Ron Paul Inc?

As an activist in the Ron Paul movement, I have been concerned about its direction (or lack thereof) for the last several years.  I saw considerable problems in the 2012 Ron Paul campaign; there was a underwhelming deficiency of leadership and clear focus which was a driving reason that the campaign was unable to perform well.  For example, in the Virginia primary, Ron Paul was in no danger of winning the state, despite the fact that there were only two candidates on the ballot, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney.

Earlier this week, Dennis Fusaro, the National Field Coordinator for the 2008 Ron Paul campaign spoke on this concern on the Robert Wenzel Show.  During the 2008 campaign, I served as the Grassroots Coordinator for the state of South Carolina.  In the interests of full disclosure, I acquired my position shortly after meeting with Mr. Fusaro in 2007.  Here’s what he had to say:

Like Mr. Fusaro, these days when I ponder the future of liberty and the Ron Paul movement sometimes all I can think about is a poster that I saw many years ago:

Image from despair.com
Image from despair.com

Late last year, I wrote a piece questioning Campaign for Liberty, a group many see as the heir to the Ron Paul campaigns.  As I typed, although the group is quite prolific at asking for money, I have not seen any tangible results from them in quite a while; in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia it has been years.

These thoughts create all sorts of pressing questions.  Has the Ron Paul movement become nothing more than a game for money and power?  If so, how can we reclaim it?

How can you tell who honestly believes the principles we supposedly hold?  Is corruption a natural byproduct in the quest for power?

Who actually promotes liberty these days?

5 Replies to “Ron Paul Inc?”

  1. So the mass improvement from 2008 to 2012 in RP’s campaign is a fraud because they hired professionals? Let’s go back to spending money on a blimp…That worked well…

    As for C4L, they have achieved more than you give them credit for. Sending emails and direct mail isn’t free. Applying pressure to politicians isn’t free other. Not everyone looks up the congressional calendar like we do. So creating petition drives via mail, email, etc. alerting members of critical votes is very much necessary and very much expensive. This ain’t Freedomworks and C4L doesn’t have a bloated staff and bloated budget like you’re trying to portray them.

    Audit the Fed was brought up several times before. Now it’s a staple in the Republican platform and several other 501 (c4) groups have hoped on board with that. Wouldn’t of happened without C4L activists like you and me.

    If the consultants are out there just for money(which as a free-market guy, I 100% support them and people VOLUNTARILY giving them money), ask me why they didn’t sell their lists in 2012 promoting candidates that don’t align with us politically?

    Not sure why Fusaro is on his crusade all of a suddenly. (But boy ain’t Breitbart.com loving having him give them stories.)

    Perhaps you and he liked C4L better when they burned all their money on bloggers trying to educate the world of the same libertarians over and over again on what they already know.

    And BTW, you can’t always measure a group by the bills they pass.

    You really suspect they’re going to get every liberty bill you like passed with this senate in DC or VA?

    C4L has killed more bills at the Federal and State level (internet tax anyone) and has been very successful at the state level pushing the 10th Amendment.

    That has more to do with C4L than Tom Woods or any scholar out there who just spends their time planning what needs to be done but has little to no idea on how to actually execute it into action.

    You’d probably know that if you hadn’t unsubscribed because they asked you to voluntary donate in addition to signing a petition…a petition that they collect and actively melt the fax-lines of Statist politicians with. Unlike other groups, they do actually send your petitions in and they do it effectively.

    Is there room for improvement? Of course. But C4L has several great examples of local and state groups making politicians cringe.

    In SC, one state rep even went public after Talbert and his crew made recording votes a law (they previously allowed voice votes for virtually everything ) and said, “You don’t want to get on the bad side of Campaign for Liberty.”

    They’re building the farm team and have done a pretty job doing it in several states.

    While C4L does not endorse nor support candidates, if candidates like Lee Bright, Steve Stockman, etc. win senate races this year, it will be because C4L is controlling the environment in their state.

    But hey, we can’t let facts get in the way of a good narrative when your promoting your blog (that you will use in your interest to promote your book) attacking the group you’re posting about while also attacking the dozens of volunteer activists have fought for over and over again…

    1. Hello Jason and thank you for your comments.

      I could be mistaken, but I don’t believe that we have met before. Were or are you a staffer for either the Paul campaign or Campaign for Liberty? I’m just asking to get some frame of reference.

      To the best of my knowledge, I don’t recall saying that C4L has a bloated staff nor do I believe it to be the case.

      If my information is correct, you are from Virginia as well? Has there been much activity in your part of the state? From my point of view, what we sought to accomplish with the Ron Paul campaign has slid by the wayside. Merely focusing on the federal government without much grassroots activity is not going to yield the kind of results we need in order to restore the republic. It is very worrisome to me.

      Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.

      Joshua

      1. Joshua,

        I don’t believe we have met and forgive me if I came off a little edgey but C4L and the folks running RP’s 2012 campaign are one of the few organized factions of the libertarian movement…and what give me hope. I worked for(it wasn’t the life style for me) and still have drinks the consultants running C4L and the RP 2012 campaign. They’re not your run-of-the mill consultants. They want to get to their end-game of protecting life and ending the income tax amongst other things. They could be easily making 3x the money they make now consulting businesses.

        So when I see folks ripping my friends, one of whom I considered is Dennis Fusaro (which is why it’s still bothering me when feeds into the Ron Paul supporters that hate the campaign), it bothers me.

        As for C4L, their state coordinators are volunteer base. In their early origins, they paid a handful of state coordinators but got burned, specifically in VA which lead to Stearns and Donna being volunteer state coordinators.

        So where does the money go? Directly into training activists and creating sustainable lists to mobilize at the federal level. They use it to make their lists bigger. To increase their petitions. To focus google ads in key congressional districts. Tons of different tactics employed to force roll calls, etc.

        The local and state volunteer coordinators that are trained are being very successful. I mentioned SC’s victories, Michigan’s state coordinator was the first to be crazy enough to read the political environment and contact NRTW to pass their right to work law. Georgia is doing some pretty sweet Obamacare nullification and causing some pain.

        Donna’s departure has no doubt left a vacuum in terms of leadership but there are several folks organizing with the help of the C4L state support team in VA at the county level that show potential for state-wide leadership. It’s hard because you have to be very principled and battle-tested. Otherwise, C4L will be using donor’s money to train leaders that become a threat to the status quo only to be bought out by the status quo down the line.

        1. Glad to hear that they give you hope. Unfortunately, hope is a rare commodity in this day and I’m glad that you have it. I just wish that I could share in this optimism.

          I don’t like to see infighting in the movement, but from everything I’ve experienced it seems to me that Dennis is far more correct in his assessment than I would want.

          I wish that C4L didn’t have a problem with their state coordinators, but, as I’m sure you know, some people are in politics for their own gains and don’t really care who they support or have to step on to get to their goals. I suppose the adage “trust but verify is appropriate”.

          One important question is, what sort of impact does C4L have on legislation? How many of the bills would have died due to the lack of the own merit, regardless of C4L’s efforts? I’m not sure how easy it is to answer this query. For example, I raised a fuss about a piece of legislation in this year’s General Assembly. Would it have died if I said nothing? I don’t know.

          All I know is what I can observe. And it seems as if C4L has more or less disappeared in Virginia. Truly it is unfortunate about Donna’s illness. But has her replacement done much of anything? Is there even a Virginia coordinator these days?

          I’m sure that both of us less government and more liberty. I’m just not sure that everyone in the leadership of the movement truly feels that way. I’d just like to see some more tangible results.

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