Friday, December 07, 2007

Ron Paul Blimp Charts New Territory

UPDATE: From Reason's blurb in the comments section (addressing the FEC concerns):

I half-ignored the blimp talk, because I thought the blimp was a waste of money relative to buying radio or TV time independently, and I thought it gave Wonkette too many opportunities to make fun of Ron Paul.

But adding the "Fuck you FEC! Come and get us, motherfuckers!" element to the blimp makes this damn near a revolutionary act.

It would have been TRULY revolutionary to simply ignore the FEC altogether. But inventing a form of organization designed to make them irrelevant, and bury their bureaucracy in paper while doing it, is a nice second best.

UPDATE: The blimp will fly this weekend. ABCnews has a good write up about it.


If a whimsical publicity stunt goes as planned, a blimp hyping the long-shot Republican presidential campaign of the Texas congressman will launch next week.

The Ron Paul blimp is set to fly from North Carolina, over Washington, New York and Boston, before heading to New Hampshire, where the Jan. 8 primary offers the iconic libertarian perhaps his best chance of translating his zealous Internet support into votes.

Like the unprecedented online fundraising behind Paul’s bid, the blimp effort, which appears on pace financially, isn’t affiliated with the official campaign and pushes traditional political conventions.
I like this part because I think campaign finance laws are a big sham:
...the outside lawyer retained by blimp backers is former Federal Election Commission chairman Brad Smith, who is advising former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s rival bid for the GOP nomination.

Smith is among the leading opponents of campaign finance laws, and the blimp plan offers common cause on that front with Paul’s anti-regulation supporters, as well as an opportunity to set potentially far-reaching FEC precedent.
Further down:
As for the money floating the blimp, Collette and Smith have developed a detailed business plan carefully structured to avoid Byzantine campaign finance laws.

They shunned traditional mechanisms such as creating an independent non-profit group under section 527 of the IRS code — like Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the other groups that spent millions on ads in 2004 — or a political action committee — like EMILY’s List. Instead, they went an almost unheard of route, establishing a for-profit company: Liberty Political Advertising.

Check out for their revamped site and you can view in realtime how much money they have raised.

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