Ron Paul, Inc?
A brand news conservative blog based in Virginia, The Bull Elephant, is kicking off with a full throated attack on some of the consultants that have worked for the Ron Paul presidential campaign, and who, the piece alleges, may guide the coming Rand Paul bid. The piece is based on the views of Virginia conservative activist Paul Fusaro. The heart of the charges:
"This stuff can bring down the Ron Paul movement," Fusaro says, before taking pains to describe the difference between grassroots supporters of Ron Paul, and what he describes as "Ron Paul, Inc.," basically a cottage industry of self-interested professionals with more interest in personal gain than in advancement of the movement. "Like Mike Rothfield has said, he [Ron Paul] can run his own campaign, while we run ours," meaning essentially that "Ron Paul, Inc." ran a campaign in parallel to the candidate himself, but without the candidate's adherence to principle.
And "Ron Paul, Inc." is apparently big business; Rothfeld's company alone appears to have been paid $7.7 million by the Ron Paul 2012 campaign, in addition to another $1 million for work done for Rand Paul.
"The brand and style of politics Dimitri [Kesari], Mike Rothfeld, John [Tate] practice has serious flaws," Fusaro says. The bribery scheme is "symptomatic of a paradigm" that betrays all of the young and excited new conservatives who had flocked to the Liberty banner, according to Fusaro. Exposing the uncorrected and unpunished misdeeds is the only way Fusaro says he can ensure the future health of that movement. "We need to be better and cleaner than the other side."
It's a long and provocative diatribe. The Bull Elephant promises to publish rejoinders that come in.
The role of the consultant class is no longer obscure to the body of conservative activists. Regardless of the merits of Fusaro's critique (I remain agnostic), I hope that scrutiny of the behind the scenes consultants continues to increase.
Hat tip: Clarice Feldman