MILITARY FOLKS LIKE PAUL
While opponents spend skads of cash, Paul runs fiscally sound political campaign
By Mark Anderson
PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE RON PAUL is leading all other candidates—both Republicans and Democrats—in total campaign donations given by active military personnel and veterans.
Many people see this as vindication for his America-first, non-interventionist foreign policy position that he has emphasized during TV debates and at a series of rallies and other campaign activities across the country.
Since people naturally put their money behind those who most reflect their views and interests, the fact that Paul has received so much financial support from current and former American servicemen strongly suggests that they are dissatisfied with the never-ending police actions in Iraq and Afghanistan and want to bring the troops home—just as Paul has repeatedly advocated without equivocation.
On July 15, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) announced each candidate’s second-quarter fundraising totals. The reporting period was from April 1 to June 30, 2007.
Paul leads the whole Republican-Democrat pack with total military donations of $24,965—the sum of $6,975 from Army personnel, $6,765 from those in the Navy, $4,650 from members of the Air Force, $1,500 from Marine Corps personnel and $5,075 from veterans.
U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, a Democratic presidential contender, is a close second, with $22,866 in total military and veteran donations.
Notably, Paul is not the leading recipient in each military category—Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York got $6,600 from veterans, the most of any candidate, for example.
However, Paul, who is one of 11 GOP candidates, comfortably leads the Republicans in military receipts. The next closest candidate to him in this regard is Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a Vietnam-era Navy pilot with $17,425 in total military and veteran donations.
The other Republicans don’t even compete; the next closest is Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, with a total of $3,851. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani received only $2,320.
Moreover, Military.com, an online publication for active and retired military personnel, reported: “Nearly 60 percent of readers who participated in a recent Military.com poll said the United States should withdraw its troops from Iraq now or by the end of 2008. More than 40 percent of the respondents agreed the pullout should begin immediately because ‘we’re wasting lives and resources there.’ ”
“Present U.S. forces are, of course, all-volunteer, not draftees (or not exactly anyway, given recent tour extensions in Iraq and other kinds of forced call-ups), but why should they want to be endlessly redeployed to a lost war in a lost land? By the time the Bush Administration is done, the Paul campaign may be swimming in military money,” wrote Tom Englehardt in the July 23 online edition of The Nation, a widely read publication.
Paul’s FEC figures perused by AFP reveal that his campaign has been well managed. Not only do the figures show the campaign to be completely debt-free, but not a single dollar of political action committee (PAC) money has been accepted by Paul’s committee.
Paul started that quarter with $524,919 cash-in-hand, brought in $2,369,452 in receipts (totaling $2.9 million) which, after modest disbursements of $539,517, left him with about $2.4 million. Among the Republican presidential candidates, he places fourth, financially speaking, behind Romney, Giuliani and McCain. But he spends his money much more carefully.
While Giuliani also has no debts so far, Romney has considerable debt—$8.8 million, in fact, for the full election cycle to date ($6.5 million of that during the second quarter). Not to mention that Romney received some $82,000 from “other political committees,” which is part of $223,000 from such committees for the full cycle.
Giuliani received $1,250 from “political party committees” for both the cycle and the second quarter, and $219,158 from “other political committees” for the full cycle ($117,035 of that during the second quarter).
Obama’s campaign shows debts of $922,848, while he received $5,100 from “other political committees” for the full cycle ($2,050 of that during the second quarter).
The Paul campaign, thanks to effective, economical outreach tools via the internet (YouTube, Meetup groups, etc.) has spent a grand total of just $600,000, in round numbers, to date, FEC figures show. Such tools have enabled him to reach scores of enthusiastic young voters.
But AFP found that Obama, for example, is binge-spending—$22.5 million to date, of which a whopping $15 million was in the second quarter. Yet Paul spent only $500,000, in round numbers, in that quarter.
Giuliani spent $11 million-plus for the quarter and $17 million-plus to date. Not to be outdone, Romney spent a gargantuan $20.4 million in the second quarter and $31.7 million to date.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has the most contributions from “other political committees”: $99,713 in the second quarter and $402,311 for the full cycle. His committee spent $12.9 million in the second quarter and $21.8 million overall. “Debts and obligations owed by the committee” total $1.7 million, according to the FEC.
Among Democrats, the cash leaders at the period’s close include Obama with $36 million and Clinton with $45 million. The others were far below those amounts.
American Free Press reporter Mark Anderson can be reached at
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America’s welcome acceptance of biofuels and other energy alternatives,
helping end our gluttonous addiction to foreign petroleum.
(Issue #33, August 13, 2007)