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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.

Posted by Adam T. Yoshida on March 27, 2008 in International Politics | Permalink

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Comments

How about you are a piece of [email protected]*T wannabe reporter. You still don't get it. Don't worry we will not click on you again to get you up on the list. That is why you wrote this hit piece. Now we just need someone to hit you.

Posted by: Jim Whitehead | 2008-03-27 3:41:20 PM


Sir,

You have to do a lot more research before insinuating that the money was squandered. You don't know much about politics and you are making suggestions that are unfounded. The real questions are, why are you dirtying Ron Paul and where is the American taxpayers' money going. Come on. Grow up!!

Posted by: Randy Kettle | 2008-03-27 3:42:42 PM


Weak article! How about looking into the campaign funds of the heavy players as well as where these funds originated from rather than this petty garbage. It appears that you are just trying to smear the image of the only candidate that says it like it is. Where did Ron Paul's money go? Who cares? The man has managed to get out a message while at the same time being suppressed by the MSM. That alone is priceless!

Posted by: Hans | 2008-03-27 3:47:01 PM


Last I heard he still had $5mill on hand, and was planning on continuing to travel and spread his message until that runs out. Better that then turn it over to the GOP. I donated the max, and while would have liked to see a victory, and maybe a few staff changes, I feel it was money well spent, and I'm glad he plans on using it all up to spread the message.

Posted by: osmad | 2008-03-27 3:48:00 PM


Ron Paul is stockpiling the money to fund the Real Freedom Train, a time machine that will send Dr. Paul into the future where he and a dedicated group of Ronulans will fight the Bildebergs' and their ruthless army of cybernetic Wal-Mart greeters.

http://fusionistlibertarian.blogspot.com/2008/02/and-now-for-something-little-different.html

We sacrificed the Constitution. We spit on the gold standard. Now only Ron Paul can save us from ourselves! Vote Ron Paul 2048!

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-03-27 3:48:47 PM


"If I was a Ron Paul donor..."

Well, looks like you weren't, and as such don't try to tell others how Dr Paul's supporters feel!
Add AT Yoshida to the list of RP smearers.

Posted by: Bob Smith | 2008-03-27 3:50:02 PM


for months, rp was literally begged to run.
seeing belly-achers like you, i can well see why he hesitated for months. no one forced you to give.
i gave plenty too, but i knew what we were up against, and a presidential run was literally shooting the moon. but a better chance had not come up in the 35+ years i've been voting.
the money i spent was worth the look on their faces at the debates when confronted by the truth administered not unlike that first slap a baby gets from his obstetrician, ushering him into the real world.

Posted by: rick | 2008-03-27 3:56:13 PM


I just donated another $25 yesterday after reading that Fox News article about Paul.

Posted by: Willem de Wit | 2008-03-27 3:58:58 PM


Is the author Canadian?? If so, that explains a lot! LOL Most of them are socialists and no one cares what they think anyway.

Posted by: Desiree' | 2008-03-27 4:10:07 PM


"If I was a Ron Paul donor, I’d be feeling pretty ripped off these days"

But since you're not, and you say you despise the man, nobody cares what you think. Ron Paul supporters didn't donate money on the condition that he win. They didn't donate the money to him, they donated to the cause - the spreading of the message - which Dr. Paul did, and is still doing.

If you made a donation for cancer research, would you feel ripped off because they still haven't found a cure? Well, apparently YOU would, but most people would understand the principle involved.

Posted by: Charger | 2008-03-27 4:19:34 PM


God, you're dumb. I was searching for the right words to say, but I can't be those three.

Posted by: AKK | 2008-03-27 4:20:12 PM


"If I was a Ron Paul donor, I’d be feeling pretty ripped off these days"

But since you're not, and you say you despise the man, nobody cares what you think. Ron Paul supporters didn't donate money on the condition that he win. They didn't donate the money to him, they donated to the cause - the spreading of the message - which Dr. Paul did, and is still doing.

If you made a donation for cancer research, would you feel ripped off because they still haven't found a cure? Well, apparently YOU would, but most people would understand the principle involved.

Posted by: Charger | 2008-03-27 4:24:00 PM


Randy Kettle asks, "The real questions are, why are you dirtying Ron Paul"

The second sentence of the article says, "I despise Paul and most of what he stands for"

I think that answers Randy's question.

Posted by: logicprobe | 2008-03-27 4:34:11 PM


I donated $2300, and I don't feel ripped off at all. In fact, I wish we would enter general election stages and he's still in it, so I can send him another $2300.

I am more happy with how and what the $2300 I gave to Ron Paul was spent on, than I am with the much larger amount I am forced to give the government each year.

Posted by: badmedia | 2008-03-27 4:34:54 PM


Hurrah! Glad to find a WS blogger who is as disgusted by Ron Paul's Arabist anti-self defense outlook as I am. I too have been wondering if he has to return all that money?

Lookee at all the whack job "911 was an inside job" idiots that came out of the woodwork to lambaste your blog. Man these guys are always there to find anything anywhere said about Ron Paul.

Here's an idea of the quality of his donators. My brother in law voted for Paul and wants to work on his campaign because he doesn't believe in paying and hasn't paid income taxes for some time. LOL. See you in jail bro. Maybe we can scare away the rest of the faux conservatives that post here defending Ron the goosestepping Paul.

Posted by: Faramir | 2008-03-27 4:37:10 PM


He pretty much spent his money doing the things the media did for McCain for free. Liberals stick together like that.

Posted by: bill Moore | 2008-03-27 4:41:07 PM


If I was a world citizen, I would be feeling ripped off.

Oh wait, I am, and I do.

Posted by: Adam T. Yoshida = dumb ass | 2008-03-27 4:41:12 PM


It's really hard to take you seriously. Paul's integrity stands alone.

Posted by: Flo | 2008-03-27 4:48:50 PM


a better question would be

Where is the Money we spend half our gross national product on, the Military Industreal Complex, going?

Posted by: roboto | 2008-03-27 4:58:50 PM


You say 'if you were a Ron Paul donor', but you aren't so what is it to you?

I am one, and am only sorry I've maxed out for the primary and can help his campaign and message only indirectly through grass roots efforts.

Even in 'classic run to win' parlance he made a lot better expenditure of money than did Rudy Guilliani who achieved only a single delegate for a much higher cost. Moreover, while RP is politically stronger for this run, with 40 candidates now running in various local races under his platform and a pac to help fund campaigns of like minded candidates, most of the other candidates have diminished in political importance.

Further, as of the end of February, he still had over $5 million in the bank and (of course) zero debt.

If he runs third party, I will chip in my $2,300 in the first money bomb, and glad to do it. However, I have no problem with how he has spent his cash, and if you want to poor over his campaign spending records while those who gave him the money trust him entirely, all I can say is you must have time on your hands.

Posted by: spinnikerca | 2008-03-27 5:00:48 PM


As a Ron Paul donor, I have no complaints and would do it all over again, if he decides to run as an independent in November.

That being said, I'm sure some of the money could have been better spent, although the same would be true of any major political campaign.

An honest look at the financial reports wouldn't just focus on a few poor decisions, it would summarize all of the useful expenditures as well. Millions were spent on radio ads in about a dozen states, TV ads were aired in several early states, and direct mail was used extensively, some of it very high quality.

Posted by: Craig | 2008-03-27 5:02:56 PM


Ron Paul also built an extensive field organization in about 40 states, from the ground up, in just a few months. This was a major expense, and one all of the serious candidates faced. Giuliani and McCain and Romney built their organizations a year in advance, and it almost bankrupted McCain when he couldn't raise as much money as the other two.

Was it money well spent? Ron Paul did very well in the caucus states where a good ground was required, compared to primary states where media attention determines the outcome. In primary states, he earned between 3 and 8 percent of the vote. In caucus states, it was between 8 and 25 percent, with a few second place finishes.

Posted by: Craig | 2008-03-27 5:08:29 PM


"Mock on, Mock on Voltaire Rousseau"

Posted by: Marcil | 2008-03-27 5:11:48 PM


Yoshida is right.
You better send you’re money to this guy.
http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=iuZZrlFBpCo

Posted by: Marc | 2008-03-27 5:23:00 PM


Best $2300 I ever spent.

Posted by: Colin | 2008-03-27 5:34:31 PM


Why America didn't fall in love with the Ron Paul crowd, we'll never know.

Posted by: Garnet | 2008-03-27 5:39:49 PM


even if he squadered the money the money i donated represented a person who is tired of collectivst socialists democrat and republican party. if that allows like minded people to come out the shadows and scream they are sick and tire of the same ol same ol also then it all was worth it.

Posted by: bob | 2008-03-27 5:52:06 PM


"I despise Paul and most of what he stands for" Why? He stands for freedom. Are you against freedom?

Posted by: Tom Paine | 2008-03-27 6:05:43 PM


YOU ARE AN IDIOT!

Posted by: wayne fazio | 2008-03-27 6:14:48 PM


The revolution will not be televised...remember that when you are looking for a new job after the country is placed back into the hands of it's rightful owners...the people. You and those like you will no longer have a place in this country.

Posted by: sickntired | 2008-03-27 6:34:46 PM


So let me do some math..... you have what say approx: 1.3 million that possibly could have been used better (although you have no proof).... peanuts dumbass

Posted by: Nalynd | 2008-03-27 6:45:22 PM


Wow, you're a professional reporter? No wonder Dr Paul wants to abolish the Dept of Education. You're obviously a product of it's low standards. Can you spell "jackass"? Good, sign your checks with it from here on out...

Posted by: dave | 2008-03-27 7:08:06 PM


adam yoshida ??? what a f%cking idiot. Dr Paul is an honest man with intregity!! this is somthing you sir have obviously no idea about and are totally obvlious too. Crawl back under your rock fool. If you live in the United States of America and are as you so put it opposed to what Dr. Paul stands for and the idea's he represents then you must be against freedom the Constitution and liberty. If this is the case the GET F%UCK OUT !!!

Posted by: jon baxter | 2008-03-27 7:20:09 PM


I DON'T CARE AND I DON'T CARE THAT YOU PRETEND TO CARE...I have never had as much fun giving money away before. Long live Dr. Paul, long live RP R3volution.

Posted by: Baba Padmanabhan | 2008-03-27 7:21:07 PM


Who could not doubt the internationalist leanings of the writer of this electronic fishwrap! Low grade agit-prop, that it is, however. I say, "who cares what the national Ron Paul outfit does with the funds? I do my bit in the county I live in." I am a nationalist...I could give a hang about other places on the globe, other than those parts within due metes and bounds, And called The united States of America. Lets pay off the foreigners first and then keep the product and wealth of America for Americans. Do remember, it aint over, even after September 4th. See you in St Paul !

Posted by: ew keane | 2008-03-27 7:26:04 PM


Is Ron Paul an avatar? Does he live on circuit boards and travel the internet highway? Is the money just a collection of ones and zeroes, of digits and nulls on a billion computer drives? Where Ron is is where the money is. God bless him and all his supporters. Democracy wins -- even if it stinks.

Posted by: Agha Ali Arkahn | 2008-03-27 7:39:31 PM


I donated as much as I could put aside; I was more than happy to do it, and if I could get that money back, I would not take it! For those of you who ARE Ron Paul supporters and are disappointed that you don't have more opportunity to spread the message of liberty -- please consider supporting some of the organizations who are fighting for the same cause, such as The Mises Institute ( http://www.mises.org ), the Foundation for Economics Education ( http://www.fee.org ), and/or The Cato Institute ( http://www.cato.org ).

Posted by: Eric H | 2008-03-27 7:53:33 PM


By the way, it's called a news aggregator!! I see almost every Ron Paul article that hits the web and I'm not some 9/11-truther who's sitting in front of his computer for hours on end. To imply that just shows that you are in attack mode with your article.

Posted by: Eric H | 2008-03-27 7:59:22 PM


Alright alright, so you don't like the guy, you did a little research found where the money went. Seems pretty reasonably spent, I mean maybe he had to buy the second rate internet sites. but then again for every one he bought, supporters put up more of there own money to make websites for him.

I understand that you may not agree with what he says but give credit where credit is due, The Paulistas have put there money where there mouth is and I have as of yet seen a more pronounced group support a candidate. I mean who gets a blimp, a video made for the campaign by actual graphic designers that looks better than anything, the rest have put up. I digress though, the heart of the matter is if you are this good at outing a guy you dont like why dont you spend some time telling us what WE want to here, how but Mccains expenses where have all of them gone, now he had some money too, and what about the rest Obama and hilary, why dont you create an article about all of them that way we can compare who spends what on what and how effective it really is. oh and dont forget to dig up those corporate companies, or private investment firms.

So do some real journalism report about all the candidates and you wont have the 911 conspiracy theorists here saying how bad of a journalist you are as your website gets spammed by RonBots bent on hurting your servers. (its happened before only reason i brought it up.)

otherwise stop writing, journalism is about the whole truth not just parts you want to show us. Soon it wont matter, the new media is sprouting up nationwide and soon even the MSM will have to listen.

Posted by: Libertas | 2008-03-27 8:15:52 PM


WOW. Another idiot with a blog. Get a clue, the country is not doing so well and you are worried about what Ron Paul is doing with money. Ask Bush and congress what they are doing with our tax dollars.

Posted by: dfw | 2008-03-27 8:52:21 PM


I didn't donate much, but considering I've never donated anything but time to a candidate, party, or campaign before, it felt good.

It still feels like the best $50 bucks I ever spent, supporting a true defender of the Constitution and the principles the USA was founded on.

I don't agree with the obvious conditioning of the people to accept a world government, and Ron Paul is still the only viable presidential candidate that is fighting the globalists.

Posted by: James Moore | 2008-03-27 8:59:33 PM


you say you despise what most of what Ron Paul stands for. you are an idiot! why don't you try living in china...or zimbabwe...or the soviet union you freedom-despising fool! and when you say you don't know because you never talked with them...exactly - you don't know - and this isn't any sort of journalism...pure bullshit. why am i wasting time here.
i for one am proud to be a part of the ron paul revolution. come read my blog and wake up! truthseeds.org

Posted by: truthseeds | 2008-03-27 9:21:24 PM


Thanks for research and posting this! I'm a Paul supporter who suspect all along that those managing the money were very naive and didn't know a good television commercial producer from a bad one. I also always suspected that "friends" were getting rich, being paid to churn out shoddy product. And yes, Paul himself seems to not pay attention to what goes on under him, in the same way that happened with the newsletters. He seems like he's in his own world all the time. I have to admit that though he very smart and knows what's wrong with the country and the economic system, he's not fit to be president due to low leadership and supervisory skills. I think his staff took advantage of his lack of supervision and made themselves and their friends a lot of money.

Posted by: Don | 2008-03-27 9:21:59 PM


Geeze. I've been hearing and reading that you guys in Canada thought Ron was the only honest candidate.

Just because the MSM special interest groups don't have Ron plastered all over your TV set, don't assume that the money has been wasted. If you take the time to check what's been going on in many of the state conventions, you'll find that the investment is flying high under the radar.

Ron has run the most honest campaign by any candidate and not supported by special interest groups, major corporations, or investment bankers. His only support come from the American people who are supposed to be the ultimate authority.

Posted by: Web Smith | 2008-03-27 9:31:29 PM


Wow, must be a McCain supporter being so ignorant, funny how theses kinds of people still get jobs...

Posted by: Brian Sato | 2008-03-27 9:37:49 PM


I author a less specific piece concerning the same thing on Nolan Charts. All I can say is that Ron Paul is too good to be a politician...and we all know what happens when something is too good to be true...it isn't.

P.S. Let the mindless defend him...if Paul weren't in the race they'd be first in line at a McCain rally doing the same thing about his FEC violations...they are sheepel who couldn't dare criticize their leader...they are a necessary part of the process.

Posted by: Jessie Jones | 2008-03-27 10:12:45 PM


I went to Adam's website and looked at his various screeds....good grief, this guy is just another porcine pasty white guy screaming about the end of privilege for whitey in this world. And he lives in Vancouver, this city must drive him nuts!

Why does the Western Standard have these third tier writers who recycle their own 'end-of-white-privilege' myopia at this website? Can't you let them atrophy in obscurity at their own website, do you have to give a voice here? Can't you find some brainy, witty, enlightened conservatives or libertarians?

Karen Selick, may I suggest. Pierre Lemieux is fine but he needs to broaden his oeuvre. Instead of Bush apologists like David Frum, get a hold of some P.J. O'Rourke clone, or some of the leading libertarians, or writers from Cato, Reason, Freeman, The Individualist. Ron Paul would be incredible and he's prolific. How about Mike Gravel, who is now seeking the libertarian Party nomination? How about Bob Barr, a former Republican Congressman? These guys all write and they have some credibility and they will serve to enlighten.

What the heck, I'm disgusted enough at the calibre of bloggers here, I offer myself. If you stop carrying this Yoshida trash, I'll write for you once a week, guaranteed, at a penalty of $200 to Western Standard for any missed deadline, and I'll write about myself only 10% of the time, and marijuana and prohibition 10%, and I'll stretch my 'ouevre' and write about other subjects 80% of the rest of the time.

I would be glad to submit my bona-fides at your request, but I've been a newspaper editor, magazine publisher, editor, writer for decades, and I am actually a journalist so most importantly, I will try to studiously avoid assertions and actually get corroboration for my claims. You know, opinion tempered by the facts.

As you know, Mr. Jaworsky, I am read and philosophically grounded by major conservative thinkers (Friedman, Sowell, Williams, Simon, ) and the canon of Austrian-economics (Mises, Hayek, et al), but I will admit I can't stand Mark Steyn, Ezra Levant (except his latest crusade, which is so worthwhile it redeems his islamophobia and fanatical Zionism), all the "conservative" writers at the National Post and Globe who heralded this appalling war in Iraq and who have never been fired since for their gaping lack of credibility.

I do have my biases, but then, I've read their writing.

Posted by: Marc Scott Emery | 2008-03-27 10:16:38 PM


I suppose you motherfuckers prefer a man like Paul who stands by the acts committed in the film by Gert Wilder? Paul wants us to reason with these animals? I say we bomb the shit of these motherfuckers who dare to touch our sons and daughters.

Posted by: Faramir | 2008-03-27 10:29:52 PM


"Where Did Ron Paul’s Money Go?"

Who cares?

As PT Barnum once said, there is a sucker born everyday.

I hope these idiots that are posting on here, as well as all the others that sent this goofy little dwarf their money, asked for a kiss to go along with the a** screwing they got.

There are plenty of strict constitutionalists who are actually sane, and are worth supporting. Talk about betting on the wrong horse.

Long live the revolution!!! Good grief.

Posted by: deepblue | 2008-03-27 11:01:55 PM


Some people are not afraid to get on an empty banwagon, while the cowardly only step aboard when its full.

-Silus

Posted by: Abe | 2008-03-27 11:04:00 PM


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