The New Ron Paul Candidates

Business Week reports on some Ron Paul-inspired candidates running for office this year, in and out of the Republican Party. Highlights:

Karen Kwiatkowski, a Republican candidate for Congress in Virginia, rarely passes up an opportunity to scold Washington politicians about runaway defense spending, which she says is an egregious waste of taxpayer dollars that does little to make Americans safer. Halfway across the country, Tisha Casida, a Colorado Independent, says she’ll push to end the drug war and legalize marijuana if she’s elected to the House. In Florida, Calen Fretts, a Libertarian seeking to unseat a veteran Republican congressman, promises that if he’s elected he’ll begin working to abolish the U.S. Federal Reserve. “As people increase the size and scope of government,” Fretts says, “there’s got to be a few of us to resist it.”

These candidates have two things in common: All are long shots seeking office for the first time. And all were inspired to run by the same man—Ron Paul....  

If forcing his don’t-tread-on-me, minimalist philosophy into the mainstream is the benchmark, Paul can claim victory and return to Texas a happy man. The professional political class may ridicule him as an eccentric kook leading a cantankerous army of potheads who invade chat rooms with ALLCAPS rants about government overreach.....But listening to his rivals in the GOP debates demand that the Fed be audited and the Departments of Energy and Education be shuttered, it’s clear that many of Paul’s positions, once considered extreme, are now routine Republican talking points—and that his influence over conservative politics greatly outweighs his low poll rankings and back-of-the-pack primary returns....

Paul leaves behind a small army of brawlers itching to take up the battle in his name. This election year, at least 65 of his supporters are campaigning for local, state, or national office in 23 states. They join more than a dozen Paul acolytes who won elections in 2010, including GOP Representative Justin Amash of Michigan, who is seeking a second term—not to mention Paul’s son Rand, who was elected to the Senate as a Republican in Kentucky.

Other Paul followers and former aides have maneuvered their way into Republican Party leadership positions in Nevada, Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, and Maine, where they are attempting to rewrite party platforms and keep establishment Republicans from giving Paul’s 70-plus primary delegates to Mitt Romney....

To encourage more Paul followers to enter the arena, Gigi Bowman, a Long Island real estate agent, started LibertyCandidates.com, which runs meet-ups for Paul supporters and candidates and offers advice on running for office. It may take years for some of the greener hopefuls to get their acts together. “Eventually,” she says, “they’ll win seats.”

Paul himself already seems to be looking toward the exit. “I think it’s sort of human nature to key around one person who is the spokesman,” he says. “But I think it’s much bigger than that. I don’t think that what we are doing is going to go away, regardless of what happens in the election. An army can’t stop an idea whose time has come.”

Just here in southern California where I live, a couple of people I met reporting my forthcoming book, Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired, are running for Congress (Christopher David) and the Senate (Rick Williams). There are others, and there will be more.

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  • Randian||

    Karen Kwiatkowski

    Oh Lord save me from the Rockwellians.

  • Lysander Jefferson||

    Oh Lord save me from the pathetic infighting. I don't give a shit if you're a catoite or a rockwellian. I hope both sides win battles.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Ok. We'll give some voted to the Catoites and the Rockweilians, -- but not the Donderoooooooooites.
    Aw, prairie shit! Everbody!

  • Lysander Jefferson||

    +1. Even I have my limits on ecumenism :)

  • ant1sthenes||

    Still better than Rs or Ds.

  • Randian||

    Fair enough. But Kwaitowski is one of those...ah...special kind of people.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    However bad she is, I can't imagine she'd be much worse than her opponent

    ...Bob Goodlatte, who in recent months voted to raise the debt ceiling (July 2011), voted for the habeas corpuseliminating NDAA (House vote in May 2011), and introduced and co-sponsored the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
  • Emmerson Biggins||

    What's wrong with Kwaitowski in particular? I don't read her stuff on LRC very often, but when I do she seems pretty standard issue ex-millitary libertarian. She's certain no Gary North or anything like that.

  • SouthernAnCap||

    She's perfectly fine. It's just a sense of "guilty by association" of anyone who writes for LRC.

  • tarran||

    The Objectivists don't like her because she worked in military intelligence and debunked a bunch of the myths that the Objectivist imams like to put into their sermons when they preach jihad against unbelievers.

    Plus I suspect many will never forgive Rothbard for mocking Ayn Rand (PBUH) for being pretentious - and want to see people who are associated with his philosophy ostracized.

  • ||

    Oh, I dream of the day when we speak of the bitter partisanship and infighting between the only two American political parties, the Catoites and the Rockwellians...

  • Lysander Jefferson||

    I see it as a positive sign that Paul is now endorsing a select group of house and senate candidates. I think we would be served well to have a few more Rands and Amashes in Congress.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Now all we have to do is to convince the american people that they actually want to be free.

  • BakedPenguin||

    They already want to be free. It's just that most of them want others restrained.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Ah, the irony.

  • ||

    Or else their definition of freedom means getting lots of free stuff.

  • WWNGD?||

    Good luck with that.

  • Pip||

    "Paul leaves behind a small army of brawlers"

    The fucker died?

  • ||

    Dead to the media

  • Randian||

    He's like 100 and has a filming of the live-action Keebler Elf Movie coming up (co-starring Dennis Kucinich), so he's not going to be very active.

  • Proprietist||

    Man, the graphic on the article showing mini-Ron Pauls in female pantsuits and high heels is almost as disquieting as those bizarre Ben Franklin ads on TV.

  • ||

    an eccentric kook leading a cantankerous army of potheads who invade chat rooms with ALLCAPS rants about government overreach

    But tell us what you really think of Ron Paul...

  • Lost_In_Translation||

    Pull the pin, walk away, watch the fun from a safe distance.

  • ||

    Any chance any of these guys and gals have actual chances to win?

  • Randian||

    There is a chance that they might have an actual chance...yes

    :)

  • SouthernAnCap||

    I don't know about the others, but Karen K is really putting the heat on Bob.

  • SouthernAnCap||

    For 2014, keep your eyes on Tom Davis, a South Carolina state senator who many are hoping will run against Lindsey Graham. I've created a Facebook page for this cause already (Tom Davis needs to primary Lindsey Graham in 2014).

    Tom endorsed Ron Paul and has been taking economics courses through the Mises Academy.

  • Hyperion||

    When can I start sending this guy campaign cash? I really, really, really hates me some Lindsey Graham. There is really nothing slimier in congress than Lindsey, except maybe John McCain, or Joe Lieberman. Those are toss ups, the axis of evil is what those 3 stooges are. We need to send them to one of those Koreas.

  • sticks||

    http://senatortomdavis.com/action/donate/

    Though that would probably go toward his re-election campaign for the state seat this fall.

  • Hyperion||

    Thanks for the link. I'm not in SC. I just want to send Graham back there and let the residents there do whatever with him. Tar and feather would be my advice to them. I would gladly make the drive down there to watch.

  • SouthernAnCap||

    I've actually thought of also creating a page called "Tar and feather Lindsey Graham.", but I decided it wouldn't be politic.

  • sticks||

    I suspect it would get more likes or whatever than the other one you created.

    Why won't Tom Davis have a drink though?

    http://vimeo.com/35013383

  • Hyperion||

    Sounds good. I will work on the tar and feather John McCain site. Need volunteers for the other 300 congress critters that need tar and feather sites...

    Politic? Us Libertarians don't need no stinkin Politic!

  • Clara Madison||

    Simply Wonderful! Shows how Liberty Vincit Omnia! :)

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