by Eric Dondero
From the Detroit Free Press (9/25/7):
Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul does not believe that 9/11 was an “inside job” and his campaign distanced itself from a raucous pro-Paul demonstration on a Mackinac Island ferry Friday night, a Paul spokesman said Monday.
In the incident, Paul's supporters taunted former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for alleged complicity in the attacks.
Spokesman Jesse Benton said the campaign was aware of Internet reports about the demonstration, which occurred late Friday when Giuliani boarded a ferry loaded with Paul supporters leaving a Michigan GOP conference. No Paul campaign officials were involved, Benton said.
According to one eyewitness, Giuliani was beset by dozens of Paul enthusiasts as he was leaving the island, some of whom shouted taunts about 9/11, including: “9/11 was an inside job” and “Rudy, Rudy, what did you do with the gold?” -- an apparent reference to rumors about $200 million in gold alleged to have disappeared in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.
Ed Wyszynski, a longtime party activist from Eagle, said the Paul supporters threatened to throw Giuliani overboard and harrassed him as he took shelter in the ferry’s pilothouse for the 15-minute journey back to Mackinaw City.
“It was awful,” said Wyszynski, who supports Mitt Romney for the GOP presidential nomination.“I was embarrassed to be a Republican. Never, ever, have I seen such a disgraceful performance.”
A blurry video of the incident was posted on the Website www.dailypaul.com in which chants of “Ron Paul, Ron Paul” predominate, but also include someone shouting “Lies cannot stand the light of day.” Several other pro-Paul forums carried triumphant accounts of the event, suggesting that Giuliani was intimidated by the show of support for a rival.
I worked for Ron Paul for 12 years. During the last 6 years I served as his Senior Aide on his Congressional Staff. Previous to that I served in various capacities on his many political campaigns, including as his Travel Aide for his 1988 Presidential run on the Libertarian ticket.
The tactics that were used in Michigan were par for the course for Ron Paul. On many occasions during my 12-year strint with him, he highly encouraged us campaign workers and volunteers to engage in such activities. In fact, Paul made such tactics into an art forum. He is an expert at political theatre, and in particular, a very agressive brand of political theatre.
Two instances come to mind.
In 1988, with the Presidential campaign, Ron instructed us to "disrupt" George W. Bush's Campaign for President announcement at a downtown hotel in Houston. We obliged. Another Campaign staffer Kevin Southwick and I led a merry band of Paul for President supporters into the ballroom. There were about 6 to 8 of us, if I recall. Our mission was to carry Ron Paul, Libertarian for President signs, and loudly shout "Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul" during Bush's announcement speech. We did this, much to the great displeasure of the stunned Bush supporters. Eventually, we were shuffled out of the hallway. Though, we continued with our little Ron Paul demonstration afterwards on the streets in front of the hotel.
Another similar instance was a bit more personal. In 1996, Ron had fallen behind Democrat Lefty Morris in the general election. Morris was being particularly nasty. He even organized demonstrations calling Ron Paul a "Right-wing Fascist" and even had supporters draw Swastikas on their signs. They would demonstrate against us, at hotel press conferences by Ron, particularly in Victoria. Lefty and his Austin Democrat pals, had dug up some dirt on Ron which tied him to some very questionable Far Right and even racist groups. The Austin liberal media chamber echoed everything that Morris put out on Ron.
Our Ron Paul for Congress campaign team at the time, including Ron, held many emergency brainstorming sessions in the backrooms of the Clute office and on the deck at Ron's Surfside beachouse, to figure out how to respond. Ron's "Kitchen Cabinet" were all in attendence in Surfside, including: Lew Rockwell, Ron's longtime political consultant from DC Tony Peyton (now deceased), Houston Christian Right activist Marc Elam, and Ron's behind the scenes John Bircher fundraiser David Mertz, aka David "James".
Campaign Manager Elam suggested to me that since I was half-Jewish I ought to go to Lefty's press conference to disrupt the event. We had gotten word that Morris was going to hold a press conference in Victoria, with documents proving that Ron Paul had close ties to Radical Right-wing Anti-Semitic and other racist groups. One of our campaign team members, even suggested that I wear a Jewish yalmaca (like a beanie cap), and loudly challenge Morris in the middle of his speech.
I did. All by myself I went to the event wearing my Jewish yalmaca, and other Jewish adornment. Half-way through the press conference, when Morris started to wave papers proving Paul's ties to Anti-Semitic groups, I loudly interrupted that "I was Jewish, and was a top Campaign Staffer for Ron Paul," and continued that Ron Paul would not have hired me if he hated Jews.
The Victoria media ate it up. They absolutely loved the drama of the quick rebuff. Morris was even trembling at one point while I was challenging him. It made the front page of the Victoria Advocate. The lone network TV station in Victoria ran the story on both their evening and nightly broadcasts.
Needless to say that was the end of the Morris attacks from the racist angle on Paul. (He quickly turned to attacking Ron on "gutting Social Security" and wanting to "legalize drugs").
It's not at all a stretch to say that Ron Paul has won many of his past campaigns precisly because he and his campaign staff have intimidated the other side with highly agressive campaign tactics.
Dianna Kile Gilbert, still on Paul's Congressional staff, and the only staffer we kept on the payroll from former Cong. Greg Laughlin, famously used to tell us loyal Ron Paulists, how the Laughlin people were "shocked" at how we would wave signs shouting for Ron Paul all over the rural Congressional District. Dianna said humbly, that they knew they were going to lose the primary when every day they would see us Paulists shouting and waving signs on major intersections not far from their District offices in Victoria and Bay City.
To hear top Paul Campaign staffers, many of whom I know personally, now try to distance themselves from the Macinac Island taunts on Rudy Giuliani is just downright laughable. Such tactics come straight out of the "official" Ron Paul Manual on how to win Elections. And the dictates on implementing such tactics come directly from the big boss man himself -- Ron Paul.