John Fund on Ron Paul

In the subscription only Wall Street Journal Political Diary John Fund writes the following about efforts to exclude Ron Paul from the June 30 Iowa Forum being hosted by Iowans for Tax Relief and the Iowa Christian Alliance:

There was a brief effort to exclude Texas Congressman Ron Paul from future GOP debates after he used a South Carolina event to criticize U.S. foreign policy as a contributing factor to the 9/11 attacks. The expulsion effort wisely died down when its organizer, GOP State Chairman Saul Anuzis of Michigan, realized (as he later told me) “we were helping Ron Paul by giving him publicity.”

You’d think the lesson would have been learned. But it appears that organizers of a forthcoming presidential forum in Iowa on June 30 have decided Mr. Paul will not be welcome. Six other candidates, ranging from Mitt Romney to Tom Tancredo, will be speaking.

Iowans for Tax Relief and the Iowa Christian Alliance are important groups in Iowa politics and their membership includes a large number of faithful presidential caucus attendees. It seems passing strange why they wouldn’t want Mr. Paul after cable networks such as CNN, Fox and MSNBC had included him in their debates. ABC also plans to include him in its upcoming debate in Des Moines on August 5. Lew Moore, Mr. Paul’s Iowa campaign manager, sought an explanation from the Iowa forum’s organizers but was rebuffed. He says he was simply told Mr. Paul wouldn’t be allowed to participate. Other callers have been told that Mr. Paul has “fringe type” support and isn’t a factor in the caucuses.

Hmmm…. Despite his controversial views, Mr. Paul was tied for sixth place in the Republican field in last week’s Wall Street Journal/NBC national poll (he had 2%), and was ahead of several other candidates who’ve been invited to the June 30 forum. What makes his exclusion all the stranger is that Mr. Paul just placed second behind Fred Thompson in a straw poll of National Taxpayers Union members at the group’s annual convention in Washington. One of the key organizers of the NTU event was none other than Iowans for Tax Relief, the co-sponsor of the forum that is excluding Mr. Paul.

None of this makes any sense. Pettiness is a natural component of politics, but when practiced in the Internet age it is quickly exposed and a price exacted. Whatever the beef the organizers of the Iowa event have with Mr. Paul, I doubt it will be worth the adverse publicity they will get by excluding him.

One thing Fund should have pointed out but didn’t, is that Iowans for Tax Relief’s head Ed Failor was working with the George Pataki campaign and is working with and actively supporting John McCain’s campaign. Failor by the way, is quoted in the Des Moins Register as saying Ron Paul candidacy is “not credible” (but presumably that Tommy Thompson’s is, since he was invited).

Also, if you still haven’t contacted you should do so here and ask them to invite Ron Paul.

[Update: Thomas Woods gives us a better email address for contacting Iowans for Tax Relief's Ed Failor.]

33 Responses to “John Fund on Ron Paul”

  1. Jaime Says:

    I listened to an MP3 of the exchange between Snyder and Failor, on the Jan Mickelson show, WHO, Des Moines.

    Failor raised the issue that Iowans for Tax Relief is a 501c3 oganization that exists for, partly, educational purposes as part of his “justification” for not inviting Dr. Paul.

    Was Failor implying that to invite Dr. Paul was to lose the 501c3 status?

    Was that just another idiotic excuse or did he slipped that someone threaten Failor?

    You can listen to the radio exchange by follwong one of the links below. Hat tip to

  2. StephenC Says:

    The expulsion effort wisely died down when its organizer, GOP State Chairman Saul Anuzis of Michigan, realized (as he later told me) “we were helping Ron Paul by giving him publicity.”… You’d think the lesson would have been learned.


    That’s a rather stark acknowledgement that party insiders, perhaps including Mr. Fund, are working against Dr. Paul as best they can.

  3. Conservative Heritage Times » John Fund on the Ron Paul Exclusion Says:

    [...] See it here. John Fund gets it. This kind of stuff actually helps Ron Paul. I just think that Failure of Iowans for Tax Relief has dug his heels in, and his pride will not let him relent. [...]

  4. Wacked Econ » Blog Archive » Stopped Clocks Says:

    [...] That said, John Fund is right for criticizing Iowa political hacks who have excluded Ron Paul from one of the states presidential debates. [...]

  5. Brian Says:

    Both times this stunt has been pulled the results have been vastly entertaining and satisfying, not to mention when Rudy tried to marginalize him. These people are helping Ron Paul write history. I want Mr. Failor to continue to dig his heels in.

    You can’t ignore Ron Paul. You can’t marginalize him. You can’t exclude him. Everything works in his favor.

  6. Tom Edmondson Says:

    The Iowan’s groups are only interested in who they would like as President as far as Iowa is concerned. Unfortunately there are 49 other states in on that decision, and every one is watching, including most of the world. Makes Iowans appear out of touch, especially to people worldwide on the web, where Ron Paul is Numero Uno, or Number One (I forgot to press #1.)

  7. John Reading Says:

    Also note how often in the radio show Failor repeats the line that Ron Paul’s supporters are phone harrassing him at his home. It may be true that someone mistreated him on the phone, but he seems clearly to want to tie these activities directly to Ron Paul and his staff. This is reminiscent of the immediate and ongoing reaction to Dr. Paul’s online success - that somehow his supporters are hackers and spammers, unlike decent supporters of other candidates.

  8. Donna A, Santa Ana, California Says:

    As a Des Moines Register newspaper reader pointed out, there is a huge flaw in Ed Failor’s argument that the protestors are not Iowa residents. It’s the President of the United States, and custom and precedent has made Iowa’s Straw Poll and Presidential Primary a huge decider. If little Iowa has that much power, then all of us Iowa-outsiders get to point out the bias.

  9. Borg Blog » Ron Paul Banned From Iowa Forum Says:

    [...] They aren’t publically available at the WSJ website, but someone has provided an extensive quote here. © 2004-2007 Eric F. [...]

  10. Holly Says:

    I find that Ed Failor’s story is very weak:
    - They invited a number of Democrats and a number of Republicans. All of the Democrats and a number of Republicans declined to attend. How can he say they don’t have room for Ron Paul after that?
    - The forum is organized by a non-profit organization, they are bound by law to invite all the candidates (I’m not sure about this point, but it’s based on Failor’s own comments)
    - Even if Ron Paul did not seem credible in past, he certainly is a credible candidate now.
    - Ron Paul polls higher than several of the other candidates invited.

    Let me just add that, I find it irresponsible for anyone to post Ed Failor’s home phone number, and I find it unacceptable to phone him at home. Instead, we should be constructive and positive.

  11. empty13 Says:



  12. Jaime Says:

    Has Iowans for Tax Relief accepted out-of-state donations? If yes, maybe they should return it.

  13. diogenes Says:

    People need to show up in Des Moines and protest this forum. Ron Paul has the best record on tax related issues, and his views should be presented outside of the forum in necessary.

  14. Ron Paul Forum Says:

    If we lose this it could be the proverbial nail in the coffin. We can not let up with the phone calls.
    I called today and it looks like Ed and his gang of characters have stopped showing up at thier office. You can call ed at home at (563) 263-5459

  15. Sean Says:

    I think the best point was in the interview when Failor was asked what would he do if McCain changed his mind and wanted to enter the forum. He said he would consider letting him in since he was previously invited. Then later on he makes it sound like the schedule can’t be changed.

  16. Paul Tripp Says:

    Please don’t start calling Mr. Failor at home. Let’s keep this professional and keep the moral high ground. When they see hundreds of us standing outside the forum protesting, the media will focus far more attention on us than on the other candidates.

  17. The Crossed Pond » Ron Paul "Not Credible" Says:

    [...] Either way, what the anti-Paul continent of the media and the GOP don’t seem to understand is that this sort of thing only helps the Paul campaign. There’s a difference between a truly fringe run, and one that hits a nerve. Stuff like this only cements the impression (reality) that Ron Paul is in the latter category. John Fund, in the Wall Street Journal, makes the same point rather well here. [...]

  18. Rob Says:

    Just want to chime in to echo that it really is inappropriate to harass these folks at home. Dr. Paul’s exclusion from this forum can be means to enhance his name recognition but keep it positive at all costs. Go to the forum or demonstrate outside but keep a smile. Handout fliers. Educate rather than shout down. The attendees will likely be sympathetic. Be visible but not obnoxious. No one wants Dr. Paul’s good name associated with ugly behavior.

  19. mike in st. lucia Says:

    Ed Failor’s irrational and intransigent exclusion of Ron Paul from the Iowa Presidential Forum would be totally bizarre if there weren’t such an obvious explanation. Mr. Failor is actively working for the McCain campaign. Clearly, the exclusion is a directive from Mr. McCain, who knows absolutely that Ron Paul would unanimously win in this tax forum. McCain and his lackeys are deathly afraid that Ron Paul will catch fire in Iowa, as well they should be. The way Ron Paul is already being silenced doesn’t bode well for his future security as his star continues to rise. And, by the way, why isn’t McCain attending the event? I guess he’s just not competent enough to bluff his way through a discussion of taxes with a bunch of tax aficionados!

  20. Vince Daliessio Says:

    Mike in St. Lucia has hit the nail on the head - McCain, whom Failor works for in Iowa, would show MISERABLY on tax reform, and, presumably, on issues near and dear to Christians (”Bomb Iran” comes to mind). Failor doesn’t dare let McCain show up here, lest he crash and burn at a very critical juncture of the campaign. Meanwhile, the forum is designed to keep Tancredo and Thompson on life support until Fred Thompson shows up. Ron Paul would energize such a room like nobody’s business, anathema to a Christian Right Neocon like Failor. Clever Ed, almost TOO clever.

  21. Ann Says:

    steve sheffler, president, Iowa Christian Alliance
    939 office park road, suite 115
    west des moines, Iowa 50265
    Phone 515 225 1515 or fax 515 225 1826
    e mail

    Edward Failor Iowans for tax relief
    2610 park ave, muscatine, Iowa 52716
    Phone 563 288 3600 or 877 913 3600
    fax 563 264 2413
    e mail

    Be polite and firm in asking that Dr. Paul be invited/included

  22. chris lawton Says:

    GO Ron Paul! GO Ron Paul! God Bless Ron Paul! Ron Paul for President 2008!

    Ron Paul in CNN debate on June 5, 2007!

    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the galleys, heard in the very hall of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor—he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and wears their face and their garment, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation—he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city—he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.

    — Cicero: orator, statesman, political theorist, lawyer and philosopher of Ancient Rome.

  23. Ben Says:

    50,000 ITR members are waiting to hear from you. Once they realize you are serious about the IRS, they will think you are superman. Be sure to send the ITR members to a custom web site made just for them. Collect their email addresses and have one of your staff regularly keep them up-to-date on the status of your tax legislation. They will love you for that.

  24. Cal Says:

    A poster on another site said something I agree with. He said not to get to worked up about some minor gorup in IA. Send Ron money, tell your friends and go to work at the grassroots repub level so we can’t be ignored, and so we can actually elect delegates to state conventions and to the national convention. Let’s keep the eye on the prize, the nomination. Flippin out about a minor forum makes us look desperete.

  25. Davy C Rockett Says:

    I’m surprised the Iowan Christian Alliance, and the Iowans for Tax Relief didn’t jump at the chance to invite the most Christian and Constitutional candidate to the forms. I mean eliminating “Federal Income Tax” would definitely be tax relief, you think.
    Could it be Failor and Co., are fakes and flakes.

    It is funny however they can’t seem to exclude Ron Paul, even when they try to exclude him. How divine!
    (Simply Divine, isn’t it Iowa Christian Alliance)

  26. Juanito Says:

    I’m not an American. Still, I had to write about him.

  27. Jive Dadson - California Says:

    “Failor raised the issue that Iowans for Tax Relief is a 501c3 oganization that exists for, partly, educational purposes as part of his “justification” for not inviting Dr. Paul.”

    That’s not the impression I got. The way I heard it was this: Failor was flustered and unprepared. He started just thinking out loud. It occurred to him that the group could lose its tax exempt status for excluding Dr. Paul on political grounds. When he realized what he had blurted out, he quickly changed the subject. That was my take on it. I only listened to it the once. I could be wrong.

  28. Jaime Says:

    Jive, listen again. Failor said that the tax exempt status would be jeopardized if they had invited Dr. Paul because it would have been a politically based decision. So, Dr. Paul was excluded based on a political calculus for fear of losing the tax exempt status.

    Failor is an idiot or afraid. Maybe both.

  29. Proud American Says:

    Anyone else notice when Failor started to say “FRONT RUNNER”? A slip of the tongue :-) He quickly cut himself off. Ron Paul will be the next President of the United States!

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  32. richardpadilla Says:

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