Ron Paul

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Ron Paul
Ron Paul

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 14th district
Assumed office 
January 3, 1997
Preceded by Greg Laughlin

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 22nd district
In office
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1985
Preceded by Robert Gammage
Succeeded by Tom DeLay
In office
April 3, 1976 – January 3, 1977
Preceded by Robert R. Casey
Succeeded by Robert Gammage

Born August 20, 1935 (1935-08-20) (age 73)
Green Tree, Pennsylvania, United States
Political party Republican
Spouse Carolyn "Carol" Paul
Children Ronald "Ronnie" Paul, Jr.
Lori Paul Pyeatt
Randall "Rand" Paul
Robert Paul
Joy Paul-LeBlanc
Residence Lake Jackson, Texas
Alma mater Gettysburg College
Duke University School of Medicine
Profession Physician, politician
Religion Baptist[1]
Signature Ron Paul's signature
Website U.S. House of Representatives Office of Ron Paul
Military service
Service/branch United States Air Force
United States Air National Guard
Years of service 1962–1965

Ronald Ernest Paul (born August 20, 1935) is an American physician and Republican Congressman for the State of Texas, who gained widespread attention during his campaign for the 2008 Republican Party presidential nomination. During the campaign he attracted an enthusiastic following which made use of the Internet and social networking to establish a grassroots campaign despite lack of traditional organization or media attention. He criticized the Republican Party for abandoning its principles of limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and sound monetary policies, and in particular strongly opposed American involvement in the War in Iraq. He also called for abolition of many federal institutions including the FBI, CIA and Department of Education, abolition of the federal income tax and an end to the war on drugs. Despite strong support in some races, he failed to win any state-wide contests. His campaign was coined the "Ron Paul Revolution". He is founder of the advocacy group Campaign for Liberty.

Paul is a member of the Liberty Caucus of Republican congressmen which aims to limit the size and scope of the federal government, and serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the Joint Economic Committee, and the Committee on Financial Services, where he has been an outspoken critic of American foreign and monetary policy. He was one of the first congressmen to support Ronald Reagan's 1976 presidential campaign and endorsed Reagan again for President in 1980 and was himself the presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party in 1988. His ideas have been expressed in numerous published articles and books, including The Revolution: A Manifesto (2008).


[edit] Personal life

Paul was born in Green Tree, Pennsylvania to Howard and Margaret (née Dumont) Paul.[2] As a junior at Dormont High School, he was the 220-yard dash state champion.[3] He received a B.S. degree in Biology at Gettysburg College in 1957.[3] After obtaining an M.D. degree from the Duke University School of Medicine, he served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force during the 1960s.

Paul has been married to Carol Wells since 1957.[4] They have five children, who were baptized Episcopalian:[5] Ronald, Lori, Rand, Robert, and Joy. They also have eighteen grandchildren and one great-grandchild.[6]

[edit] Early Congressional career

While still a medical resident in the 1960s, Paul was influenced by Friedrich Hayek’s Road to Serfdom, which led him to read many works of Ayn Rand and Ludwig von Mises. He came to know economists Hans Sennholz and Murray Rothbard well, and credits to them his interest in the study of economics. He came to believe that what the Austrian school economists wrote was coming true on August 15, 1971, when President Richard Nixon closed the "gold window" by implementing the U.S. dollar's complete departure from the gold standard.[7] That same day, the young physician decided to enter politics, saying later, "After that day, all money would be political money rather than money of real value. I was astounded."[8]

[edit] First campaigns

Inspired by his belief that the monetary crisis of the 1970s was predicted by the Austrian school, and caused by excessive government spending on the Vietnam War, and wholesale welfare,[9] Paul became a delegate to the Texas Republican convention and a Republican candidate for Congress. Incumbent Robert R. Casey defeated him in the 22nd district; Democrats won 1974 heavily. When President Gerald Ford appointed Casey to head the Federal Maritime Commission, Paul won an April, 1976 special election to fill the empty seat.[10] Paul lost some months later in the general election, to Democrat Robert Gammage, by fewer than 300 votes (0.2%), but defeated Gammage in a 1978 rematch, and was subsequently re-elected in 1980 and 1982.

Paul was the first Republican representative from the area; he also led the Texas Reagan delegation at the national Republican convention.[11] His successful campaign against Gammage surprised local Democrats, who had expected to retain the seat easily in the wake of the Watergate scandal. Gammage underestimated Paul's support among local mothers: "I had real difficulty down in Brazoria County, where he practiced, because he'd delivered half the babies in the county. There were only two obstetricians in the county, and the other one was his partner."[12]

[edit] House of Representatives

Paul proposed term limits legislation multiple times, at first in the 1970s in the House[13] where he also declined to attend junkets or register for a Congressional pension while serving four terms.[14] His chief of staff (1978–1982) was Lew Rockwell.[15] In 1980, when a majority of Republicans favored President Jimmy Carter's proposal to reinstate draft registration, Paul argued that their views were inconsistent, stating they were more interested in registering their children than they were their guns.[13] He also proposed legislation to decrease Congressional pay by the rate of inflation; he was a regular participant in the annual Congressional Baseball Game;[11] and he continued to deliver babies on Mondays and Saturdays during his entire 22nd district career.[8]

During his first term, Paul founded a think tank, the Foundation for Rational Economics and Education (FREE).[16] Also in 1976, the foundation began publication of the first monthly newsletter connected with Paul, Dr. Ron Paul's Freedom Report[17] (or Special Report). It also publishes monographs, books, radio spots, and (since 1997) a new series of the monthly newsletter, Ron Paul's Freedom Report, which promote the principles of limited government.

On the House Banking Committee, Paul blamed the Federal Reserve for inflation,[18] and spoke against the banking mismanagement that led to the savings and loan crisis.[5] The U.S. Gold Commission created by Congress in 1982 was his and Jesse Helms's idea, and Paul's commission minority report was published by the Cato Institute in The Case for Gold;[7] it is now available from the Mises Institute, to which Paul is a distinguished counselor.[19]

In 1984, Paul chose to run for the U.S. Senate instead of re-election to the House, but lost the Republican primary to Phil Gramm.[20] He returned to full-time medical practice[18] and was succeeded by former state representative Tom DeLay.[21] In his House farewell address, Paul said, "Special interests have replaced the concern that the Founders had for general welfare. Vote trading is seen as good politics. The errand-boy mentality is ordinary, the defender of liberty is seen as bizarre. It's difficult for one who loves true liberty and utterly detests the power of the state to come to Washington for a period of time and not leave a true cynic."[15]

[edit] 1988 presidential campaign

In the 1988 presidential election, Paul defeated American Indian activist Russell Means to win the Libertarian Party nomination for president.[5] Paul criticized Ronald Reagan as a failure and cited high deficits as exhibit A.[14] On the ballot in 46 states and the District of Columbia,[22] Paul placed third in the popular vote with 432,179 votes (0.5%),[23] behind Bush and Michael Dukakis.[24] Paul was kept off the ballot in Missouri, and received votes there only when written in, due to what the St. Louis Post-Dispatch called a "technicality".[25]

As the "Libertarian standard bearer",[26][27] Paul gained supporters who agreed with his positions on gun rights, fiscal conservatism, homeschooling, and abortion, and won approval from many who thought the federal government was misdirected. This nationwide support base encouraged and donated to his later campaigns.[8] Kent Snyder, Paul's 2008 campaign chair, first worked for Paul on the 1988 campaign.[28][29]

According to Paul, his presidential run was about more than reaching office; he sought to spread his libertarian ideas, often to school and university groups regardless of vote eligibility. He said, "We're just as interested in the future generation as this election. These kids will vote eventually, and maybe, just maybe, they'll go home and talk to their parents."[22] He traveled the country for a year speaking about issues such as free market economics and the rising government deficits:[26] "That's why we talk to a lot of young people. They're the ones who are paying these bills, they're the ones who are inheriting this debt, so it's most likely these young people who will move into this next generation in government."[30]

After the election, Paul continued his medical practice until he returned to Congress.[5][31] He also co-owned a coin dealership, Ron Paul Coins, for twelve years with Burt Blumert, who continued to operate it after Paul returned to office.[32][33] He spoke multiple times at the American Numismatic Association's 1988 convention.[32] He worked with FREE on such projects as establishing the National Endowment for Liberty, producing the At Issue public policy series that aired on Discovery Channel and CNBC,[16] and continuing publication of Dr. Ron Paul's Freedom Report.

Ron Paul & Associates (RP&A), Inc. was founded in 1984 by Ron Paul who served as President, Llewellyn H Rockwell Jr. served as Vice President, Ron Paul's wife Carol served as Secretary and Lori Pyeatt as Treasurer. The corporation was dissolved in 2001.[34][35][36][37]

In 1985 Ron Paul & Associates began publishing The Ron Paul Investment Letter[38] and The Ron Paul Survival Report;[8][39] it added the more controversial Ron Paul Political Report in 1987.[40] Articles were largely unbylined but often invoked Paul's name or persona. In 1992, RP&A earned $940,000 and employed Paul's family as well as Lew Rockwell (its vice-president[41] and sometime editor)[42] and seven other workers. Murray Rothbard and other libertarians believed Rockwell ghostwrote the newsletters for Paul;[41] Rockwell later acknowledged involvement in writing subscription letters, but attributed the newsletters to "seven or eight freelancers".[43]

Paul considered running for President in 1992,[44] but instead chose to support Pat Buchanan that year, and served as an advisor to his Republican presidential campaign against incumbent President George H. W. Bush.[45]

[edit] Later Congressional career

Paul's Congressional portrait.

[edit] Campaigns

[edit] 1996 campaign

In 1996, Paul was re-elected to Congress after the toughest campaign race he had faced since the 1970s. Since the Republicans had taken over both houses of Congress in the 1994 election, Paul entered the race hopeful that his Constitutionalist policies of tax cuts, closing agencies, and curbing the UN would have more support.[46] The Republican National Committee focused instead on encouraging Democrats to switch parties, as Paul's primary opponent, incumbent Greg Laughlin, had done in 1995. The party threw its full weight behind Laughlin, including support from House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Governor George W. Bush, and the National Rifle Association. Paul responded by running newspaper ads quoting Gingrich's harsh criticisms of Laughlin's Democratic voting record 14 months earlier.[14] Paul won the primary with support from baseball pitcher, constituent, and friend Nolan Ryan (as honorary campaign chair and ad spokesman), as well as tax activist Steve Forbes[5] and conservative commentator Pat Buchanan (both of whom had run presidential campaigns that year).

Paul's Democratic opponent in the fall general election, trial lawyer Charles "Lefty" Morris, received assistance from the AFL-CIO, but Paul's wider contributor base outraised Morris two-to-one, giving the third-highest amount of individual contributions received by any House member (behind Gingrich and Bob Dornan).[47]

While Paul was able to paint Morris as a tool of trial lawyers and big labor, Morris ran numerous ads about Paul's advocacy of federal drug law repeal, and accused Paul of authoring questionable statements in past newsletters,[8] some of which were characterized as racially charged.[48][49] Paul's campaign responded that voters might not understand the "tongue-in-cheek, academic" quotes out of context, and rejected Morris' demand to release all back issues.

Paul went on to win the election in a close margin. It became the third time Paul had been elected to Congress as a non-incumbent.[5] Upon his returning to Washington, Paul quickly discovered "there was no sincere effort" by Republicans toward their declared goal of small-government.[9]

[edit] Later campaigns

In 1998 and again in 2000, Paul defeated Loy Sneary, a Democratic Bay City rice farmer and former Matagorda County judge,[8] running ads warning voters to be "leery of" Sneary.[50] Paul accused Sneary of voting to raise his pay by 5%, increasing his travel allotment by 400% in one year, and using increased taxes to start a new government bureaucracy to handle a license plate fee he enacted. Sneary's aides said he had voted to raise all county employees' pay by five percent in a cost-of-living increase. Paul countered that he had never voted to raise Congressional pay.[46][51] In both campaigns, the national Democratic Party and major unions continued to spend heavily on targeting Paul.[8]

An online grassroots petition to draft Paul for the 2004 presidential election garnered several thousand signatures.[52] On December 11, 2001, he told the independent movement that he was encouraged by the fact that the petition had spread the message of Constitutionalism, but did not expect a White House win at that time.[53] Further prompting in early 2007 led him to enter the 2008 race.

Unlike many political candidates, Paul receives the overwhelming majority of his campaign contributions from individuals[54] (97 percent in the 2006 cycle), and receives much less from political action committees (PAC's) than others, ranging from two percent (2002) to six percent (1998).[55] The group Clean Up Washington, analyzing from 2000 to mid-2006, listed Paul as seventh-lowest in PAC receipts of all House members; one of the lowest in lobbyist receipts; and fourth-highest in small-donor receipts.[56] He had the lowest PAC receipts percentage of all the 2008 Republican presidential candidates.[57][58]

Paul was re-elected to his tenth term in Congress in November 2006.[59] In the March 4, 2008, Republican primary for his Congressional seat,[60] he defeated Friendswood city councilman Chris Peden,[61] obtaining over 70 percent of the vote.[62] On the 2008 ballot, Paul won his eleventh term in Congress running unopposed.[63]

[edit] Relationship with district

After 2003 Texas redistricting, Paul's district is larger than Massachusetts,[64] with 675 miles (1,086 km) of Gulf of Mexico coastline between Houston and Rockport, Texas, covering some 22 counties. Even so, Paul opposes programs like federally funded flood insurance (typically supported by coastal and rural representatives) because it requires those outside flood zones to subsidize those within, but prohibits those within from choosing their own insurers. In an overwhelmingly rural region known for ranching and rice farms,[7] Paul opposes farm subsidies because they are paid to large corporations rather than small farmers.[65] Despite his voting against heavily supported legislation like farm bills, Paul's devotion to reducing government resonates with 14th district voters:[8] in a survey, 54% of his constituency agreed with his goal of eliminating the U.S. Department of Education.[66]

Paul adds his own earmarks, such as for Texas shrimp promotion (who contribute heavily to Paul's campaigns[citation needed]), but he routinely votes against most spending bills returned by committee.[23][67] Earmarks permit members of Congress, rather than executive branch civil servants, to designate spending priorities[68] for previously authorized funds directed otherwise.[67] Paul compared his practice to objecting to the tax system yet taking all one's tax credits: "I want to get their money back for the people."[69] In The Revolution: A Manifesto, Paul states his views on earmarks this way: "The real problem, and one that was unfortunately not addressed in the 2007's earmark dispute, is the size of the federal government and the amount of money we are spending in these appropriations bills. Cutting even a million dollars from an appropriations bill that spends hundreds of billions will make no appreciable difference in the size of government, which is doubtless why politicians and the media are so eager to have us waste our time on [earmarks]."[70]

Paul also spends extra time in the district to compensate for "violat[ing] almost every rule of political survival you can think of,"[8] traveling over 300 miles (480 km) daily[8] to attend civic ceremonies for veterans, graduates, and Boy Scouts, often accompanied by his grandchildren. His staff helps senior citizens obtain free or low-cost prescription drugs through a little-known drug company program; procures lost or unreceived medals for war veterans, holding dozens of medal ceremonies annually; is known for its effectiveness in tracking down Social Security checks; and sends out birthday and condolence cards.[8][67]

In 2001, he was one of only eight doctors in the House; even fewer had continued to practice while in office. He is occasionally approached by younger area residents to thank him for attending and assisting their deliveries at birth.[8]

[edit] Legislation

Paul authors more bills than the average representative, such as those that impose term limits, or abolish the income tax[71] or the Federal Reserve; many do not escape committee review. He has written successful legislation to prevent eminent domain seizure of a church in New York, and a bill transferring ownership of the Lake Texana dam project from the federal government to Texas. By amending other legislation, he has barred funding for national identification numbers, funding for federal teacher certification,[8] International Criminal Court jurisdiction over the U.S. military, American participation in any U.N. global tax, and surveillance on peaceful First Amendment activities by citizens.[72]

In March 2001, Paul introduced a bill to repeal the 1973 War Powers Resolution (WPR) and reinstate the process of formal declaration of war by Congress.[73] Later in 2001, Paul voted to authorize the president, pursuant to WPR, to respond to those responsible for the September 11, 2001, attacks.[74] He also introduced Sunlight Rule legislation, which requires lawmakers to take enough time to read bills before voting on them,[75] after the Patriot Act was passed within 24 hours of its introduction. Paul was one of six Republicans to vote against the Iraq War Resolution, and (with Oregon representative Peter DeFazio) sponsored a resolution to repeal the war authorization in February 2003. Paul's speech, 35 "Questions That Won't Be Asked About Iraq",[76] was translated and published in German, French, Russian, Italian, and Swiss periodicals before the Iraq War began.[67]

Paul says his fellow members of Congress have increased government spending by 75 percent during George W. Bush's administration.[77] After a 2005 bill was touted as "slashing" government waste, Paul wrote that it decreased spending by a fraction of one percent and that "Congress couldn't slash spending if the members' lives depended on it."[78] He said that in three years he had voted against more than 700 bills intended to expand government.[79]

Paul has introduced several bills to apply tax credits toward education, including credits for parental spending on public, private, or homeschool students (Family Education Freedom Act); for salaries for all K–12 teachers, librarians, counselors, and other school personnel; and for donations to scholarships or to benefit academics (Education Improvement Tax Cut Act).[80] In accord with his political positions, he has also introduced the Sanctity of Life Act, the We the People Act, and the American Freedom Agenda Act.[81]

[edit] Affiliations

Paul serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee (having been on the Western Hemisphere and the Asia and Pacific subcommittees); the Joint Economic Committee; and the Committee on Financial Services (as Ranking Member of the Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade and Technology subcommittee, and Vice-Chair of the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee).[82]

Paul was honorary chair of, and is a current member of, the Republican Liberty Caucus, a political action committee which describes its goal as electing "liberty-minded, limited-government individuals".[83] Paul also hosts a luncheon every Thursday as chair of the Liberty Caucus, composed of 20 members of Congress. Washington DC area radio personality Johnny "Cakes" Auville gave Paul the idea for the Liberty Caucus and is a regular contributing member.[5] He is a founding member of the Congressional Rural Caucus, which deals with agricultural and rural issues, and the 140-member Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus.[84] He remains on good terms with the Libertarian Party and addressed its 2004 convention.[85] He also was endorsed by the Constitution Party's 2004 presidential candidate, Michael Peroutka.[86]

Paul was on a bipartisan coalition of 17 members of Congress that sued President Bill Clinton in 1999 over his conduct of the Kosovo war. They accused Clinton of failing to inform Congress of the action's status within 48 hours as required by the War Powers Resolution, and of failing to obtain Congressional declaration of war. Congress had voted 427–2 against a declaration of war with Yugoslavia, and had voted to deny support for the air campaign in Kosovo. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that since Congress had voted for funding after Clinton had actively engaged troops in the war with Kosovo, legislators had sent a confusing message about whether they approved of the war. Paul said that the judge's decision attempted to circumvent the Constitution and to authorize the president to conduct a war without approval from Congress.[87]

[edit] 2008 presidential campaign

Ron Paul at the Free State Project's Liberty Forum.
Ron Paul being interviewed the day of the New Hampshire primary in Manchester.

[edit] Republican primary campaign

Paul formally declared his candidacy for the 2008 Republican nomination on March 12, 2007, on C-SPAN.[88][89] His campaign had intense grassroots support—his supporters were said to "always show up"[90]—and he had dozens of wins in GOP straw polls.

Paul's campaign showed "surprisingly strong" fundraising[91] with several record-breaking events. He had the highest rate of military contribution for 2008,[92][93] and donations coming from individuals,[94] aided significantly by an online presence and very active campaigning by supporters,[95] who organized moneybomb fundraisers netting millions over several months. Such fundraising earned Paul the status of having raised more than any other Republican candidate in 2007's fourth-quarter.[96] Paul's name was a number-one web search term as ranked by Technorati, beginning around May 2007.[97] He has led other candidates in YouTube subscriptions since May 20, 2007.[98]

Paul was largely ignored by traditional media, including at least one incident where FOX News did not invite him to a GOP debate featuring all other presidential candidates at the time.[99] One exception was Glenn Beck's program on CNN, where Beck interviewed Paul for the full hour of his show.[100]

Though projections of 2008 Republican delegate counts varied widely, Paul's count was consistently third among the three candidates remaining after Super Tuesday. According to CNN[101] and the New York Times,[102] by Super Tuesday Paul had received five delegates in North Dakota, and was projected to receive two in Iowa, four in Nevada, and five in Alaska based on caucus results, totaling 16 delegates. However, Paul's campaign projected 42 delegates based on the same results, including delegates from Colorado, Maine, and Minnesota.[103]

In the January Louisiana caucus, Paul placed second behind John McCain, but uncommitted delegates outnumbered both candidates' pledged delegates, since a registration deadline had been extended to January 12.[104] Paul said he had the greatest number of pledged Louisiana delegates who had registered by the original January 10 deadline, and formally challenged the deadline extension and the Louisiana GOP's exclusion of voters due to an outdated list;[105][106] he projected three Louisiana delegates. The Super Tuesday West Virginia caucus was won by Mike Huckabee, whose state campaign coordinators reportedly arranged to give three Huckabee delegates to Paul in exchange for votes from Paul's supporters.[107] Huckabee has not confirmed this delegate pledge.[108]

Paul's preference votes in primaries and caucuses began at 10 percent in Iowa (winning Jefferson County) and eight percent in New Hampshire; on Super Tuesday they ranged from 25 percent in Montana and 21 percent in North Dakota caucuses, where he won several counties, to three percent in several state primaries, averaging under 10 percent in primaries overall.[109] After sweeping four states on March 4, McCain was widely projected to have a majority of delegates pledged to vote for him in the September party convention. Paul obliquely acknowledged McCain on March 6: "Though victory in the political sense [is] not available, many victories have been achieved due to hard work and enthusiasm." He continued to contest the remaining primaries,[110] having added, "McCain has the nominal number ... but if you're in a campaign for only gaining power, that is one thing; if you're in a campaign to influence ideas and the future of the country, it's never over."[111] Paul's newest book, The Revolution: A Manifesto, became a New York Times and bestseller immediately upon release.[112][113][114][115]

On June 12, 2008, Paul officially withdrew his bid for the Republican nomination, citing his resources could be better spent on improving America. Some of the $4 million remaining campaign contributions was invested into the new political action and advocacy group called Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty.[116] Paul told the newsmagazine NOW on PBS the goal of the Campaign for Liberty is to "spread the message of the Constitution and limited government, while at the same time organizing at the grassroots level and teaching pro-liberty activists how to run effective campaigns and win elections at every level of government."[117]

[edit] Newsletter controversy

At the end of 2007, both the New York Sun and the New York Times Magazine reprinted passages from early 1990s publications of Paul's newsletters, attacking them for content deemed racist.[5] These were the same newletters that had been used against Paul in his 1996 congressional campaign.

Shortly afterwards, The New Republic released many previously unpublicized quotations attributed to Paul in James Kirchick's "Angry White Man" article.[118] Kirchick accused Paul of having made racist, sexist, and derogatory comments geared towards African Americans, women, and the LGBT community.[119] Kircheck also accused Paul of possessing "an obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry."[119]

Responding to the charges in a CNN interview, Paul denied any involvement in authoring the passages. In a press release, Paul's campaign stated that the quotations came from other writers associated with Paul. Paul again denounced and disavowed the "small-minded thoughts," citing his 1999 House speech praising Rosa Parks for her courage; he said the charges simply "rehashed" the decade-old Morris attack.[120] CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer expressed his disbelief that Paul would have made such statements during the interview.[121] Later, Nelson Linder, president of the Austin chapter of the NAACP, also defended Paul.[122] Reason republished Paul's 1996 defense of the newsletters,[123] but later reported evidence from "a half-dozen longtime libertarian activists" that Lew Rockwell had been the chief ghostwriter.[41]

[edit] Support for third party candidates

Paul at a 2008 campaign event in Manchester, New Hampshire

On September 5, 2008, the Constitution Party of Montana removed Chuck Baldwin from their presidential ticket, replacing him with Ron Paul for president and Michael Peroutka for vice president.[124] Paul made an announcement stating that he "was aware that the party planned to do this, and has said that as long as he can remain passive and silent about the development, and as long as he need not sign any declaration of candidacy, that he does not object."[124] However, Paul requested on September 11 that Montana take his name off the ballot,[125] stating that that he did not "seek nor consent" to the Montana Constitution Party's nomination.[125] He also suggested the Party list official Constitution Party nominee Baldwin on the Montana ballot instead.[125] Five days later the Montana Secretary of State denied Paul's request for withdrawal,[126] stating that the request was sent to them too late. On September 4, 2008, a list of electors in Louisiana using the label "Louisiana Taxpayers Party" filed papers and paid $500[127] with the Secretary of State's Office.[127] They are pledged to Paul for President and Barry Goldwater, Jr. for Vice President.[127]

The same day, Paul made a brief press statement: "On the heels of his historic three-day rally in Minneapolis that drew over 12,000 attendees, Congressman Ron Paul will make a major announcement next week in Washington at the National Press Club."[128] The congressman had reportedly invited presidential candidates Chuck Baldwin, Bob Barr, Cynthia McKinney, and Ralph Nader to the press conference, leading some to speculate that they would endorse Paul running for president on the ticket of either the Constitution, Libertarian or other third party.[128][129]

On September 10, 2008, Paul confirmed his "open endorsement" (CNN) for the four candidates at a press conference in Washington D.C.[130] He also revealed that he had rejected a request for an endorsement of John McCain.[131] He later appeared on CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer with Nader where they presented and briefly laid out the four principles that all the independent candidates had agreed on as the most important key issues of the presidential race.[132] On September 22, 2008, in response to a written statement by Bob Barr, Paul abandoned his former neutral stance and announced his support of Chuck Baldwin in the 2008 presidential election.[133]

In the 2008 general election, Paul still received 41,905 votes despite not actively running for the seat.[134][135] He was listed on the ballot in Montana on the Constitution Party label, and in Louisiana on the "Louisiana Taxpayers Party" ticket, and received write-in votes in California (17,006),[136] Pennsylvania (3,527), New Hampshire (1,092), and other states. (Not all U.S. jurisdictions require the counting or reporting of write-in votes.)

[edit] Post presidential campaign

On February 26, 2009, Ron Paul was a key speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C., speaking for 20 minutes on topics including monetary theory and the War in Iraq.[137] Paul's Campaign for Liberty sent 140 volunteers to CPAC 2009 to distribute materials.[138] In the CPAC Presidential Preference straw poll, Paul tied 2008 GOP Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin for third place with 13% of the vote, behind fellow former candidate Mitt Romney and Governor Bobby Jindal.[139]

On February 26, 2009, Ron Paul introduced H. R. 1207 "The Federal Reserve Transparency Act" to the United States House of Representatives with 50 cosponsors. The bill is designed to "audit reform and transparency for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System" by the Comptroller General.[140]

[edit] Political positions

Paul at the 2007 National Right to Life Committee Convention in Kansas City, Missouri, June 15, 2007.

Paul has been described as conservative, Constitutionalist, and libertarian.[5] His nickname "Dr. No"[8] reflects both his medical degree and his insistence that he will "never vote for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution."[18] One scoring method published in the American Journal of Political Science[141] found Paul the most conservative of all 3,320 members of Congress from 1937 to 2002.[142] Paul's foreign policy of nonintervention[143] made him the only 2008 Republican presidential candidate to have voted against the Iraq War Resolution in 2002. He advocates withdrawal from the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for reasons of maintaining strong national sovereignty. He supports free trade, rejecting membership in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization as "managed trade". He supports tighter border security and ending welfare benefits for illegal aliens, and opposes birthright citizenship and amnesty;[144] he voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006. He voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks, but suggested war alternatives such as authorizing the president to grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal targeting specific terrorists.

Paul adheres deeply to Austrian school economics; he has authored six books on the subject, and displays pictures of Austrian school economists Friedrich Hayek, Murray Rothbard, and Ludwig von Mises (as well as of Grover Cleveland)[23] on his office wall. He regularly votes against almost all proposals for new government spending, initiatives, or taxes;[50] he cast two thirds of all the lone negative votes in the House during a 1995–1997 period.[8] He has pledged never to raise taxes[145] and states he has never voted to approve a budget deficit. Paul believes that the country could abolish the individual income tax by scaling back federal spending to its fiscal year 2000 levels;[71][146] financing government operations would primarily come through the corporate income tax, excise taxes and tariffs. He supports eliminating most federal government agencies, calling them unnecessary bureaucracies. Paul also believes the longterm erosion of the U.S. dollar's purchasing power through inflation is attributable to its lack of any commodity backing. However, Paul doesn't support a complete return to a gold standard,[147] instead preferring to legitimize gold and silver as legal tender and to remove the sales tax on them  . He advocates gradual elimination of the Federal Reserve System.[148]

Paul strongly supports Constitutional rights, such as the right to keep and bear arms, and habeas corpus for political detainees. He opposes the Patriot Act, federal use of torture, presidential autonomy, a national ID card, domestic surveillance, and the draft. Citing the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, Paul advocates states' rights to decide how to regulate social matters not directly found in the Constitution. Paul calls himself "strongly pro-life",[149] "an unshakable foe of abortion",[150] and believes regulation or ban[151] on medical decisions about maternal or fetal health is "best handled at the state level".[152][153] He says his years as an obstetrician led him to believe life begins at conception;[154] his pro-life legislation, like the Sanctity of Life Act, is intended to negate Roe v. Wade and to get "the federal government completely out of the business of regulating state matters."[155] Paul also believes that the courts making decisions on behalf of the state against public and private display of Christmas referencing the Separation of Church and State is a war against religion.[156]

He opposes federal regulation of the death penalty,[152] of education,[157] and of marriage, and supports revising the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy to focus on disruptive sexual behavior (whether heterosexual or homosexual).[158] As a free-market environmentalist, he asserts private property rights in relation to environmental protection and pollution prevention. He also opposes the federal War on Drugs,[159] and thinks the states should decide whether to regulate or deregulate drugs such as medical marijuana.[160] Paul pushes to eliminate federal involvement in and management of health care, which he argues would allow prices to drop due to the fundamental dynamics of a free market.[161] He is an outspoken proponent for increased ballot access for 3rd party candidates and numerous election law reforms which he believes would allow more voter control.[162]

[edit] Books authored

[edit] Other contributions

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ "Ron Paul Background". Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life: Religion & Politics '08. Pew Research Center. September 2007. Retrieved on 2007-10-21. 
  2. ^ Reitweisner, William Addams. "The Ancestors of Ron Paul". Retrieved on 2008-11-13. 
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Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Organizations Founded
Presidential campaign
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert R. Casey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 22nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Robert Gammage
Preceded by
Robert Gammage
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 22nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Tom DeLay
Preceded by
Greg Laughlin
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 14th congressional district

1997 – present
Party political offices
Preceded by
David Bergland
Libertarian Party presidential candidate
Succeeded by
Andre Marrou

NAME Paul, Ron
SHORT DESCRIPTION U.S. Congressman, obstetrician (M.D.)
DATE OF BIRTH August 20, 1935
PLACE OF BIRTH Green Tree, Pennsylvania
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