The Washington Post is out with an excellent update on the history of the racist, homophobic, survivalist, nutcase newspapers that were published under his name in the 80s and 90s, which comes awfully close to confirming the most likely version of the story: He may not have written every word of them, but he sure signed off on them and wanted them written that way to pick up more subscribers and make more money.
The Post quotes Renae Hathaway, a Paul supporter and former secretary at Ron Paul & Associates, the company that published them, saying, “It was his newsletter, and it was under his name, so he always got to see the final product. . . . He would proof it.” Ouch.
And who could confirm that Paul was behind the editorial decision to make his newsletters so offensive? The head of the most prominent libertarian think tank in Washington D.C. should suffice:
Ed Crane, the longtime president of the libertarian Cato Institute, said he met Paul for lunch during this period, and the two men discussed direct-mail solicitations, which Paul was sending out to interest people in his newsletters. They agreed that “people who have extreme views” are more likely than others to respond.
Crane said Paul reported getting his best response when he used a mailing list from the now-defunct newspaper Spotlight, which was widely considered anti-Semitic and racist.
Let’s throw in one more anonymous source for kicks:
A person involved in Paul’s businesses, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid criticizing a former employer, said Paul and his associates decided in the late 1980s to try to increase sales by making the newsletters more provocative. They discussed adding controversial material, including racial statements, to help the business, the person said.
It’s a welcome reminder that the libertarian movement that’s now headquartered in lush glass, brick, and steel think tanks and research centers, populated by savvy young intellectuals, made its money in the early years by pandering to deep-pocketed extremist lunatics. This history doesn’t set it apart from that of many other proud American institutions, but after years of hearing petulant neener-neeners from all libertarians about how they’re the only group in American politics that lives and dies by profound moral principles and nothing else, let’s send a hearty neener-neener back their way.
But if you’re already dedicated to Ron Paul’s campaign, who cares? The goal here is to use the first viable libertarian candidacy in a major political party in some time to pick up enough delegates in nominating contests to matter, mathematically, and then leverage that into a major convention speech, insertion into the party platform, or role in playing kingmaker to the eventual nominee. The specific nominee’s editorial history from decades back — which wasn’t that different from the mainstream Republican party’s at the time — needn’t derail that. It’s just an icky compromise every supporter will have to make. (Neener neener.)
[Selections from newsletters via The New Republic, image via AP]
Ron Paul, well known as a physician, congressman and libertarian , has also been a businessman who pursued a marketing strategy that included publishing provocative, racially charged newsletters to make money and spread his ideas, said three people with direct knowledge of Paul’s businesses.
The Republican presidential candidate has denied writing inflammatory passages in the pamphlets from the 1990s and said recently that he did not read them at the time or for years afterward. Numerous colleagues said he does not hold racist views.
But people close to Paul’s operations said he was deeply involved in the company that produced the newsletters, Ron Paul & Associates, and closely monitored its operations, signing off on articles and speaking to staff members virtually every day.
“It was his newsletter, and it was under his name, so he always got to see the final product. . . . He would proof it,’’ said Renae Hathway, a former secretary in Paul’s company and a supporter of the Texas congressman’s.
The newsletters point to a rarely seen and somewhat opaque side of Paul, who has surprised the political community by becoming an important factor in the Republican race. The candidate, who has presented himself as a kindly doctor and political truth teller, declined in a recent debate to release his tax returns, joking that he would be “embarrassed” about his income compared with that of his richer GOP rivals.
Yet a review of his enterprises reveals a sharp-eyed businessman who for nearly two decades oversaw the company and a nonprofit foundation, intertwining them with his political career. The newsletters, which were launched in the mid-1980s and bore such names as the Ron Paul Survival Report, were produced by a company Paul dissolved in 2001.
The company shared offices with his campaigns and foundation at various points, said those familiar with the operation. Public records show Paul’s wife and daughter were officers of the newsletter company and foundation; his daughter also served as his campaign treasurer.
Jesse Benton, a presidential campaign spokesman, said that the accounts of Paul’s involvement were untrue and that Paul was practicing medicine full time when “the offensive material appeared under his name.” Paul “abhors it, rejects it and has taken responsibility for it as he should have better policed the work being done under his masthead,” Benton said. He did not comment on Paul’s business strategy.
‘I’ve never read that stuff’
Mark Elam, a longtime Paul associate whose company printed the newsletters, said Paul “was a busy man” at the time. “He was in demand as a speaker; he was traveling around the country,’’ Elam said in an interview coordinated by Paul’s campaign. “I just do not believe he was either writing or regularly editing this stuff.’’
In the past, Paul has taken responsibility for the passages because they were published under his name. But last month, he told CNN that he was unaware at the time of the controversial passages. “I’ve never read that stuff. I’ve never read — I came — was probably aware of it 10 years after it was written,’’ Paul said.
Even though Ron Paul’s racist newsletters were published with Ron Paul’s name on them and written in the first person, and even though Ron Paul has been filmed discussing his newsletters (which were terribly racist, anti-Semitic, and weird) in an interview, the GOP Presidential hopeful has disavowed knowledge of the its contents. But now, former employees are claiming that he was perfectly fine with what the newsletters said… and not for the reasons you might think.
The Washington Post is reporting that people closely associated with Ron Paul & Associates, the organization that published the infamous newsletters, have said that not only was Paul totally aware of what was being written under his byline, he was far from ignorant to the newsletters’ contents and would actually sign off on every article.
His former associates were careful to point out that Paul himself didn’t seem to personally espouse the racism expressed in the newsletters, but he noticed that racist, tin foil hat-y stuff tended to do better with the newsletter-by-mail subscribing set than more libertarian, economy-focused material. He signed off on what he thought would sell best. Attempts to flirt with motifs of white power or rant about a coming race war weren’t done for the love of the game, then, but for profit. Even if Ron Paul does not have a racist bone in his body, he likes money more than he dislikes racism and intolerance, which is a pretty damning character flaw in an elected official. And if what his former associates say is true, not only is Ron Paul okay with signing off on racism, he’s a blatant panderer to the worst base of voters in the country— white supremacists who think Martin Luther King Jr was a pedophile.
For those who haven’t had the pleasure, you can find nice, bite sized hunks of Ron Paul newsletter whackadoodlery at the Ron Paul Newsletters Twitter account, which tweets direct quotes from the publication. The quotes range from innocuous, possibly, depending on the context — “I can now give up my medical practice and dedicate every fiber of my being to saving the country”— to “what about the whites-style racism— “I’m sick of anti-Germanism, which is not— needless to say— a ‘hate crime’”— to full on cuckoo bananas— “MLK was a flagrant plagiarist with a phony doctorate” and “People say the government should do more to stop AIDS. Actually it should do less and thereby help more.”
Despite the fact that Paul’s newsletters spit some pretty racist sounding game, it seems a little hollow now that we know that it was all an act designed to get attention. Ron Paul’s a racist poseur, a mercenary hateboy. The Katy Perry of paranoia. But that doesn’t make the Ron Paul Survival Report, or his association with it, any less fucked up.
In 1981, a lawyer tried to subpoena Ron Paul to testify in the trial of Don Black, a Grand Wizard for the Ku Klux Klan who would later go on to found the white supremacist, neo-Nazi website, Stormfront. Black was charged along with two other Klansmen with planning to violently overthrow the small Caribbean country of Dominica in what they called ?Operation Red Dog.? While a judge refused to subpoena Paul, Don Black would come back to haunt him many years later.
In 1981 a group of American and Canadian white supremacists lead by Klansman and mercenary, Michael (Mike) Perdue planned on taking over a small West Indian country called Dominica by overthrowing the government and Prime Minister Eugenia Charles and restoring its previous prime minister, Patrick Johns into power. The group planned to create an Aryan paradise in Dominica and make money through casinos, cocaine and brothels.
On the day the group of white supremacists were supposed to travel to Dominica, they were arrested by ATF agents and were found with over thirty automatic weapons, shotguns, rifles, handguns, dynamite, ammunition, a confederate flag and a Nazi flag. The plan would be dubbed ?The Bayou Of Pigs? after the failed invasion of Cuba.
The leader of the group, Michael Perdue, would plead guilty to planning the coup and turned state?s evidence. Perdue would testify that several other people helped organize and fund the coup and that two Texas politicians were aware of the plan. Among those Perdue implicated were infamous white supremacist, David Duke, former Texas Governor, John Connally and Congressman, Ron Paul whom he claimed knew about the plot. Connally was credited with helping Paul win his first congressional election.
A judge refused to subpoena Paul and Connally despite the fact that Perdue had claimed that both of them were aware of the plot. Don Black?s friend and fellow KKK Grand Wizard, David Duke was called to testify before a grand jury but claimed that he would take the Fifth Amendment and never testified. While Duke was never charged with a crime, several books points to Duke as the organizer who connected Perdue to the other mercenary Klansmen and the people who funded their endeavor. (1 2 3) Everyone else implicated by Perdue was charged with the plot.
Perdue implicated three men as funders of the plot, L.E. Matthews of Jackson, Mississippi, James C. White of Houston, and David Duke?s close friend and backer, J.W. Kirkpatrick. Kirpatrick would kill himself before he could stand trial and White and Matthews would be acquitted in court. Former Prime Minister of Dominica, Patrick Johns would be sentenced to 12 years in prison for his part of the plot. Michael Perdue, Don Black and seven other Klansmen would be sentenced to only 3 years in prison.
Ron Paul has never made a statement denying knowledge of the plot despite the fact that he was implicated by Perdue and almost subpoenaed. Two of the people involved in the plot, Don Black and David Duke have gone on to become two of the most prominent white supremacists of the modern era, and also two of Paul?s most controversial supporters.
Paul would be once again tied to Don Black 26 years after the Bay Of Pigs. After it was revealed that Black donated $ 500 dollars to the Ron Paul Presidential campaign, Ron Paul?s campaign refused to give it back. Paul was photographed with Black and his son by David Duke?s former assistant, Jamie Kelso who was an organizer for Ron Paul and the owner of white supremacist sites, WhiteNewsNow.com and TheWhiteRace.com and a moderator for Black?s neo-Nazi website, Stormfront.
Black would become one of Paul?s most enthusiastic supporters and helped rally the white supremacist community around Paul, through Stormfront. Paul would praise another Operation Red Dog planner, David Duke in his newsletters and Duke would return the favor calling him ?our king? and endorsing him for President.
This would not be the first time Paul was tied to white supremacists. In 80s, Paul claimed that the best source of his campaign donations came from a list from notorious neo-Nazi, Willis Carto?s publication, The Spotlight. In the 90s, Paul?s newsletters were originally discovered from an online neo-Nazi directory. As recently as 2006, Paul was scheduled to appear on David Duke?s white supremacist protégé, James Edwards? radio show, ?The Political Cesspool.?
Given the scrutiny given to presidential candidates, shouldn?t Paul?s connection to an attempted violent invasion of a small island by white supremacists be re-investigated. If the media investigates every accusation of affairs or sexual harassment for Herman Cain or Newt Gingrich, shouldn?t they investigate accusations that Paul knew about a white supremacist plot to violently overthrow the government of a small Black island, especially with Ron Paul’s other connections to white supremacists?
Are you kidding me with this guy?
It amuses me to no end when white folks laud the Declaration of Independence — with all of its lofty rhetoric about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — all the while stoically ignoring that all that happy-happy-joy-joy talk didn’t apply to the Africans whites dragged to this country and enslaved.
So when I see the tiny wizened messiah talking about the Civil War and lamenting all the liberty that was lost as a result of the war, I laugh bitterly. When I hear him talking about goooooold! and ending the Fed, I begin banging my head against the closest wall.
Dude is so out of touch with the 21st century, I’m starting to wonder if he’s some sort of time traveler who crawled through the Rift and has managed somehow to amass Paul-lovers and the Paul-curious from each end of the political spectrum, and everything in between. Everyone from Katrina vanden Heuvel and Glenn Greenwald to David Duke and Stormfront are singing this guy’s praises, in some fashion or another (but not necessarily endorsing him. *wink wink*)
I find it fascinating and more than a little unsettling.
Here is Ron Paul giving a speech about how the South was right, and the Civil War was awful because it destroyed “individual choice.” Never mind “individual choice” vis-à-vis the enslaved; they weren’t people and thus could lay no claim to “individuality” or “liberty.” What Paul means by “individual choice,” is “white men’s (specifically white property-owning men) individual choice.”
Just look at this silly little man, standing proudly in front of a Confederate flag talking about the enslavement of black people in transactional terms. In the Ron Paul Gospel, adherence to the quintessential American values of “individual choice and” “liberty” would have required the Yankees to buy the slaves’ freedom. A detestable notion, to be sure, but also historically inaccurate since, as we all know, the South started it.
Ultimately, when it comes to black people, the world “liberty” seems to disappear from Paul’s vocabulary. Funny, that.
I’ll be handling Allen Park, Southgate, Wyandotte, and Taylor.”
-I hope he’s nothing like Ron Paul’s old Michigan coordinator..
(the video looks frozen at first but watch it all the way through, it’s not)