For instance, the neocon blogger “Allahpundit,” posting on the Hot Air site, is busy accusing Ron Paul and Alex Jones of some sort of shadowy collusion. “…it seems now we’ve got money moving in both directions between America’s Greatest Patriot and this bottom-feeding Truther jackass: a $2,300 donation from Jones to Paul and a $1,300 payment this quarter from Paul’s campaign to ‘Jones, Alex.’ Assuming it’s the same Alex Jones, which seems a safe bet, pray tell what might that payment have been for?” writes the dirt-sniffing blogger.
Nothing nefarious here, folks. Indeed, Alex Jones donated to the Ron Paul campaign, as radio talk show hosts are allowed to donate to the political campaigns of their choice. As for the supposed “$1,300 payment” to Alex Jones, this was merely a refund. Jones made a mistake—he intended to donate $1,000, not $2,300, and the $1,300 was a refund. The transaction was noted by OpenSecrets, an organization covering presidential funding.
But never mind. In the demented recesses of the average neocon mind, this transaction is considered some sort of “sinister” conspiracy—one they hope may bring down the Ron Paul campaign, as the neocons want to make it look like Ron Paul is paying Alex Jones for favorable coverage on his radio show and websites.
I wish I had grandkids, just so I could tell them about the day Pops was accused of circulating nutbar conspiracy theories — by Prison Planet. Let’s be straight on one thing, boys: I am most emphatically not accusing Ron Paul of trying to buy favorable coverage from Alex Jones. He’s been getting that coverage from you gratis for months now, and he’s evidently more than happy to accept it. The point about the money trail is simply to show how cozy he is with the dregs of American politics — which, incidentally, is superfluous, as I said in an update to the “dirt-sniffing” post that’s got PP so exercised:
People are commenting that this is much more of a smoking gun re: Paul’s coziness with Jones than the donation Jones sent to Paul. I completely disagree. I’m willing to give Paul a pass on the donation he apparently received from Stormfront founder Don Black (assuming he returns the money, of course) since it’s reasonable to believe Paul doesn’t know who Black is. He and his people certainly know who Jones is, though, so why not return the donation immediately? Answer: Because Paul has no problem associating with Jones, as we already know from his many appearances on Jones’s show. In that sense, this whole gotcha game with the money is idiotic. Paul’s willing guest shots on nutjob radio are enough to fatally taint his candidacy, not this penny-ante donation/payment business.
So much for that. As for that partial refund, Ron Paul fan David Freddoso suggested yesterday that it was motivated by Paul’s campaign not wanting to appear too chummy with Jones but PP is now claiming that it was actually a simple numerical error. Normally I’d be inclined to believe the congressman over the conspiracy theorist, but if Paul’s camp was so worried about being tainted by Jones’s money, why would they have issued only a partial refund? PP’s explanation makes more sense than Paul’s/Freddoso’s does.
Update: David Freddoso e-mails to say that he didn’t suggest anything about the Paul campaign’s motivation, particularly not that it was trying to avoid being seen as chummy with Alex Jones. I pointed him to this paragraph from his NRO post:
The “payment” to Jones (and yes, it is that same Jones) was not a payment at all, but a partial refund of Jones’s $2,300 contribution. It is clearly marked as such, if you look in the right place on the electronic FEC forms. Paul’s spokesman said he put a line in to the campaign treasurer when he noticed it being discussed on the blogosphere, but that’s the answer he’s going to get.
I took the last line to mean the campaign wasn’t thrilled about buzz of a financial link to Alex Jones and had moved to tamp it down by severing that link. (Otherwise, why would they have needed to be prompted by the blogosphere? They would have issued the refund of their own accord.) Freddoso evidently didn’t meant to suggest that. Apologies for the miscommunication.