I was going to say “rock the fiat money right out yo’ pockets” but I figure the number of Paul donors among the HA readership is blessedly small.
Anyway, they did it.
“Who is Ron Paul? Google Ron Paul,” the 240,000-cubic-foot zeppelin will read on one side and “Ron Paul Revolution” on the other when it launches from Elizabeth City, N.C., Monday and begins its slow, 300-mile-per-day float up the Eastern Seaboard to Boston…
The plan is to have it floating over Boston Harbor by the weekend of Dec. 15, where Paul supporters will reenact the Boston Tea Party and hold a large rally at Faneuil Hall. His online supporters have a fundraising effort, which coincides with the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. For more on that, check out Teaparty.com.
To get it airborne cost them $200 grand, which they had already raised the last time I wrote about this — and, curiously, they seem not to have raised much since then. A potentially shady proposition from the standpoint of campaign finance law, too:
As campaigners, Paul’s disparate and spirited supporters, though political novices, have shown themselves to be both creative in pushing their candidate and adroit in finding ways around both the traditional media and campaign finance laws.
For instance, supporters do not “contribute” money to a Political Action Committee. To fund the dirigible, they “buy” into a for-profit corporation called Liberty Political Advertising LLC. With the help of former federal election commissioner Brad Smith, the organizers are confident the arrangement “offers the best of both worlds, no limits and virtually no regulations.”
Of course, there is the possibility that each of the more than 100,000 donators to the blimp enterprise could be required to file their own federal declaration form…
“Given the way this came about, what they are doing and their stated goal, it is very possible they will still be considered a political committee. For one thing, they are going to have to show that this is truly a business,” said Lawrence Noble, a former general counsel for the Federal Election Commission now in private practice.
Why throw away good money on a stunt which will raise Paul’s profile marginally while reaffirming the sense that his campaign’s an unserious, if frequently fun, excuse for kooks and college kids to stretch their political muscles? The question answers itself. Just grok the blimp, man, and you’ll understand.
Here’s the itinerary. Anyone planning to be there on the 16th when they dump tea into the harbor from the, um, blimp’s deck?