ProPublica

Journalism in the Public Interest

Cancel

Ron Paul Is Really Serious About Transparency

Unlike other candidates, Paul’s campaign reports the smallest expenses, even the 12 cents at Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

The campaign of GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul borders on fanatical when it comes to filling out expense reports with the Federal Election Commission. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)

This story was co-published with Yahoo! News.

He may be in last place when it comes to delegates, but when it comes to filing expense reports with the FEC, Ron Paul beats everyone.

His campaign's hyper-vigilance is notable, verging on fanatical.

Every bank fee, every 22 cents at a FedEx, every $1 toll on the Florida turnpike, every $5.09 pit stop at any Starbucks anywhere, every doughnut from Dunkin' Donuts and Dough Nutz -- it's all right there, itemized in the Paul campaign's copious expenditure reports. In 160 instances so far, the campaign has reported purchases costing a single dollar or less.

Last week, ProPublica examined the spending of the five presidential candidates and the major super PACs, identifying their 200 top payees.  But as part of digging into the more than $306 million spent through February, it was impossible to avoid the other end of the spectrum: The small bucks, if you will.

The Paul campaign tracks every cent like no other, which Paul campaign officials say is deliberate.

"We take the trust our donors place in us very seriously and are deeply committed to transparency and accuracy in our reporting," wrote Paul's campaign manager, Jesse Benton, in an email response to ProPublica. 

Deeply, indeed.

Under Federal Election Commission rules, campaigns only have to disclose expenditures of more than $200 per election cycle to an individual or a vendor. And, for most campaigns, that's mostly how it works. Sure, there's the odd $1 rental car expense for Mitt Romney's campaign, a few $5 bank fees for Newt Gingrich, and the inexplicable one-cent expense reported by Rick Santorum to the Stoney Creek Inn in Johnston, Iowa. But generally, they don’t sweat the small stuff.

By and large, neither does President Barack Obama’s campaign, which explains on its reports that it specifies travel reimbursements totaling over $500 to any individual and payments to vendors that exceed $200 for the election cycle, but otherwise doesn't itemize.

That just won't do for the Paul campaign. A similar thoroughness seems to extend to one of the super PACs supporting him, Endorse Liberty. Super PACs, like other outside spending groups, are supposed to file reports of independent expenditures—TV ads or phone calls or direct mail on behalf of or against a candidate—within a day or two, depending on the time in the election cycle. But Endorse Liberty files all expense within 48 hours, including the $71.92 spent at Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant on Feb. 13 and the 8 cents paid to Google for online advertising on Feb. 27.

Paul’s expenditures show what it’s like to run for president and life on the trail.  It’s a journey through gas stations and fast-food joints in towns like Romeoville, Ill., Sugar Land, Texas, and Correctionville, Iowa. There’s a kind of poetry to the purchases, which range from the austere ($59.50 for meals at the Puritan Backroom), to the whimsical ($28.43 for a meal at The Peddler’s Daughter) to the downright depressing ($26.72 for catering from Little Caesars pizza in Colorado on New Year’s Day).

Like Paul himself, the campaign staffers often seem to value thrift. On Oct. 18, for instance, someone spent $1.09 for office equipment at the Dollar Tree in Baton Rouge. Eight days later, someone else spent $1 at a Salvation Army on Sheep Davis Road in New Hampshire for event supplies.

Staffers often ate cheap, spending $1.39 for a meal at the Circle K in El Dorado, Kan., on Sept. 27, $1.27 at the Kwik Star in Charles City, Iowa, on Dec. 9, and 99 cents at the Conoco in Moses Lake, Wash., on Feb. 20. Well, maybe they weren’t meals.

“We actually don’t have any food here,” said Chris Chase, the manager of that Conoco, who didn’t recall anyone from the Paul campaign and actually had never heard of the Paul campaign. “We’ve got some candies. Suckers are under $1. We’ve got some protein bars for 99 cents, some Planters peanuts for 59 cents.”

There were a few splurges: For example, the $26,690.01 listed for staying at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nev.

Though exhaustive, the Paul campaign’s record of purchases sometimes left us wanting to know even more. How is it possible to stop 119 times at the same Kum & Go gas station in Ankeny, Iowa? And what office supply was possibly downloaded for $1.07 on iTunes on Nov. 25?  

We asked, but the campaign offered no response. Sadly, we may never know. (Update: Thanks to Twitter, we can report that the Kum & Go is less than a half-mile from Paul's Iowa headquarters.)

Just want to correct something here, Ron is NOT LAST in delegates, most delegates the media is “giving” to the other candidates are based solely on proportion from the straw polls, which mean nothing. By most actual estimates of the delegate process (which usually happens a month or two after the straw vote) Ron is in 2nd place at the moment, maybe even first, please inform yourself of the delegate process before writing in the future.

ARE you kidding me??????????? What Horse Sh!T, look at romnerys or santorums tax returns… BETTER YET, look at the amount spent on a daily basis for their “security”.  Lets look at the US nightly Curfews being instituted for drug wars or better yet “our safety” and then VOTE RON PAUL 2012!!

Mr.Stephen Schweter

April 2, 2012, 12:15 p.m.

Hello
If the people are not smart enough to VOTE Dr.Ron Paul this Nation is TOAST. Any one see the quote by Ben Franklin at the Ron Paul.com site.

Hear it is Demoracy   Is there are 2 wolves and 1 lamb ready to take a vote on what to EAT. Check out NV when the Pubs are forced to hold a HONEST   Caucas Dr.Ron Paul does very Well.
At his 2012 site there is a Hopeful article.

Peace
Stephen Schweter

Complete transparency, what a concept.

Dr. Paul 2012

motter: you are an incorrect sillyhead. Ron Paul is the worst candidate and will never be president. For that, I am grateful.

Way to hit off your article with a completely false premise.  LOL. 2nd in delegates by far - do a little research before putting something up on the internet? I hope you don’t get paid.

This country does not need a figure head leader we need a real man! A man that’s willing to do and take the necessary actions for our country to ESCAPE DEBT, END THE FED, and FINALLY PULL OUT OF IRAQ. This man needs to just get the nomination if that occurs we can finally have a peoples president….

Great argument Vito, I like where you were able to fully convince me that Ron Paul is the worst candidate and will never be president.

Michael Hoyer

April 2, 2012, 1:50 p.m.

When someone spends “Other People’s Money”, then there should be complete transparency.  I’m lucky to live in a county where all spending reports are published online for all to see.

Philip Cardella

April 2, 2012, 3:19 p.m.

Ron Paul’s campaign might as well report every campaign expense. It’s not like they spend any time on ideas grounded in reality, the actual constitution (the one the people who will tear this comment apart know they haven’t read), or planning for actually being President. Though I must admit, $200 is a big number and I appreciate that the Paul campaign is transparent, even of its just a tactic (it is).

Still Voting For ‘Mitt Romney’?
http://youtu.be/EQwrB1vu74c

Bill Greenjeans

April 2, 2012, 3:22 p.m.

Ron Paul is squeaky clean and moral on all fronts and that is the kind of person the Feds like to go after because they can’t bribe or extort him nor his campaign.  So it is imperative that the campaign have absolute detailed reporting.  They have looked for something to nail him on as the media is continuously search for a weakness to attack.  Like this article.  You would think they would have gone after the big guns before attacking Ron Paul except the love their man Obama and want him reelected so they tout Romney who can’t get his own family to vote for him.

Re:  “...the inexplicable one-cent expense reported by Rick Santorum to the Stoney Creek Inn in Johnston, Iowa”

No doubt Santorum went to give a skeptic his two cents on what he would do for the American people and got change back.

Go Ron, lead by example.

Dr. Paul receives millions monthly directly out of the pockets of his supporters. His supporters whom, like most Americans, consist of folks who make low wages, but believe in him so much that we alot of times will give 50.00 that we barely have. Dr. Paul realizes this, and in turn his “fanatical” itimization is his way of making sure those people know exactly where their money went. To many, 50.00 doesn’t seem like much, but to those who only have that to give, it is, and the fact that Dr. Paul goes the distance to show his appreciation and acknowleges that every dollar counts, is just another example of the kind of person he is, and why his supporters are so loyal.

@Jonathan S.:  Problem is Paul’s ability to “lead by example” in this instance is offset by his positions in almost all other instances.

For instance, Paul saying he wants to obliterate the Fed and the Fed’s ability to print money when Paul himself has condoned and supported the creation of enormous black holes - “flood-up/trickle-down” economics, trade deficits, foreign oil payments through the Republican enforcement of America’s oil addiction, etc. - that have an overwhelming effect upon the flow of money in our economy.

Those black holes are like somebody using double-ought buck to blow holes in a bucket you’re trying to fill up with water:  You turn the hose of the Fed off, and that bucket is going to go dry.  And who would that affect?  Who would that drive into starvation?  Every American who has less than several years of cash reserves - that is, the 99%.

Trivialities like how much was spent on coffee mean nothing when juxtaposed against positions designed to make the 99% the starving - the dying - slaves of the 1%.  Paul is an agent of the right - the 1% - only he doesn’t know it. 

lollll…his positions are too radical…would work too swiftly…for even those vultures.

Mary Mc Dowell

April 2, 2012, 3:59 p.m.

Great article,thanks !! Ron Paul is the only hope for this nation.Ron Paul 2012 !!

Gerald Weber

April 2, 2012, 4 p.m.

I like this article. It shows what kind of person Ron Paul is and the strict discipline and organizational skills he and his followers possess. It gives us an example of how disciplined he willbe as our next president.

There was an error in your first statement, but you probably were just repeating what others have told you without investigating it for yourself. He is not in last place in delegates. Some of the delegates haven’t been elected yet. In most states his organization succeeded in getting as many as three times the amount of delegates that the media has been reporting. Yes,  freedom and a non-interventionist foreign policy are very popular. I suspect he is in 2nd place only to Romney and that could easily change with a brokered convention. Most people that vote their conscience would vote for Dr Paul. He is the only candidate that wants more freedom, less government interference, more liberty, no undeclared wars, a balanced budget, an end to the drug war, and sound money. Who in their right mind wouldn’t want that? That is why his supporters will vote for only him, whether he is the nominee, whether he runs 3rd party or whether he doesn’t run and they write his name in. For me, there isn’t anyone else that is worthy of my vote.
There is a R3VOLUTION in this country. It is called the Ron Paul R3VOLUTION and it is happening right now all over the country. With Dr Paul drawing as many as 5,200 people at a campaign speech, it is obvious that his support is much greater than the news has been reporting (they misreported it as 2,500 but that was an honest typographical error). President Ron Paul 2012! Here is a video for you to see how the media is desparate to stop the R3VOLUTION.  It can’t be stopped. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hONl8bAhRGI Enjoy!

Larry Sullivan

April 2, 2012, 4:06 p.m.

@ibsteve2u if your premise is correct that he serves the 1% then would you please explain why the 1% funds the campaigns of Obama, Romney, Santorum and Gingrich but not Ron Paul?

As far as I know Ron Paul has never had any campaign debt.  I wish I could say that about myself.

ibsteve2u, please do yourself a favor and read up on RP’s economic policy.  He is the only candidate (Republican or Democrat) who is TRULY concerned about the middle class. He explains how our big government policies, and corporate welfare system (bailouts) does absolutely nothing to help the 99%, it in fact only helps to transfer our wealth to an even greater degree to government. By baling out corporations, we the american taxpayer have assumed A LOT of debt in the form of national deficit.  Printing money only makes it worse, and serves to de-value our dollar. The hit in 2008 should have been taken at the corporate level, not the working man’s level, in the form of huge increase in the deficit on OUR dime…..

@larry sullivan:  I believe I did in my last sentence.  Paul’s approach would realize the end game of those members of the 1% who are “the right” too swiftly.

Rather than a slow slide into the status quo of Eastern Europe under the Soviet Union, the slow decay we see now would be abruptly transformed into an abrupt crash.  From a psychological perspective, the American people wouldn’t have time to “adjust” to a steady decline in their fortunes and way of life, but would instead be shocked into action - and “Eat the rich!” would be transformed from a slogan into a plan.

That, I assure you, “the right” wishes to avoid; hence, their support of such as Gingrich and Romney who can be trusted to maintain steady pressure on the knife in America’s back that is the greed and lust for power of “the right” instead of plunging it into the hilt as Paul would do, thus causing the mad thrashing that accompanies the death of great things.

Phillip Churelington

April 2, 2012, 4:40 p.m.

ibsteve2u, what kind of red herrings are you making up?

Ron Paul has never talked about ‘flood-up/trickle-down’ economics, controlling trade deficits or foreign oil payments.

The Fed is destroying the value of our currency. That means prices go up immediately like gas and food, but wages don’t. THAT hurts the middle class and the poor the most.

Ron Paul did not say anything about “obliterating” the Fed. He said to come out with a competing currency, like gold and silver, while we audit the Fed and see what they are doing with this country’s money.

You falsely make it sound as though President Paul would change everything overnight. This mess didn’t happen overnight and it won’t be cured overnight. But President Ron Paul can make a lot of progress in his first term.

@shawnboy:  You should ponder why the Fed quit printing the M3 money supply figures on March 23rd of 2006, the rapid rise in trade deficits resulting from inequitable free trade that occurred at that time as well as the rapid escalation in the price of oil that began at that time.

And then spice you’re preliminary conclusions with the fact that Paul is a “free trader” as well as a Texan…and further ponder the fact that Paul has done nothing to break the Republican blockade of alternative energy research and conservation measures or worked to hinder the Republican enforcement of America’s addiction to burning carbonaceous forms of energy. 

I rather doubt that a Republican from Texas could be elected - could find campaign funding - unless he or she had agreed to be pwned by Big Oil and/or its associated and dependent industries.

There is certainly no evidence in the Congressional record of any other conclusion.

Larry Sullivan

April 2, 2012, 4:43 p.m.

@ibsteve2u You are correct that he would do his best to allow the correction to happen but your assertion that this would be a bad thing simply isn’t true. If the debt is liquidated those who made mistakes would suffer and rightfully so. Then, with that out of the way, we could get back to business without the dark cloud of impending doom hanging over the heads of investors and employers.

@shawnboy:  You should ponder why the Fed quit printing the M3 money supply figures on March 23rd of 2006, the rapid rise in trade deficits resulting from inequitable free trade that occurred at that time as well as the rapid escalation in the price of oil that began at that time (i.e., the escalation in the rate at which money - what the Fed prints - was being drained from the American economy).

And then spice your preliminary conclusions with the fact that Paul is a “free trader” as well as a Texan…and further ponder the fact that Paul has done nothing to break the Republican blockade of alternative energy research and conservation measures and has otherwise not worked to hinder the Republican enforcement of America’s addiction to burning carbonaceous forms of energy. 

I rather doubt that a Republican from Texas could be elected - could find campaign funding - unless he or she was friendly to Big Oil and/or its associated and dependent industries.

There is certainly no evidence in the Congressional record for any other conclusion.

Walter D. Shutter, Jr.

April 2, 2012, 4:46 p.m.

The reason the 1% fund the campaigns of the “mainstream” candidates for President, particularily the present incumbent, is because when Al Sharpton’s notorious blueberry pie is cut, they want to have a seat at the table.  It’s called hedging your bets.
On the other hand, Ron Paul offers the 1% nothing: No government contracts, mandates, or giveaway programs to make them richer still. Hence, they do not support his campaign and ignore or riducule him at every opportunity.

@Phillip Churelington, who emoted “Ron Paul has never talked about ‘flood-up/trickle-down’ economics, controlling trade deficits or foreign oil payments.”

Exactly.

He wishes to bring our ability to cope with those enormous, gushing arterial wounds to an abrupt halt without doing anything about the wounds themselves.

Rather as if “Hawkeye” or “BJ” of MASH had yanked the plasma/whole blood flowing into a wounded solder out and then walked away without sewing him up.

Phillip Churelington

April 2, 2012, 5:07 p.m.

@ibsteve2u: You just spout off to goof on people, don’t you?

If the Fed stopped reporting the M3 figures, it was probably so they could do what they wanted without anyone 2nd-guessing them. Ron Paul’ Fed audit would expose that.

You call Ron Paul a ‘free trader’ and a ‘Texan’ like those are bad things somehow. The conclusions to jump to from your implications are miserably absent.

Ron Paul is not going to break any Republican blockades of un-Constitutional Congressional activity like alternative energy. Why would he? When they’re right, don’t stop them!

Ron Paul has spoken out against Obama’s crony-capitalism of “loaning” $535 million of taxpayer money to Solyndra owner and Obama campaign contributor so Obama could get a campaign kickback and the contributor wouldn’t have to repay the loan. Ron Paul has spoken out on that kind of corruption.

It’s cute that you “rather doubt that a Republican from Texas” could be elected. Why not? Nothing wrong with either of those.

And just because you “doubt it” doesn’t mean 2 cents to anyone else.

As far as finding campaign funding, Ron Paul has set records in campaign funding. And he gets his money from the active troops and the people, not Wall Street like Obama and Romney. And not from Big Oil.

There’s certainly no evidence in the Congressional record that any of your off-the-wall-with-no-basis-in-reality opinions make any sense.

lolll…you make it obvious, Phillip Churelington, that you don’t align your interests with the 99% - that is, with the American people.

When I said “Rather as if “Hawkeye” or “BJ” of MASH had yanked the plasma/whole blood flowing into a wounded solder out and then walked away without sewing him up.”, I was entirely serious:  The consequences for the soldier - in this case, for the 99% - are quite predictable.

Phillip Churelington

April 2, 2012, 5:23 p.m.

@ibsteve2u: Exactly?

Did you think the President was supposed to tinker with the economy? That’s one of the reasons we are in this mess!

Ron Paul realizes that the it is NOT the job of the President to control you, your property, or the economy. It is the job of government to provide an environment for the economy to operate. A framework only.

If you think we have EVER had the “ability to cope with those enormous, gushing arterial wounds” in the economy, you are a mistaken Keynesian (forgive the redundancy: I know all Keynesians are mistaken.)

Your M*A*S*H metaphor is interesting, but not apt. You are implying that as President, President Ron Paul would abruptly make changes that would cause catastrophes in the economy.

1st: the President is not “all that” in regards to the economy.
2nd: the President, as I mentioned above, is not supposed to be some Economy Czar
3rd: Ron Paul has talked about cautiously, carefully stopping un-Constitutional government activities, keeping in mind the people who are dependent on them.
4th: M*A*S*H is apt theme for a Ron Paul point because Ron Paul was a Flight Surgeon in the Vietnam War! Ron Paul WAS the REAL Hawkeye Pierce of the Vietnam War!

Ron Paul 2012 or none at all.

Phillip Churelington

April 2, 2012, 5:29 p.m.

Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate that cares about the 99%. The Fed is run by the 1% for their own benefit.

The wars that Ron Paul will stop benefit the 1% that own and control and benefit from the Military-Industrial Complex.

We can go on, but YOU really need to start looking at the facts and thinking about them!

Ron Paul has been working at this for 30 years. This is NOT a man that is abrupt!

Of course, maybe Ron Paul has a plan to replace America’s currency with something that escalates in value at a rate equal to or greater than the rate at which the dollar is currently being drained out of our economy by “flood-up/trickle-down” economics, trade deficits, and oil payments?

That is, a self-inflating flim-flam that replaces the dollar - and the Fed’s habit of printing money - one-for-one?

Think about it:  If you have a finite supply of any resource, and you have some privileged groups - America’s 1%, the right’s co-conspirators in Communist China, and the right’s other co-conspirators in the Islamic OPEC nations - able to sequester that resource at a far greater rate than anybody else, then eventually - sooner, rather than later - that resource becomes unavailable to the many…rather than circulating, it becomes a part of the asset base of that privileged few.

That is the scenario Paul advocates:  A dollar (or whatever) that is very, very strong because only the few have any.  And because our economy depends upon the circulation of its lifeblood - the dollar (or whatever) - once that circulation stops, the economy dies.

(Unless you’re one of the few of “the right”...in which case you get to play God and dictate who lives and who dies based upon your charitable whims…which is apparently the desire of Ron Paul as well as those who have actually thought out the consequences of his “plan”.)

LibertarianGuy

April 2, 2012, 5:33 p.m.

I would guess the iTunes $1.07 “office supply” would be a 99 cent iOS app.

Phillip Churelington

April 2, 2012, 5:34 p.m.

Actually, I would think Ron Paul was probably more like BJ Hunnicut: a faithful husband, a loyal friend, an excellent surgeon…than the wise-cracking Hawkeye.

Although I find some of Dr.Pauls idea’s “out there”,it is too bad that all elected officials were more like Dr.Daul when it comes to spending OTHER PEOPLES MONEY,especially the taxpayer’s! Although it may seem like pennies to some,those pennys add up and th some Americans,that is money they would be happy to have!

Phillip Churelington

April 2, 2012, 5:39 p.m.

Steve, you’re still wrong. More research and thinking and less guessing and making up stuff and attributing it to Ron Paul with a colorful metaphor will get you farther than the EPIC FAIL path you’ve been on today!

Charlie Williams

April 2, 2012, 5:45 p.m.

Ron Paul is a fantast.

Isn’t he the so called “intellectual godfather” of the Tea Party?

Ron Paul supports the abolition of the income tax, most Cabinet departments, and the Federal Reserve, and favors the American withdrawal from the United Nations. He is for the dissolution of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of the Interior and other government agencies whose overt mission is to protect citizens and the environment.

You let me know when Ron Paul reveals how he is going to deal with the aforementioned fact that the Republicans and neoliberal Democrats have made America’s economy into a net “spender” of its currency since 1980 without printing whatever passes for money or otherwise building in a self-inflating mechanism.

The biggest joke of all is “free trade”...to “create wealth”,  you have to take something and add value to it.  The Republicans and neoliberal Democrats - and I would remind one and all that Ron Paul proudly calls himself a “free trader” - in their haste to assault unions and the standard of living in America offshored much of America’s industry in favor of growing the financial sector - that sector which offers the 1% the fastest and surest way of draining wealth from the many.

lolll..look around you:  Has that financial sector “created wealth” in America lately?  And by “look around”, I do mean leave your gated community - if that applies - and take an hour’s drive in any direction.

As far as ibsteve goes I stop listening to anyone once they bring up the 99% garbage, people like that have not done 5 sec of research, all they know about Ron Paul is the nonsense smear job the media has done to him, and most of all they are blindly convinced of their positions (which are based on nothing) and you will never change their mind.

Charlie Williams

April 2, 2012, 6:05 p.m.

Even the conservative Financial Times publishes an article with the headline, “Only the rich are benefiting from America’s recovery” (April 2, 2012)

So far to “free markets”.

My observation is that an individual who resorts to insults and propaganda is revealing their frustration over their lack of solid arguments.

Which I find to be amusing when the supporters of those goals have already candidly admitted “Ron Paul has never talked about ‘flood-up/trickle-down’ economics, controlling trade deficits or foreign oil payments.”

Larry Sullivan

April 2, 2012, 6:15 p.m.

@Charlie Williams you accidentally hit the nail on the head. It’s true that most government departments “overt” mission is to protect the american people. That’s how they got the ignorant American public to go along with it. But tell me this, how can the EPA and FDA protect the American people when the rule books of those agencies are written by the very industries they are meant to regulate?

Don’t think letting “the free market” decide what the EPA and FDA now regulate is going to work.  The Koch brothers, for instance, are vehement opponents of the EPA - and they really lit up after they got fined heavily.

My point is that those industries which are lead by individuals malicious enough to pollute look at “the big picture” - that is, if they increase their profits enormously by killing 10,000 Americans here or there, the other 313,611,241 (not to mention 6.7 billion elsewhere) remaining in their customer base will take up the shortfall.

The thing to do is criminalize the corruption of government…and plow “K” Street under in favor of a national park dedicated to the near-miss that democracy had.

The way “Corporate America” and “the right” are trying to work it is equivalent to a basketball team composed of players - the shortest of whom is 9’11” - demanding that the basketball hoop be raised to 12’...that is, change the rules to ensure that they win, period…no matter what it does to the game.

Any time they run into a rule that impedes their rate of wealth accumulation, instead of showing their talent at making money they demand that the rule be changed or eliminated - even when the rules are meant to protect the length and quality of life of the American people and the safety and security of the United States of America.

The truth is “the right” - no matter what they call themselves - are simultaneously lazy and scummy…unfit to call themselves the successors to this nation’s Founding Fathers.

You see Steve, this is why you can’t be taken seriously. You keep saying “the right”, first off you should know most Ron Paul supporters are not right or left, we are mostly indies of one sort or another.

2nd, if you think the left is just as in bed with corporate America as the right you are either seriously misinformed or just plain don’t want to acknowledge reality.

Campaign donations are public, just look up the donors of any Democrat, including the messiah Obama and you’ll see the same list of donors down the line, heck, half of Obama’s cabinet used to work for Goldman-Sachs and will have themselves a nice cooshy job waiting there for them once they leave office.

I meant “isn’t just as in bed with corporat America” up there…

@motter:  You see I don’t make the mistake of assuming that a skunk that calls itself a duck is a duck.  Neoliberal - or “Blue Dog”, or DLC, or whatever you want to call them - “Democrats” are not, in fact, Democrats - or even members of the moderate middle, let alone members of the left. 

I’ve been an Independent my entire life.in fact, if anything my background (so traditional it is trite - newspaper boy/Boy Scout/Junior Achievement/military/university/salaried/etc.) would tend to make me what used to be a Republican.

I have learned to ignore what politicians say about themselves and follow that most basic of all rules:  You are what you do, not what you say.

I am a firm believer in one principle:  America is the American people...and the intent of this nation’s Founding Fathers - equal opportunity and freedom from the slow death of hereditary classes - was noted in the preamble to the Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Paul’s record - and the record of the Republicans and neoliberal Democrats - is one of sacrificing “the general Welfare” to advantage the privileged few.

That is utterly un-American.  (Un-democratic, too, but…people always hit me with that “We’re not a democracy, we’re a republic!” when I say that.  Which to me is an open admission that they seek to replace democracy with a hereditary aristocracy…that is, they seek to attain the goal of the right, whether the right call themselves Republicans, libertarians, Tea Partiers, or - the greatest lie of all - “Blue Dog” Democrats.)

As regards what Ron Paul has done: 

http://www.ontheissues.org/tx/ron_paul.htm

I find the sections on energy and the environment to be particularly revealing…his actions say that he wishes to maximize Big Carbon’s profits while blocking competition.

Which is indicative of a “burn the tomorrow of the many to enrich the few today” attitude towards the need to ensure that a future - a world - exists for America’s children, which in turn suggests that everything else he says is designed to get him into a position where he can accelerate that burning.

Like Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, & PNAC, LLP, with the politically expedient addition of presenting an anti-war face to the public as a (highly-effective) means of suckering those young people who focus on that facet alone instead of analyzing the entire Ron Paul package.

This article is part of an ongoing investigation:
Buying Your Vote

Buying Your Vote: Dark Money and Big Data

ProPublica is following the money and exploring campaign issues in the 2012 election you won't read about elsewhere.

Get Updates

Stay on top of what we’re working on by subscribing to our email digest.

optional