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The latest news/smear on Ron Paul is about numerous financial and political newsletters bearing his name that were published in the 80s that contained ideas and phrases that are generally, uh... "unpresidential".

Paul says that he did not write the articles in the newsletters.

Paul supporters say that the story, recently published in The New Republic is a smear tactic, another in a long line of Republican mouthpieces trying to minimize Paul in his presidential bid.

Critics of Ron Paul are pointing to his signature on this solicitation letter, which espouses similar beliefs as his newsletters and solicits subscriptions to the newsletters in Paul's name, as proof that he's a loony.

The New Republic wrote:
Paul's newsletters have carried different titles over the years-- Ron Paul's Freedom Report, Ron Paul Political Report, The Ron Paul Survival Report--but they generally seem to have been published on a monthly basis since at least 1978.

[...] The Freedom Report 's online archives only go back to 1999, but I was curious to see older editions of Paul's newsletters, in part because of a controversy dating to 1996, when Charles "Lefty" Morris, a Democrat running against Paul for a House seat, released excerpts stating that "opinion polls consistently show only about 5% of blacks have sensible political opinions," that "if you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be," and that black congresswoman Barbara Jordan is "the archetypical half-educated victimologist" whose "race and sex protect her from criticism." At the time, Paul's campaign said that Morris had quoted the newsletter out of context. Later, in 2001, Paul would claim that someone else had written the controversial passages.

[...] Finding the pre-1999 newsletters was no easy task, but I was able to track many of them down at the libraries of the University of Kansas and the Wisconsin Historical Society. Of course, with few bylines, it is difficult to know whether any particular article was written by Paul himself. Some of the earlier newsletters are signed by him, though the vast majority of the editions I saw contain no bylines at all. Complicating matters, many of the unbylined newsletters were written in the first-person, implying that Paul was the author.

But, whoever actually wrote them, the newsletters I saw all had one thing in common: They were published under a banner containing Paul's name, and the articles (except for one special edition of a newsletter that contained the byline of another writer) seem designed to create the impression that they were written by him--and reflected his views. What they reveal are decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays. In short, they suggest that Ron Paul is not the plain-speaking antiwar activist his supporters believe they are backing--but rather a member in good standing of some of the oldest and ugliest traditions in American politics.

[...] Paul's alliance with neo-Confederates helps explain the views his newsletters have long espoused on race. Take, for instance, a special issue of the Ron Paul Political Report, published in June 1992, dedicated to explaining the Los Angeles riots of that year. "Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began," read one typical passage. According to the newsletter, the looting was a natural byproduct of government indulging the black community with "'civil rights,' quotas, mandated hiring preferences, set-asides for government contracts, gerrymandered voting districts, black bureaucracies, black mayors, black curricula in schools, black tv shows, black tv anchors, hate crime laws, and public humiliation for anyone who dares question the black agenda." It also denounced "the media" for believing that "America's number one need is an unlimited white checking account for underclass blacks." To be fair, the newsletter did praise Asian merchants in Los Angeles, but only because they had the gumption to resist political correctness and fight back. Koreans were "the only people to act like real Americans," it explained, "mainly because they have not yet been assimilated into our rotten liberal culture, which admonishes whites faced by raging blacks to lie back and think of England."

This "Special Issue on Racial Terrorism" was hardly the first time one of Paul's publications had raised these topics. As early as December 1989, a section of his Investment Letter, titled "What To Expect for the 1990s," predicted that "Racial Violence Will Fill Our Cities" because "mostly black welfare recipients will feel justified in stealing from mostly white 'haves.'" Two months later, a newsletter warned of "The Coming Race War," and, in November 1990, an item advised readers, "If you live in a major city, and can leave, do so. If not, but you can have a rural retreat, for investment and refuge, buy it." In June 1991, an entry on racial disturbances in Washington, DC's Adams Morgan neighborhood was titled, "Animals Take Over the D.C. Zoo."

[...] Martin Luther King Jr. earned special ire from Paul's newsletters, which attacked the civil rights leader frequently, often to justify opposition to the federal holiday named after him. ("What an infamy Ronald Reagan approved it!" one newsletter complained in 1990. "We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day.") In the early 1990s, a newsletter attacked the "X-Rated Martin Luther King" as a "world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours," "seduced underage girls and boys," and "made a pass at" fellow civil rights leader Ralph Abernathy. One newsletter ridiculed black activists who wanted to rename New York City after King, suggesting that "Welfaria," "Zooville," "Rapetown," "Dirtburg," and "Lazyopolis" were better alternatives. The same year, King was described as "a comsymp, if not an actual party member, and the man who replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration."While bashing King, the newsletters had kind words for the former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke. In a passage titled "The Duke's Victory," a newsletter celebrated Duke's 44 percent showing in the 1990 Louisiana Republican Senate primary. "Duke lost the election," it said, "but he scared the blazes out of the Establishment."

[...] Like blacks, gays earn plenty of animus in Paul's newsletters. [...] In 1990, one newsletter mentioned a reporter from a gay magazine "who certainly had an axe to grind, and that's not easy with a limp wrist." In an item titled, "The Pink House?" the author of a newsletter--again, presumably Paul--complained about President George H.W. Bush's decision to sign a hate crimes bill and invite "the heads of homosexual lobbying groups to the White House for the ceremony," adding, "I miss the closet." "Homosexuals," it said, "not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities."
Selections of the newsletters are available for download from The New Republic website.

Ron Paul released a statement today saying,
"The quotations in The New Republic article are not mine and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed. I have never uttered such words and denounce such small-minded thoughts.

"In fact, I have always agreed with Martin Luther King, Jr. that we should only be concerned with the content of a person's character, not the color of their skin. As I stated on the floor of the U.S. House on April 20, 1999: 'I rise in great respect for the courage and high ideals of Rosa Parks who stood steadfastly for the rights of individuals against unjust laws and oppressive governmental policies.'

"This story is old news and has been rehashed for over a decade. It's once again being resurrected for obvious political reasons on the day of the New Hampshire primary.

"When I was out of Congress and practicing medicine full-time, a newsletter was published under my name that I did not edit. Several writers contributed to the product. For over a decade, I have publically taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name."  [source]

Now, I agree that the timing is suspect, but what do you guys think about this whole thing? Is it likely that such newsletters could exist and Paul not sue or otherwise take legal, documented action against the authors, if they were misrepresenting him?

OOH, the ideas and beliefs seem a bit at odds with what I've heard about Ron Paul, so it's hard for me to believe.

OTOH, I find it hard to believe Paul's explanation/excuse, especially given his presidential aspirations in the 80s (he first ran for office on the Libertarian ticket in 1988). Why let his name continue to be associated with these ideas, if they didn't reflect some truth?

So, what do you think?



( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 9th, 2008 05:37 am (UTC)
I *really* want to like Ron Paul. I still consider myself to be more libertarian than anything else, and I do agree with a number of his positions, but there's something about him that I just can't get behind. It may be that many of his supporters are just scary, and most of the ones who aren't are annoying.

I don't really have an opinion on the newsletter issue, but I do find it a bit suspect that he would allow a newsletter to be printed in his name without exercising some editorial control.
Jan. 9th, 2008 05:52 am (UTC)
The simple fact that the Libertarians are calling him their candidate is enough for me to dread him being anywhere near a position of power. I keep hearing the whole "it's the Libertarians that are crazy, the libertarians are ok" line, but apparently every one of them I meet is the big "L" type that wants to give even more power to big business and allow the consumer to be fucked over even more than the Republicans already allow.
Jan. 9th, 2008 02:57 pm (UTC)
I can't really judge whether Ron Paul is crazy (although to run for the Republican Presidential nomination I suppose you'd almost have to be). I do know that all of his fans are either batshit insane or spambots, and that's all the smear I need.
Jan. 9th, 2008 03:33 pm (UTC)
Welcome to Wallsmart! Google Ron Paul. HAHAHA.
Jan. 9th, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I saw this yesterday. Total 100% bullshit. I mean, neo-confederate? Really? He's trying to make an associatiation between people who think the civil war had some lasting bad effects on civil liberties in this country and KKK members/skinheads? Come on. Its really very obvious what's going on.
Jan. 9th, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC)
I think the man is 30 different kinds of batshit crazy, and if the 'pubs want to spend their time smearing him, I'm not going to lose sleep over it. At the same time, I don't intend to wallow in the warm gushy feeling of glee that I feel when assholes find themselves on the what-comes-around end of past actions, because really, he's just not worth the extra thought.
Jan. 10th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC)
Swift Boat redux
I'm much more concerned with the admitted vote fraud in New Hampshire than this pathetic smear campaign.
Both Obama and Dr. Paul we're robbed of votes and the truth will come out.
The cover up stories don't fool everyone
"How did all the polls get it so wrong ?"
Diebold Diebold Diebold!!!!
Shame on these cretins.
More Swift Boat type nonsense to sway the gullible American public.
Wake up retards !
Don't by into this crap.
Jan. 11th, 2008 01:45 am (UTC)
This is all total bullshit and anyone who thinks Ron wrote any of this is a moron. Libertarians by virtue of being libertarian can't be racist. The real moon bats are the morons in these forums who post baseless bulshit. Ron Paul is the most honorable person in government, ALL the others a are nothing but fascist treasonist criminals. Wake up morons!
Jan. 11th, 2008 02:02 am (UTC)
He must have them running a little scared...and what better way to really slam him!! Out of the debate where all candidates had time in one night, he was the only one who didn't jump around the questions. The rest of the candidates, from what I could tell, never gave a straight answer on any of the questions or issues, were too busy trying to slam each other, and talked about what they would change now. They are all talking about change, but I haven't heard any of them say what they would do if they become President...I think there are a couple of candidates who are running just to make the history books themselves and don't really have the best interests of ALL AMERICANS at heart...Just my thoughts...GOD BLESS OUR COUNTRY!!
Jan. 11th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC)
Ron Paul
At best, the fact that newsletters that were printed in various forms over about a 20 year period with his name prominently on and/or associated with them point to two possibilities that his followers REALLY need to take a few moments to consider:

1) Either he's so helpless or incompetent that he was unable to stop the use of his name in this way, or

2) He agrees to at least some extent with what's being expounded.

Neither option is particularly flattering.

Also, some folks may want to make note of the fact that several notable white supremacist groups have endorsed Paul (Stormfront, for one). While I realize that candidates has no direct power over who may support them, it might be worthwhile to take a moment a look at reasons WHY such groups might find a candidate desirable. What do they stand to gain, or in what why might they find the candidate's ideology attractive? If Paul didn't actually author the offensive pieces, he certainly either did nothing to stop them if he knew of them. And it's odd to think that he wouldn't know of them, given that his name is all over those newsletters. What, not once did he pick up and read a copy? Not once did one of his followers see such an offensive piece and say "ummm, Dr. Paul? You might want to take a look at this..."? Not once in twenty years? At the very least it's very strange you must admit.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
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