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Texas Representative Won’t Be Invited To Participate in Iowa Despite Victories


By Mark Anderson

As AFP went to press, Iowans for Tax Relief and Iowa Christian Alliance had engaged in a blatant act of censorship by excluding Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) from their presidential candidates forum June 30 in Des Moines. This is ironic—since Paul reads off the same page on the issues that concern the two groups.

The above-listed groups oppose the economic and political integration of North America. So does Paul. They favor much better border security. So does Paul. They oppose judges who legislate, decry the loss of manufacturing jobs and the related plight of the American middle class. Finally they believe unborn babies are persons deserving of constitutional protection. Paul, as AFP gathered while covering the June 5 GOP debate conducted by CNN in New Hampshire, is in agreement with the two groups on those issues as well.

Of the 10 official GOP candidates who debated on national TV in California, South Carolina and New Hampshire, only Paul was not invited to the upcoming Iowa forum, according to Paul’s press secretary Jesse Benton. Those in Paul’s campaign office are perplexed, wondering why the two groups are excluding the Republican candidate who scored at the top of every online poll—defined by the networks as live, unscientific surveys—taken after the MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN debates.

Republican presidential candidates Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, California Congressman Duncan Hunter, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, and Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo were listed as the forum’s “confirmed candidates” on the those organizations’ web sites as of June 20. Apparently, it’s only a matter of time before Sen. John McCain, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani respond to their invitations to participate in Iowa.

Benton told AFP on June 20 that there’s even more irony involved here, since Ed Failor, an Iowans for Tax Relief officer, is on the board of the National Taxpayers Union, which has rated Paul, who represents the 14th District of Texas, along with Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona, as the “taxpayers’ best friends” over the last seven years. Furthermore, Paul was the keynote speaker for a NTU gathering June 15 in Washington D.C.

A press release from Paul’s office, posted at, noted that Paul will not participate in the Iowa forum because he wasn’t invited. Paul’s Virginia campaign office learned of the forum from numerous Iowa supporters who wondered why Paul was not going to participate but assumed that he had been invited.

“The campaign office had not received an invitation so we called . . . thinking we might have misplaced the invitation or simply overlooked it,” the press release noted. On June 19, Campaign Manager Lew Moore called Edward Failor with Iowans for Tax Relief to ask about this matter.

“To our shock, Mr. Failor told us Dr. Paul was not invited; he was not going to be invited; and he would not be allowed to participate. And when asked why, Mr. Failor refused to explain. The call ended.”

Moore then called Iowa Christian Alliance President Steve Scheffler, who did not answer. Moore left a message, which wasn’t returned. AFP immediately tried to talk with spokesmen for the two groups, to no avail.

AFP left an unreturned message with the tax group, while the other group’s line was constantly busy. However, on the same day that Paul’s officer learned that Iowans for Tax Relief and the Iowa Christian Alliance had excluded Paul from their forum, ABC News contacted Paul’s campaign office to confirm his participation in its nationally broadcast debate Aug. 5 in Des Moines.

The phone numbers for Iowans for Tax Relief are (toll free) 877-913-3600 and 563-288-3600. The number for the Iowa Christian Alliance is 515-225-1515.

Mark Anderson can be reached at

(Issue #27 July 2, 2007)

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Updated June 23, 2007