Category Archives: Election 2008

CNN calls Ron Paul for racist newsletter (Update)

I wrote this several years ago. The funny thing is that it is still relevant. Ron Paul walked out of an interview where he was asked once again about this newsletter which bears his name. He has stuck to the story that he didn’t write the racist comments. He has never answered several basic questions. Who wrote the comments? If the newsletter bore his name, and it did, why didn’t he edit it for content? Wasn’t that his personal responsibility to his readers?

When pressed by Gloria Berger, Ron Paul stated, “I’ve never read that stuff. I’ve never read – I came – I was probably aware of it 10 years after it was written and it’s been going on 20 years that people have pestered me about this and CNN does it every single time.”

Here’s the problem as I see it in 2011. Ron Paul is all about personal responsibility. He needed to own this mistake. He needed to say that he didn’t read his own newsletter and that he should have told his readers that he didn’t write or read it. He needed to offer to refund the readers’ money, since the vast majority of his readers didn’t know that these weren’t his words or thoughts. But, no. He has not admitted, nor will he admit to his mistake. He continues to be plagued by this issue because he has yet to do the right thing.

I wrote the following back in 2008:

Ron Paul Newsletter
From the Ron Paul Newsletter

So, I got raked over the coals by a commenter for “not doing my homework” with regard to a post stating that Ron Paul’s newsletter included racist writings. First, the facts. There are things that have been written in the Ron Paul Newsletter that are clearly offensive. The newsletter stereotypes Blacks and homosexuals. Over the years, Ron Paul has had varying explanations about his newsletter. In 1996, the Houston Chronicle asked him about the newsletter. “Paul said allegations about his writings amounted to name-calling by the Democrats and that his opponents should focus instead on how to shrink government spending and reform welfare.” Please note that in that Houston Chronicle article Ron Paul never mentions that he didn’t write the article. He doesn’t mention that someone else wrote the article.

Now, fast forward to 2008. The same articles are being called into question. Ron Paul states flatly that he is for the individual, no matter what color. He states that he didn’t write the article and, here’s the best part, he doesn’t know who did. The editor of the New York Times has to take responsibility for everything that hundreds of writers contribute. Ron Paul, Dr. Personal Responsibility (one of the core beliefs of Libertarians), will not take responsibility for his own newsletter. As a matter of fact, he admits that he doesn’t even read the newsletter that bears his name. Come on, at least man up and take some responsibility for something that has your name plastered on its front! I would have more respect for the man if he said, “Look, Wolf, it was a long time ago. I was approached by what I thought were like-minded individuals to publish a newsletter. I really wasn’t a part of the operation but the newsletter had my name on it. I accept full responsibility. After these articles were published, it became clear to me that I had to part ways with the guy who actually published the newsletter in my name. I apologize to anyone who was hurt by this newsletter. This doesn’t reflect me or my values.” Is this answer a cop out? Sure, but it is better than the Schultz defense – “I know nothing.”

———–

From CNN.com:

A series of newsletters in the name of GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul contain several racist remarks — including one that says order was restored to Los Angeles after the 1992 riots when blacks went “to pick up their welfare checks.”

CNN recently obtained the newsletters — written in the 1990s and one from the late 1980s — after a report was published about their existence in The New Republic. (more…)

Update: Well, it is interesting what a little time and Google can produce. It appears that in 1996 Ron Paul was asked about the newsletters. He did not deny he wrote them back then. He embraced the racist comments. He has only recently started denying that he wrote them. I find this interesting. This puts Paul in a new light for me. I thought that he had bad ideas but that he was at least an honest man. Now, it looks as if he is lying to make himself look like a legitimate politician. Either he wrote the articles and was honest back in 1996 when he defended the articles or he is lying now when he states that he didn’t write them and doesn’t support what they said. Which is it??

You can read more here and here.

Franken remains the victor

It is now clear that Al Franken should be addressed as Senator Al Franken. Former Senator Norm Coleman has lost his appeal (pun is intended).

From Minn Trib:

After a trial spanning nearly three months, the judicial panel dismissed Coleman’s central argument that the election and its aftermath were fraught with systemic errors that made the results invalid.

“The overwhelming weight of the evidence indicates that the Nov. 4, 2008, election was conducted fairly, impartially and accurately,” the panel said in its unanimous decision.

The panel concluded that Franken, a DFLer, “received the highest number of votes legally cast” in the election. Franken emerged from the trial with a 312-vote lead, the court ruled, and “is therefore entitled to receive the certificate of election.”

It is time for conservatives to sit down and truly look at themselves (doubt it will happen).  Things they argued for just three to four years ago now they’re arguing against.  Conservatives “hated” frivolous lawsuits.  Yet no one Coleman’s lawyers have stated that they are extremely unlikely to win this case yet they’re going to take it to the Minnesota Supreme Court.  Why?

Remember when conservatives used to tell us that they love the country more than liberals?  The conservatives of Minnesota love Minnesota so much that they would prefer to tie up a Senator in legal wranglings for another six to 12 months rather than have Al Franken represent the state in the Senate.  It may be that the money machine that was supporting Coleman is running out of money.  Coleman has to pay for this trial and, if Franken’s attorneys are on the ball, they should ask the court to make Coleman fork over money upfront for the next trial.  This would mean that Coleman would have to pony up millions of dollars.

More From Minn Trib:

But experts who read the panel’s 68-page ruling say it effectively attacks some of the very arguments that Coleman would use on appeal.

“It is the kind of opinion that is unlikely to be disturbed on appeal by either the Minnesota Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court,” said Richard Hasen, an expert on election law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. “The opinion considers the major arguments made by Coleman and rejects them in a detailed and measured way.”

Added University of Minnesota political scientist Lawrence Jacobs: “This is judicial speak for ‘nothing here,’ and it is most definitely aimed at the appeals process. It’s a signal that they are supremely unimpressed by the Coleman case.”

That seems to be it.  Game, set and match.

Finally from TPM:

Possible Double-Counted Votes
The Coleman camp has contended that Franken benefitted by anywhere from 60 to over 100 votes due to double-counted absentee ballots, stemming from human errors on Election Night in labeling duplicates of damaged original absentees. But here the court really lets Coleman have it: His campaign drew up the procedures used to count these ballots, insisted on strict adherence even when problems became apparent, and did not object to them until it was far too late.

And the court notes that other explanations exist for possible double-counting — for example, a precinct where accepted absentee ballots weren’t marked on the rosters on Election Night. And since Coleman failed to present clear evidence that double-counts actually occurred, that means he can’t get the relief he wants — to chop votes off of Franken’s totals.

Why is Maverick McCain Losing?

(I wrote this in October 2008 and for some reason I didn’t publish it.)

The biggest reason for John McCain’s defeat is John McCain. In 2000, John McCain ran as a moderate. Once he lost, he was determined to run for the White House again. He did not want anyone to outflank him to his right. Therefore, he embraced Bush and all of his ridiculous policies. He argued against tax cuts before he decided he was for them. He argued against torture before he voted for it. He embraced the Iraqi war so hard that we could accurately rename it “McCain’s War.”

McCain did not recognize that the Internet has played a huge role in this year’s campaign. Sites like the DailyKos, Huffington Post, Crooks and Liars and FireDogLake have really prevented the media from going over the top. Whenever they would swoon over something that John McCain said, these websites pointed out that he had said something exactly the opposite two weeks ago or two months ago. Keith Olbermann, The View and The Daily Show also helped to keep the media honest. So, the game changed right under John McCain’s feet. John McCain has spent the last 26 years courting the media. As a matter of fact, it could be argued that the media gave John McCain the Republican nomination. (I’ll save that for another post.)

Finally, John McCain’s own erratic campaign behavior has left him looking unsure of himself and unsure of his message. Whether it was his leadership or his campaign staff’s ineptitude, it doesn’t matter. He is wrong on Iraq. He was right on immigration until he changed his position and now he’s wrong. He’s been wrong on the economy multiple different times. Even Colin Powell pointed out on national TV that the McCain campaign has been all over the place on the economy. Sarah Palin is simply the latest evidence of John McCain’s shoot (from the hip) first and asked questions, investigate and vet your partner second.

By the way, John McCain’s lukewarm performance in all of the debates didn’t help him either.