Fmr. Senior Aide, US Cong. Ron Paul, 1997 – 2003
Campaign Coordinator, Ron Paul for Congress, 1995/96
National Organizer, Draft Ron Paul for President, 1991/92
Travel Aide/Personal Asst. Ron Paul, Libertarian for President
I have been asked by various media the last few days for my comments, view of the current situation regarding my former boss Ron Paul, as he runs for the presidency on the Republican ticket.
I’ve noticed in some media that my words have been twisted and used for an agenda from both sides. And I wish to set the record straight with media that I trust and know will get the story right: conservative/libertarian-conservative bloggers.
Is Ron Paul a “racist.” In short, No. I worked for the man for 12 years, pretty consistently. I never heard a racist word expressed towards Blacks or Jews come out of his mouth. Not once. And understand, I was his close personal assistant. It’s safe to say that I was with him on the campaign trail more than any other individual, whether it be traveling to Fairbanks, Alaska or Boston, Massachusetts in the presidential race, or across the congressional district to San Antonio or Corpus Christi, Texas.
He has frequently hired blacks for his office staff, starting as early as 1988 for the Libertarian campaign. He has also hired many Hispanics, including his current District staffer Dianna Gilbert-Kile.
One caveat: He is what I would describe as “out of touch,” with both Hispanic and Black culture. Ron is far from being the hippest guy around. He is completely clueless when it comes to Hispanic and Black culture, particularly Mexican-American culture. And he is most certainly intolerant of Spanish and those who speak strictly Spanish in his presence, (as are a number of Americans, nothing out of the ordinary here.)
Is Ron Paul an Anti-Semite? Absolutely No. As a Jew, (half on my mother’s side), I can categorically say that I never heard anything out of his mouth, in hundreds of speeches I listened too over the years, or in my personal presence that could be called, “Anti-Semite.” No slurs. No derogatory remarks.
He is however, most certainly Anti-Israel, and Anti-Israeli in general. He wishes the Israeli state did not exist at all. He expressed this to me numerous times in our private conversations. His view is that Israel is more trouble than it is worth, specifically to the America taxpayer. He sides with the Palestinians, and supports their calls for the abolishment of the Jewish state, and the return of Israel, all of it, to the Arabs.
Again, American Jews, Ron Paul has no problem with. In fact, there were a few Jews in our congressional district, and Ron befriended them with the specific intent of winning their support for our campaign. (One synagogue in Victoria, and tiny one in Wharton headed by a well-known Jewish lawyer).
On the incident that’s being talked about in some blog media about the campaign manager directing me to a press conference of our opponent Lefty Morris in Victoria to push back on Anti-Jewish charges from the Morris campaign, yes, that did happen. The Victoria Advocate described the press conference very accurately. Yes, I was asked (not forced), to attend the conference dressed in a Jewish yarlmuke, and other Jewish adornments.
There was another incident when Ron finally agreed to a meeting with Houston Jewish Young Republicans at the Freeport office. He berated them, and even shouted at one point, over their un-flinching support for Israel. So, much so, that the 6 of them walked out of the office. I was left chasing them down the hallway apologizing for my boss.
Is Ron Paul a homo-phobe? Well, yes and no. He is not all bigoted towards homosexuals. He supports their rights to do whatever they please in their private lives. He is however, personally uncomfortable around homosexuals, no different from a lot of older folks of his era.
There were two incidents that I will cite, for the record. One that involved me directly, and another that involved another congressional staffer or two.
(I am revealing this for the very first time, and I’m sure Jim Peron will be quite surprised to learn this.)
In 1988, Ron had a hardcore Libertarian supporter, Jim Peron, Owner of Laissez Faire Books in San Francisco. Jim set up a magnificent 3-day campaign swing for us in the SF Bay Area. Jim was what you would call very openly Gay. But Ron thought the world of him. For 3 days we had a great time trouncing from one campaign event to another with Jim’s Gay lover. The atmosphere was simply jovial between the four of us. (As an aside we also met former Cong. Pete McCloskey during this campaign trip.) We used Jim’s home/office as a “base.” Ron pulled me aside the first time we went there, and specifically instructed me to find an excuse to excuse him to a local fast food restaurant so that he could use the bathroom. He told me very clearly, that although he liked Jim, he did not wish to use his bathroom facilities. I chided him a bit, but he sternly reacted, as he often did to me, Eric, just do what I say. Perhaps “sternly” is an understatement. Ron looked at me directly, and with a very angry look in his eye, and shouted under his breath: “Just do what I say NOW.”
The second incident involved one or two other staffers many years later at the BBQ in Surfside Beach. I was not in direct presence of the incident. But another top staffer, and I believe one of our secretaries, was witnessed to it. This top staffer adores Ron, but was extremely insulted by his behavior, I would even say flabbergasted to the point of considering resigning from his staff over it.
“Bobby,” a well-known and rather flamboyant and well-liked gay man in Freeport came to the BBQ. Let me stress Ron likes Bobby personally, and Bobby was a hardcore campaign supporter. But after his speech, at the Surfside pavilion Bobby came up to Ron with his hand extended, and according to my fellow staffer, Ron literally swatted his hand away.
Again, let me stress. I would not categorize that as “homo-phobic,” but rather just unsettled by being around gays personally. Ron, like many folks his age, very much supports toleration, but chooses not to be around gays on a personal level. It’s a personal choice. And though, it may seem offensive to some, he has every right in my mind to feel and act that way.
Finally, let me make a couple observations. The liberal media is ferociously attacking Ron this morning, on everything from the Newsletters to his various PACs. I’m amused at how off-base they all are. If they are looking for something that went un-explained after many years, it’s the Nadia Hayes incident from the end of the presidential campaign in 1988. I personally am still a little ticked off by this, and surprised that nobody has ever followed up on it. In brief, Nadia was Ron’s longtime business/campaign manager in the 1980s. On the very last day of the presidential campaign, attorneys, accountants, and even Nassau Bay police dept. investigation officials stormed into our campaign office, sealed everything off, rushed us campaign staffers into the storeroom (literally), and for hours on end ruffled through the entire campaign records, file cabinets, and other papers.
Lew Rockwell and Burton Blumert were there too. We were greatly surprised by this. Nadia was eventually convicted of embezzlement and went to jail for 6 months, plus had to pay $140,000 in restitution to Ron.
There were rumors at the time, and long thereafter, that Lew and Burt had pinned it all on Nadia, and that they had their own reasons for the “coup.” For years afterwards, Rockwell, and Blumert had complete control of Ron’s enterprises through Jean McIver and (former JBS/Jesse Helms fundraiser) David “James” Mertz of northern Virginia.
It was easy to pin it all on Nadia. She lived extravagantly, and her husband who owned a boat repair business in Clear Lake, had recently had some serious financial problems.
Nadia never resurfaced, and was never heard from again.
I will attest, that when campaign consultant Tony Payton died of heart failure, in 2002 I believe, I specifically asked Ron if I could look Nadia up, and contact her to let her know that her longtime friend had died, and he reacted sternly to me, expressing that he did not want me to do that, and if I did, there would be serious consequences. I was shocked. And this was one of the reasons I eventually left his staff.
On one other matter, I’d like to express in the strongest terms possible, that the liberal media are focusing in on entirely the wrong aspects regarding controversies on Ron Paul.
It’s his foreign policy that’s the problem; not so much some stupid and whacky things on race and gays he may have said or written in the past.
Ron Paul is most assuredly an isolationist. He denies this charge vociferously. But I can tell you straight out, I had countless arguments/discussions with him over his personal views. For example, he strenuously does not believe the United States had any business getting involved in fighting Hitler in WWII. He expressed to me countless times, that “saving the Jews,” was absolutely none of our business. When pressed, he often times brings up conspiracy theories like FDR knew about the attacks of Pearl Harbor weeks before hand, or that WWII was just “blowback,” for Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy errors, and such.
I would challenge him, like for example, what about the instances of German U-boats attacking U.S. ships, or even landing on the coast of North Carolina or Long Island, NY. He’d finally concede that that and only that was reason enough to counter-attack against the Nazis, not any humanitarian causes like preventing the Holocaust.
There is much more information I could give you on the sheer lunacy of his foreign policy views. Let me just concentrate on one in specific. And I will state this with absolute certainty:
Ron Paul was opposed to the War in Afghanistan, and to any military reaction to the attacks of 9/11.
He did not want to vote for the resolution. He immediately stated to us staffers, me in particular, that Bush/Cheney were going to use the attacks as a precursor for “invading” Iraq. He engaged in conspiracy theories including perhaps the attacks were coordinated with the CIA, and that the Bush administration might have known about the attacks ahead of time. He expressed no sympathies whatsoever for those who died on 9/11, and pretty much forbade us staffers from engaging in any sort of memorial expressions, or openly asserting pro-military statements in support of the Bush administration.
On the eve of the vote, Ron Paul was still telling us staffers that he was planning to vote “No,” on the resolution, and to be prepared for a seriously negative reaction in the District. Jackie Gloor and I, along with quiet nods of agreement from the other staffers in the District, declared our intentions to Tom Lizardo, our Chief of Staff, and to each other, that if Ron voted No, we would immediately resign.
Ron was “under the spell” of left-anarchist and Lew Rockwell associate Joe Becker at the time, who was our legislative director. Norm Singleton, another Lew Rockwell fanatic agreed with Joe. All other staffers were against Ron, Joe and Norm on this, including Lizardo. At the very last minute Ron switched his stance and voted “Yay,” much to the great relief of Jackie and I. He never explained why, but I strongly suspected that he realized it would have been political suicide; that staunchly conservative Victoria would revolt, and the Republicans there would ensure that he would not receive the nomination for the seat in 2002. Also, as much as I like to think that it was my yelling and screaming at Ron, that I would publicly resign if he voted “No,” I suspect it had a lot more to do with Jackie’s threat, for she WAS Victoria. And if Jackie bolted, all of the Victoria conservatives would immediately turn on Ron, and it wouldn’t be pretty.
If you take anything from this lengthy statement, I would hope that it is this final story about the Afghanistan vote, that the liberal media chooses to completely ignore, because it doesn’t fit their template, is what you will report.
If Ron Paul should be slammed for anything, it’s not some silly remarks he’s made in the past in his Newsletters. It’s over his simply outrageously horrendous views on foreign policy, Israel, and national security for the United States. His near No vote on Afghanistan. That is the big scandal. And that is what should be given 100 times more attention from the liberal media, than this Newsletter deal.
Eric Dondero, Publisher