It’s official. Not only did Ron Paul outperform his amazing fundraising day on Nov. 5, but he also beat John Kerry’s previous one-day fund raising record ($5.8 million) by pulling in more than $6 million on Sunday.
Paul’s fourth quarter fundraising goal was $12 million, which he has now beat by more than 50 percent with two weeks to go (he stands at $18.2 million as of this writing). What’s even more amazing is that this has all happened before a single primary has taken place. John Kerry’s record happened only after he secured the Democratic nomination.
Moreover, this latest fundraising effort was once again a grass roots campaign, with no support from Ron Paul’s staff. Does that tell you something?
A lot of people complain about money in politics, and that it’s too easy for candidates to be bought by large corporations, and rich private interests. Here is proof that there is another way.
And more importantly, a way that is not government-controlled. The average donation size varied only between $90 and $120. Then there is the Ron Paul Blimp. Sure, many will scoff at this, but this is an interesting turn of events for one important reason. It wasn’t set up as a PAC. It’s a private advertising corporation.
That means that any donations you make towards the blimp do not count towards the maximum you can give to the campaign. For those who think this is shady or otherwise below board, they have retained the services of Brad Smith, the former chairman of the FEC, as legal counsel.
Odds are that this amazing event will go mostly unnoticed by the mainstream media. He’s not a "real candidate" to many, whatever that means. But what this should show is that there is a significant number of people who believe in what this man is saying, and are willing to put their money where their mouths are.
There are a lot of people who are just sick and tired of the same big government policies from both the Republicans and the Democrats and want real change … not the pseudo change that is promised by the usual bunch of candidates. And what could surprise people is his ability to bring back people who had just given up:
Not that Paul is necessarily competing directly against his rivals. Campaign officials and volunteers alike say they see themselves as striving more to reach residents who have given up on politics. It is hard to imagine voters deciding between Paul and the pro-Iraq-war Republicans in the rest of the field, they say, but they also are not making concerted efforts to reach independents leaning toward an antiwar Democrat such as Obama.
"It’s a lot of lifelong Republicans, folks who’ve been out of it and were discouraged," Jared Chicoine, New Hampshire campaign coordinator for Paul. "We don’t find droves of Democrats saying, ‘This is our man.’ He is a conservative. He is an antiwar conservative in the line of what Republicans used to be."
Nick Schweitzer of Wauwatosa is a software consultant, amateur photographer and political commentator. He writes a blog at www.nickschweitzer.net.