The New York Times, our national paper of record and don't you forget it, notices that Paulism extends beyond Ron Paul this morning in a front page above-the-fold headline story. Highlights with comments:
With their favorite having lost the nomination for president, Mr. Paul's dedicated band of youthful supporters is looking down-ballot and swarming lightly guarded Republican redoubts like state party conventions in an attempt to infiltrate the top echelons of the party.
"Karl Rove's fear-and-smear-style Republicans are going to wake up at the end of the year and realize we are now in control of the Republican Party," said Preston Bates, a Democrat-turned-Paulite…
In Minnesota, Paulites stormed the Republican gathering in St. Cloud last weekend, bumping aside two conventional Republican candidates to choose one of their own, Kurt P. Bills, a high school economics teacher, to challenge Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat, this fall.
Backers of Mr. Paul, a Republican congressman from Texas, crashed Republican conventions in Iowa, Maine, Minnesota and Nevada in recent weeks, snatching up the lion's share of delegate slots for the Republican National Convention in Tampa this August, a potential headache for the national party and its presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney.
It's not "crashing," New York Times. These conventions are open to Republicans of all sorts to follow the rules and vote as they wish. Winning elections on any level is not "crashing." It's succeeding at politics, which the Ron Paul people are proving unexpectedly good at. Ahem, OK, back to the Times's wisdom:
And Paulite candidates for Congress are sprouting up from Florida to Virginia to Colorado, challenging sitting Republicans and preaching the gospel of radically smaller government, an end to the Federal Reserve, restraints on Bush-era antiterrorism laws and a pullback from foreign military adventures.
"I'd call it a strict constitutional approach," said Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky and Ron Paul's son. "And I think it's spreading."
Republican Party officials say they are in daily contact with Representative Paul, in a delicate effort to harness the energy around him without inciting his supporters. "We have had open dialogue with Dr. Paul and his campaign to ensure we are all focused on winning in November," said Sean Spicer, the Republican National Committee's communications director.
As first discussed here on Hit and Run by me last week, the story talks about the Paulite "Liberty for All" SuperPAC and its support of Kentucky House candidate Thomas Massie, who won his primary yesterday:
Mr. [John] Ramsey [the 21-year-old main financier of Liberty for All] said that other Paul supporters had brought the Kentucky race to his attention and that he would spend whatever it takes "to get this country moving in a freer direction." "How much money would you spend for freedom?" he asked Tuesday, after buying airtime from Lexington to Louisville with money he inherited from his grandfather in 2010 as he was being pulled into the libertarian orbit of Mr. Paul…..
The sprawling Fourth District of Kentucky presents competitors with a challenge. To reach all its voters, a candidate must advertise in four media markets in Kentucky and Ohio. Mr. Massie acknowledged that he could not do that, but that Liberty for All could. Soon, the advertising for his rivals was drowned out by attacks on his behalf.
"They owned the airwaves, everything from the Food Channel to Court TV," he said of the PAC.
Liberty for All appears to have a taste for the obscure. Its next candidate is Michael D. Cargill, a gay, black gun store owner running for constable in Travis County, Tex.
But the political action committee will have money to spend. Mr. Ramsey said that between his wallet and a fund-raising push, the PAC expected to have $10 million this summer.
Paul people are everywhere:
And lightly regarded Paulites running for Congress could become forces with the right amount of money. Tisha Casida, an independent in Colorado, is running against Representative Scott Tipton. Calen Fretts is chipping away at Representative Jeff Miller in Florida's Panhandle, and Karen Kwiatkowski is challenging Representative Robert W. Goodlatte in Virginia.
*In other Paul news, Roll Call on Rand Paul's endorsements:
The Kentucky freshman has given his blessing to Florida Senate GOP frontrunner Rep. Connie Mack IV — who is staunchly entrenched in the establishment — as well as to tea party darling Ted Cruz, who is running in Texas' May 29 Senate primary. Paul hasn't always picked winners, having backed losing Nebraska GOP Senate candidate Don Stenberg and New Mexico Lt. Gov. John Sanchez, who ultimately dropped out of the Senate race in the Land of Enchantment. Paul has since endorsed long-shot candidate Greg Sowards in the New Mexico primary.
But the Senator insists that all of his endorsees share certain traits, including support for a smaller government that adheres more closely to the Constitution. In today's Kentucky GOP primaries, Paul helped recruit open 4th district candidate Thomas Massie, the tea-party-affiliated Lewis County judge-executive.
*A Ron Paul festival planned in Tampa for right before the GOP national convention. (Paul isn't necessarily attending.)
*Newt to Mitt: Beware those Paul delegate in Tampa!
*The Washington Post aptly notes, as I've said to a dozen or so talk radio folk and print reporters this past week, that the Paul strategy maps the Pat Robertson/Christian right strategy of the late '80s/'90s in interesting and telling ways.
*The Christian Science Monitor on "Five Things Ron Paul Wants" from the GOP convention.
*Video interview with me by Grace Wyler (who does great reporting on Paulworld regularly) for Business Insider on my new book Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired.