million regularly updated blogs on free hosting sites alone), it's not going to be enough to be the loudest and most ferocious voice in the crowd to earn recognition and build a career. It's going to take a measured approach (think of Mossberg), a network of sources on all sides (think of Jennings), respect from your opponents (think of Woodward), and a willingness to lay aside your temper that isn't demonstrated in the Google-powered 5,200 page public supplement to his resume. Think of the work ahead of him if he wants to displace that gigantic public blot. The truth is, I feel sorry for him.
Adam, I apologize if that came across harshly, but the fact is, you've got to decide where you want to take your career. It's your career Adam and your responsibility, not the WS's responsibility. You're on the shoulders of a very small crowd, and a very fickle and transient crowd too. Fans come and go with their fancies. Pandering to a few fans isn't practical or sustainable. If you're serious about this journalism thing, take a hiatus, put some energy into meeting some of the big names. Talk to them in person. Get their feedback. Grow. Give the world something more than just an angry young punk. Be a man with a voice, not one of the millions of kids with a keyboard.
Posted by: GoogleKarma | 2008-03-31 11:07:55 AM
Sweet jeebus, comment threads like this are why I LOOOOVE Paultards. Comedy gold!
Posted by: Ron Jeremy | 2008-04-26 2:16:03 AM
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