Friday, December 7, 2007

Ron Paul speech revolution

The independent Ron Paul blimp effort had been barely at the edge of my radar as a cool but not terribly important way to get the word out about the candidate, but that was before I realized how innovative the team behind the blimp campaign has been.

Politico has the story:

[T]he outside lawyer retained by blimp backers is former Federal Election Commission chairman Brad Smith, who is advising former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s rival bid for the GOP nomination.

Smith is among the leading opponents of campaign finance laws, and the blimp plan offers common cause on that front with Paul’s anti-regulation supporters, as well as an opportunity to set potentially far-reaching FEC precedent. ...

They shunned traditional mechanisms such as creating an independent non-profit group under section 527 of the IRS code — like Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the other groups that spent millions on ads in 2004 — or a political action committee — like EMILY’s List. Instead, they went an almost unheard of route, establishing a for-profit company: Liberty Political Advertising.

The name is a nod to Paul’s ideology and the website boasts the “legal arrangement offers the best of both worlds: no limits and virtually no regulations.” In other words, very libertarian. ...

Those messages might have been off limits had blimp backers raised money for the effort using a 527, since those groups can’t explicitly support or oppose campaigns.

Likewise, had blimp backers registered with the FEC as a political action committee, they would have had to report how they raised and spent almost every dime. And they would have been barred from accepting contributions of more than $5,000-a-year from any individual.

Wow. Talk about a blow for free speech and against political censorship. This is evidence that clever grassroots efforts can still find ways to bypass McCain-Feingold-style schemes to make political activism a preserve for the big boys.

Hmmm. But just wait for the next round of laws intended to muzzle even the most independent, bottom-up political speech.

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Blogger roger2008 said...

Presidential candidate Ron Paul has made a dire prediction that the dollar could collapse to absolute zero - precipitating hyper inflation, soaring oil prices and a global economic depression if current policies are continued. "Once they realize the American people have awakened to the con game that's been going on.
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November 13, 2008 8:04 PM  
Blogger niki951 said...

Some things are different at a Ron Paul rally. Other candidates don’t have custom-recorded songs, in rock, rap and country genres, with lyrics encompassing their name and platform. (Typical lyric: “We need Doctor Paul to make a presidential house call.”) Most were tolerable, if over-enthusiastic, although the rewrite of “New York, New York” made me briefly think of Rudy Giuliani before it reached the chorus of “Ron Paul, Ron Paul,” and the re-written lyrics to the Beatles’ “Revolution” made this old-school Lennonist cringe.

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November 15, 2008 10:55 PM  

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