As I reported earlier, current MI-3 Congressman Justin Amash is probably on the verge of reporting a large fund raising quarter to end 2013 of between $250,000 and $300,000 based on his two day money bomb of $100,000. It will give him a nice war chest to go along with the recent Club for Growth attack ads on his former East Grand Rapids school board challenger for the GOP primary.
It is up to Ellis to respond and keep pace with Amash. Ellis had seven prominent businessmen from the district commit to support him financially. Their contribution would be about $72,000. One would assume if Ellis is to be viable he will have to show that he has support from many more than those seven businessmen. Anything less than $200,000 in individual contributions (not money from Ellis himself) has to be an absolute minimum which is still less than twice what he should get from those seven individuals alone.
The mandatory reporting period is coming up in a few weeks (mid-February). I expect Ellis to report a big number but much of it will be inflated by self-funding. The key number to pay attention to is the individual donation amounts. Drawing significant local support will be critical to his viability in the eyes of national donors and lobbying money (PACs). If he can only raise money by self-funding, his campaign will be over before it really begins and he will have seven businessmen with a serious case of buyer's remorse.
I wonder whether what is happening in America parallels the social democratisation of the dominant parties long prevalent in Germany. If the below author is right, cannot what he argues be interpreted to mean that the political system of the US is effectively shedding the non-social-democratic fringe? Democrats and Republicans are vying for support by the social democratic majority. That, of course, assumes that the author's statistical estimates of the number of anti-establishment Republicans are exaggerated:
The Republican Party died during the struggle over Obamacare. Its most
vital elected officials chose to represent their voters. This left their
erstwhile leaders to continue pursuing acceptance by the ruling party,
its press and its class. The result is a new party that represents the
roughly three fourths of Republican voters whose social identities are
alien to those of the ruling class and whose political identity is
defined by opposition to the ruling party. These voters are outsiders to
modern America’s power structure. Hence the new party that represents
them is a “country party” in the British tradition of Viscount
Bolingbroke’s early eighteenth century Whigs, who represented the
country class against the royal court and its allies in Parliament. The
forthcoming food fight over the name “Republican” is of secondary
This has been a long time coming. Obamacare was a trigger, not a cause.
While a majority of Democrats feel that officials who bear that label
represent them well, only about a fourth of Republican voters and an
even smaller proportion of independents trust Republican officials to
represent them. [...]
Rather than defending their voters’ socio-political identities, they
ignore, soft-pedal, or give mere lip service to their voters’ concerns.
It chooses candidates for office whose election only steadies America on
a course of which most Americans disapprove. [...]
The issue groups’ joint endeavor to de-fund Obamacare, their joint
rejection of the Republican Party’s leadership, and the collaboration of
Republican legislators who had been endorsed by some but not others of
these groups, effectively forms a new party. The question is not what
the Republican Establishment will do with these dissidents but what the
dissidents will do with the Establishment.
This is a question a lot of the fans of the Republican Congressman from Texas have been asking themselves for the last few weeks. The overall strategy of the Ron Paul for President campaign has been difficult to discern in many ways.
For instance, why does it seem like Ron Paul is attacking every other candidate in the race from Perry to Gingrich to Santorum to Huntsman but using kid gloves on the strongest candidate - Romney? Why does Paul not seem to be bothered at the prospects of a third place finish in Iowa or a likely second in New Hampshire?
I believe the Ron Paul campaign is moving in much the way that the campaign team originally planned when developing its strategy probably some time in early Spring. To understand the campaign strategy I believe it is important to understand how unconventional Dr. Paul's plan is compared to the traditional Republican presidential campaign. It is also important to recall the nature of the 2008 campaigns for the Democratic and to a lesser extent Republican parties.
Reason to Run for President Ron Paul is not your typical Republican candidate running for president. In fact, I'm not sure any candidate of any prominence recently has run not be president as much as a way to promote a message. Presidential campaigns are a way to bringing new ideas to the party's grassroots. This is probably a clumsy way of accomplishing this goal, but for someone as far out of the mainstream of his party and leadership as Paul is, it is really the only way to express his views on foreign and monetary policies.
This singular motive completely changes your strategy for waging a presidential campaign and, I think, explains the unusual nature of the Paul campaign. It fundamentally alters how you approach debates, advertisements, and campaigning within states. It is also completely different from the traditional Republican campaigns where one looks to score some early decisive wins, show an ability to raise money, and then finish off your rivals on Super Tuesday.
It's about Ideas, not the Office If your goal is to change the way the party and the country look at issues then your focus is on more than the short term goals of a presidential campaign. Clearly, it would be best for your promotion to win the nomination but a realistic view of the electorate - especially the Republican electorate - would show that Paul's ideas are out of the mainstream. They are growing in prominence (just look at his showing at the Iowa Caucuses from 2008 to 2012 with over 100% growth) but they are at most a large minority within the party probably no more than 25%.
Assets in Place Despite what many inside the media perceived, Ron Paul had massive assets coming into the campaign. To outsiders, Paul was seen to have a few rabid fans and a large donor base who were small contributors. What they missed was the Campaign for Liberty.
Launched in 2008, the Campaign for Liberty was a way to keep Ron Paul supporters from 2008 engaged with the Congressman's activities and help promote his views within Congress. This was best exemplified with the push and eventual passage of the Federal Reserve Audit in both the House and Senate. But more importantly, the Campaign for Liberty provided the superstructure for converts to Paul's crusade to network with each other and plan... for 2012.
Although not affiliated with any official Ron Paul campaign, the Campaign for Liberty was the resting home for all of Paul's campaign apparatus which he would need in a 2012 bid for president. Not surprisingly, a strong emphasis was placed on building up the Iowa and New Hampshire Campaign for Liberty teams and successfully getting friendly people put in place within the local and state GOPs. For instance, unofficially, the Paul camp had achieved securing over half of the county GOP chairs or leaders and many on the state's central committee in Iowa.
Most important to realize is that the Campaign for Liberty is a truly national organization with its reach in every state. This means that Paul has de facto campaign bases in each and every state making him competitive on a national scale - not just early primary and caucus states.
An Unorthodox Approach Because of his unique assets and his even more unusual goals, Rep. Ron Paul, I believe, is engaged in a very unorthodox presidential campaign. He recognizes that although his message is very popular and growing within a section of the electorate - it is by no means a majority position. His plan then is to wage a long drawn out process that relies more on looking towards delegate acquisition than on outright victory - perhaps even winning a single state.
Clearly, winning all the delegates in a state is a goal and will very likely be accomplished in many of the caucus states where Paul's organization and zealous supporters will have the most impact. Winner-take-all primary states are the least desirable for a campaign like Paul's where they feel their message will be viewed in a hostile manner by a majority of the GOP base who receive much of their information from the establishment and its mouthpieces like Levin, Savage, Hannity, and Limbaugh.
The established portions of the party will resist Paul's forces and will probably succeed in many of the caucus states, especially as it becomes more obvious what Rep. Paul is up to. Overall, the primary focus is gaining delegates to gain prominence going into the convention.
The Not-Romney Candidate What is becoming increasingly clear, is that the Paul campaign is looking to become what has been termed the "Not-Romney" candidate. Tea Partiers, and the Republican base is definitely disappointed with Romney as their nominee. National polls have shown him to struggle breaking above 30%. Romney represents the liberal East Coast establishment candidate similar to John McCain (who although from Arizona was the epitome of a big government squishy Republican).
The Paul campaign recognized early on that the only candidate that would compete long term was Romney. Therefore, they looked to eliminate the 'chaff' in order to become the de facto 'Not-Romney' candidate. The sooner they can take down the other candidates, the better as it allows them to accumulate a larger share of the delegates.
The Other Not-Romney Candidates A quick look at the other candidates trying to make the race a two man race shows how Paul's strategy has been working perfectly. Cain is out. Bachmann is out. Huntsman looks increasingly like a one state wonder who will drop out soon. Perry is limping into NH polling at 1% and around 5% in SC. His future is dim. Gingrich can potentially last a few more weeks but with little funding his earned media will dwindle and he will possibly last a few more states through Florida but he is not on the ballot in his home state and has no funding to compete in a national super Tuesday contest.
That brings us to Santorum who has no funding or organization and will attempt to use his social conservative credentials to sell himself in the South. He will be target number one from the Paul campaign as he is the one who could potentially carve into their delegate count on Super Tuesday if he is still viable - especially if his funding picks up and he is able to run more television spots in Florida and beyond.
I believe the Paul campaign is looking to make the race a two man race as soon as possible. This is probably their schedule:
Since the other candidates by this point will have lost nearly every contest to Romney their funding and ambition will have dried up and they will be unable to push on to Super Tuesday. Only Paul will remain as the alternative. Obviously, they will endorse Romney to get a plum cabinet spot and Paul will be all that's left.
From there, Paul and his forces will be an enormous thorn in the side of Romney unless he cuts Paul a deal. Whether that is a prime speaking spot at the convention, a VP slot for Rand, a cabinet position, or some other combination. Romney is a man who deals and will want to save his resources and shift his campaign's focus against Obama as soon as possible. This strategy, although not a 'winning one' is one that will have a lasting legacy and impact within the Republican party.
The Ron Paul Newsletters are once again at the forefront of a Ron Paul campaign. I hate to write about them because they are just so stupid. Dumb, mean things written in a style that is very much unlike Ron Paul. I don't profess to be a confidant to Rep. Paul but I have spent a few hours with him and his brothers at a family reunion and never once detected any sort of racism or mean bone in any of their bodies.
I am almost certain that those newsletters were not written by Ron Paul. He is culpable (to quite an extent) with the fact that he invested in something that had his name on it without much oversight. This post, however, it to the mysterious writer we will call Drew Wellrock, who was responsible for the content in those newsletters. The writing is similar to your style of writing even today on your website. It is time to fall on the sword of your own making if you care anything at all for your friend and former boss, Ron Paul. You have profited mightily thanks to his name and association and it is time to pay him back with the respect that he has and continues to give you now.
This is how I imagine the letter should go:
I have known Representative Ron Paul for decades. I worked for him, have travelled with him, and spent countless hours over the years with him. I can attest with absolute certainty that Ron Paul is not a racist. He is the penultimate gentleman and as wholesome an individual as one could hope to meet and know. He served his patients and constituents with respect and compassion without any consideration of social status, race, or ethnicity.
After Ron Paul retired from Congress and returned to medicine, I approached him with a business venture where I and some associates would write articles regarding conservative topics. The newsletters would go out to his mailing list of supporters and he would earn a little bit of money and keep some contact with those supporters if he ever chose to run for Congress again.
Mostly the letters were typical boiler plate railings against the establishment, people who looked to strip away gun rights, and the political correctness crowd and their insistence on turning a blind eye to all racial conflict. I never included a byline because I felt this would diminish the appeal of the newsletter and effectively hurt my bottom line.
I sent Ron Paul the first few newsletters to review. They were more tame then the ones I authored after a few years. Ron really never expressed much of an interest in the newsletters feeling that he was affording his name to help out my career and business. He trusted me completely with the writing and publishing. And I failed him.
I failed him in writing things that were so out of character with Ron without asking his permission. I saw that the more incendiary the prose, the more newsletters we sold. I was writing almost entirely to push sales and without regard to much of what I was writing. I stopped consulting with Ron outside of sending the small royalties which he generously refused and insisted that I use towards an educational foundation promoting freedom and austrian economics (now the von Mises Institute).
My biggest failure was to not admit my role in the newsletters when Ron ran for Congress again in 1996. Had I admitted my shortcomings then, the issue would not have resurfaced in 2001 and 2008. Fortunately, the issue never gained the prominence it has during this election. I am very proud of my friend Ron. He had many opportunities to tell all the world that the writer was most likely me. He chose friendship and loyalty over convenience which makes him the rarest kind of friend. And my role a colossal failure.
I took advantage of Ron and his name, profited off of it, and launched a career thanks in part to his kindness and loyalty. Of that, I am the most ashamed. I apologize to Ron for what I wrote and my pride that has prevented me from admitting my guilt. I hope that he will forgive me but can rest easier now knowing that he will now be able to spread his message of liberty, and freedom to millions of Americans during this campaign.
“The Tea Party does not have a foreign policy per se, but it does have a domestic policy—as it continues to learn that “making the world safe for democracy” is not only impractical and impossible, but also racks up a pretty large bill.”
The tragedy in Tuscaloosa proper is being well covered by the media and is getting much of the assistance being provided. With this in mind, the Campaign for Liberty will concentrate in other areas of Alabama such as Elmore County, Pratt City, Pleasant Grove, and northern areas of the state that are less known but no less needy. We have canvassed the affected areas and spoken to victims and rescuers alike. This is what they told us: “We need personal care items, clothing, and baby items such as diapers.” “We are without power and need generators and gasoline to help keep the generators running.” “We need batteries since we are without power and won’t have it for a while.” “We need gasoline to keep cleanup machinery running.” The most effective way to get the victims the help they need is to donate to our Tornado Relief Fund. We purchase the goods locally and deliver them to the victims directly, or in some cases, through partnership with local relief groups.
Have you ever wondered how laws get passed in the prestigious US House of Representatives? Well, here's an example from March 10th taken from the facebook page of my congressman, Justin Amash. Apparently, this scrawl was submitted minutes before a vote as an amendment and was the only version available for members to see.
Of course, nearly all of them voted without ever having seen it. It passed 278-147. Here's the roll call vote. And in the numerous pithy comments in Amash's facebook heading is one from a Bobby Cox which reads: Justin, how about on the next bill you scribble in "1 day after the passage of this bill the Federal Reserve shall be abolished."
With the level of vigilance most members seem to show that idea might actually work.