Monday, December 10, 2007

Ron Paul: The For Profit Candidate

From the department of "DOH, why didn't I think of that" comes an idea so brilliant, so simple and so appropriate it has stunned professional election fundraisers.

It turns out that if you sell people a share in a partisan message in order to make a profit, it sails right by campaign finance laws. In this case, you can help pay for a blimp that pimps Ron Paul, flying over Washington DC and Wall Street, with a final mission to dump tea in Boston Harbor.


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.
I can understand how this could have been overlooked. Most politicians prefer not to think of themselves as marketable commodities, even though this is something rather like a professional sex worker objecting to being called a whore.

Anyway, like every other development around the incredible "Little Campaign that Could," it comes not from Ron Paul, but from people who like the idea of Ron Paul, and believe (as do I) that any idea worth having is worth putting out on the street to see how much she can bring in.

Ok, I just offended my own sensibilities with that analogy. But, however it is put, it is what I believe, so let it stand in all it's hilariously inappropriate glory.


Come to think of it, I did think of making a buck off Ron. I just didn't think BIG enough.

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