June 10, 2008

More on Amit Singh and the Paulistas

Now that the bashing of the opponent has been accomplished, it’s worthwhile taking note of good reportage on the next stage of the Revolution. Here’s some coming from the lefty Nation:

After volunteering for his campaign, roughly forty candidates for the House and two for the Senate are running on Paul’s “liberty” platform. While GOP Congressional leaders worry about their fall prospects, these candidates are harnessing netroots-style activism in their quest to become an important constituency within the party.

The various campaigns are not yet as connected as Paul organizers would like, but what ties most of them together is a similar message. Paul-backed Congressional candidates in Michigan, Louisiana, Tennessee and New York all give the same response when asked why the GOP is faring badly in special elections and why their prospects for the fall have earned dim forecasts: because they are sticking with the Bush agenda rather than adopting Paul’s limited government, anti-empire message. “Expansion of big government programs has lost us credibility,” says Amit Singh, one of the thirty “liberty” candidates campaigning to run on the Republican ticket—as opposed to eleven Independents, seven Libertarians, and two Democrats. “We can’t promote our values onto other types of people, they should decide for themselves,” he adds.

Singh, an ex-intelligence contractor who hopes to oust Jim Moran from Virginia’s 8th District, was the first person to sign Stanford professor Lawrence Lessig’s Change Congress pledge, vowing to reform campaign finance by refusing the contributions of PACs or lobbyists. Instead, he relies on Paul-inspired fundraising techniques. He made a video with the Texas Congressman to publicize a “money bomb” like the one Paul supporters held on November 5. 2007, when they raised $4.3 million in twenty-four hours by getting people to make small donations on the Internet. This spiked Singh’s fundraising to surpass his total goal two months into his three-month-old candidacy. Other Paulite candidacies are less sophisticated, like David Gay of Syracuse, New York, and Linda Goldthorpe of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, both fighting to get on the Republican ballot, use Internet fundraising not just for money bombs but to show people in their districts that they are slowly gathering the support and attention of voters from thousands of miles away.

In North Carolina, a 33-year-old doctor named B.J. Lawson was dubbed “Ron Paul Jr.” by his primary opponent, Augustus Cho, the former chairman of the district’s Republican Party. “I call him that because that’s what he is,” said Cho, pointing the audience at a debate to Lawson’s website. He declared that Lawson and Paul aren’t true Republicans, that they will divide the party, and that the Democratic opponent will “take one look at him and spit him out.” Bloggers and commenters promptly surged to defend Lawson as the true conservative, labeling Cho the “Neo-Con Rival.” Lawson won the primary by 71 percent.

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