Open Secrets reveals Ron Paul’s top 3 contributors as being the following:
US Army $24,503
US Air Force $23,335
US Navy $17,432
Unfortunately, this doesn’t really tell us how many individual donors contributed. Isn’t it the case that Open Secrets only counts those (around 11,270) who give $200 or more (FEC- $250?)? I think about a third of donors don’t bother listing their workplace on their contribution form. And a combined $65,000 in military campaign donations accounts for very little as a percentage of the millions that the Paul campaign has raised.
In 2008, much was made by the Paul Bearers regarding military contributions (supposedly) going to Ron Paul. The same thing is happening again:
A posting on his campaign website the same day he appeared on “NewsHour” sheds a little light. Headlined “Ron Paul Campaign Raises Most Donations From Military,” it says that Paul has “raised more than any other current presidential candidate in donations from members of the military. Of those donors who indicated their occupation and employer, Paul topped the other contenders.”
Back in 2008, I blogged the following:
Paul: Absolutely. The real question you have to ask is why do I get the most money from active duty officers and military personnel?
Is he talking about “donors identified as affiliated with the military,”?
As the reporter in the Houston Chronicle says,
“many contributors do not disclose their occupations, making it difficult to determine the total extent of military contributions to any one candidate.”
More importantly, the amount of contributions are incredibly small, hardly proving much of anything. Beth adds in the Outside the Beltway comment section:
Also not understood by the obsessed Paulbots and other assorted antiwar nutters: the fact that “military employees” includes civil service employees of the various services. That means a GS-7 who works at Whatever Air Force Base in BFE, Idaho has their employer listed as “Air Force.” For all we know, not one of those people is someone in uniform. I’m sure there are some, but it certainly is not all, nor is it indicative of some big antiwar sentiment in the military. For Paultards and Sullivan to extrapolate that idea from this is laughably absurd.
Furthermore, if one compares the 3rd Quarter statistics of Paul and McCain regarding the contribution amounts of those who do not list their employer, 100 dollars worth was given to Ron Paul’s coffers, compared to that of McCain’s: 2,244,223.39. Out of all of that money, how much of that could have been donated by active and retired veterans? Or “Affiliates” of the military? We don’t know. But it seems clear, by the paltry $100 given by the person(s) not listing employment, that the Ron Paul supporters are overwhelmingly listing their employment when making contributions.
among all the candidates, the total number of contributors surveyed here numbered less than 1,000–out of an Armed Forces of 2.2 million. And, remember, most of these contributors aren’t even active duty.
So yes, Andrew [Sullivan], those tasked with fighting this war do get it, which is why they aren’t donating to Paul. The only real report we have on political contributions from active duty military in this election cycle has Paul taking in just over $19,000, and that’s only counting donations larger than $200. So, maximum, we’re talking about 90 active duty soldiers who we know have actually contributed to Ron Paul’s campaign. The rest is pure speculation, and the Chron‘s tally of $63,440, with its average of $500 per donation, is unlikely to be populated by many of the guys who are “actually fighting this war.”
I have no doubt a number of active and retired military support Ron Paul and are attracted by what he seems to represent: Limited government and fiscal responsibility, conservative use of our military, and apparent loyalty to the Constitution, channelling the will of our Founding Fathers. That’s a seductive message for many Americans- especially the patriots willing to have their blood spilled on behalf of our country.
As this NYTimes piece notes:
Mr. Paul’s national security positions draw raves from many veterans, students and others who believe his noninterventionism would curtail a dangerous trend toward military adventurism and strengthen America’s influence and prestige while diverting resources to pay down the national debt. In interviews at Paul campaign events this week, many said they embraced his national security proposals, rather than reluctantly accepting them.
“He would get us out of our difficulties overseas,” said Tony Snook, a retired Army sergeant first class wounded in a rocket attack in Basra, Iraq, in 2007 who came to a raucous Paul rally that drew 500 people on Wednesday night in Des Moines. “You should choose your fights wisely,” he said. “If it’s not there, don’t invent something, don’t shed blood needlessly.”
But I think it’s a slick bit of propaganda for him and his supporters to push the Paul Reverist meme that the majority of those who actively serve (and those inactive) are overwhelmingly pulling the lever for an ArPee presidency (The NYTimes article itself admits there’s no way to actually verify the claim).
His passionate and energetic (as well as cult-like followers) supporters are the same rabid enthusiasts who manipulate straw polls and who in 2008 fervently defended their Constitutional Messiah whenever and wherever he was disparaged across the blogosphere (FA had a lot of fun back then, stirring up the Ronulans with one anti-ArPee post after another):
First, none of the hype about Ron Paul ever translates in to reality and actual wins. Much hype is made of his straw poll wins, online poll wins, text in poll wins.Did any of this translate in to any election wins? NO! It was all smoke and mirrors hype.
It would follow that all of this is hype too. All part of the Paulbot scheming attempts to create the aura that Ron Paul is contending and winning.
Maybe Ron Paul does garner a lot of supporters from our military. But it’s not provable. We only have flawed and incomplete (easily manipulable) records and anecdotal evidence (driven by vocal and passionate activist supporters) to go by.