Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ron Paul campaign had staffer pose as Jew to disrupt opponent's press conference

Here's an amazing admission by a participant in an alleged anti-Semitic dirty trick by the Ron Paul for Congress campaign in 1996. The blogger, Eric Dondero, writes that Paul's Campaign Manager Marc Elam suggested that he pose as an observant Jew and disrupt a press conference by Paul's Democratic opponent, Lefty Morris.

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 [sic] (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.


Read it here...

15 comments:

Fluffy said...

You do realize, of course, that Dondero is currently engaged in a primary challenge for Paul's House seat?

And that if Dondero IS a Jew, owns a yarmulke, etc., he can't really be described as "posing"?

Try again.

Adam Holland said...

Dondero, who describes himself as "half-Jewish", may or may not have owned a yarmulke (which he both misspells and describes as a "beanie thing"), but he clearly was not in the practice of wearing one, and only did so, he says, at the prompting of the Paul campaign staff. Their motive, he says, was to disrupt a press conference at which Morris was to reveal Paul's racist connections.

Now I ask you, how can that NOT be described as posing?

Anonymous said...

Before you get too worked up about this, Google "Eric Dondero" and look up this guys rather inflated ego and penchant for exaggeration -- "I speak ten or fifteen languages" et cetera. (What, you have no idea what languages you speak?)

In other words, if he said the sky was blue, I'd peak out the window to verify it.

Fluffy said...

Actually, "yamaca" is an acceptable spelling, so his misspelling is not that dire. Dondero's not very bright, so it's a perfectly understandable mistake.

If Dondero:

1. is Jewish

and

2. was in fact a staffer

...then his statement at the press conference wasn't false.

Where's the part I'm supposed to be upset about?

I imagine that you, like Dondero, are upset about the way "Captain 9/11" Giuliani apparently lost his superpowers and had to run screaming like a little girl from the terrifying spectacle of a group of supporters of another candidate, but can't we just leave Rudy's lack of manhood as something he needs to work out with his many wives and leave Paul out of it?

Adam Holland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam Holland said...

Responding to "FLUFFY" again...

Dondero is not an observant Jew, and you are not an observant reader. He wore a yarmulke as part of a dirty trick. That is indefensible. If you think that it helps your candidate to defend this, you're wrong. But your candor is helpful. You're telling everyone where you and your candidate stand.

By the way, you do have quite an imagination if you think that I support Giuliani for President.

Adam Holland said...

TO ANONYMOUS:

Fair enough. A grain of salt warning is issued. Dondero's allegations, if true, are damning, but he may not be a reliable source. Under the circumstances, someone should go back and look at the coverage for the Lefty Morris press conference to which he referred. If it can be established that he DID interrupt it to proclaim his "Jewishness" and call Morris' allegations into question, that would do a lot to verify his claim.

Fluffy said...

Well, Eric's actual name is Eric Dondero Rittberg. The distinction between "observant Jew" and "Jew" is not and was not relevant to defusing Paul's opponent's claims of anti-Semitism. Anti-semites regard Jews as a race and not merely as a religion, so even if Dondero Rittberg is a lapsed Jew, it's still perfectly valid for the Paul campaign to have identified him as a Jewish staffer.

Arguing otherwise is like arguing that Ayn Rand wasn't a Jew because she was an atheist, so the fact that Ron Paul named one of his kids after her doesn't count as evidence of non-anti-Semitism either.

Having Dondero Rittberg wear a yamaca to the press conference was a bit theatrical, but not a dirty trick, and not even actually misleading in any way.

It's worth noting that in the very same blog post, Eric identifies as another dirty trick and aggressive and intimidating campaign tactic the fact that Paul would have supporters wave campaign signs on roadsides. If that's what Eric considers an "aggressive campaign tactic", I guess we can safely disregard his opinion and hand him some smelling salts so he can get over his fainting spell.

bbartlog said...

This strikes me as a relatively innocuous bit of political theater. If this is all it takes to upset you, you should probably find a line of work other than politics, because this is the least of what you'll see in a campaign.
I might add that if this were really that slimy, I don't think Dondero (who is the primary actor in the operation) would be telling us about it.

Adam Holland said...

FLUFFY:

It is wrong for a campaign staffer to pose as a Jew in order to disrupt a press conference about anti-Semitism. Ron Paul should OPPOSE bigotry instead of using dirty tricks to conceal it. If information about racist groups working with his campaign came to his attention then or comes to his attention now, it is incumbent upon him to bring the facts out in the open and break those connections. He didn't do it then (as you admit, FLUFFY, he used this dirty trick instead of dealing with the issue), and, more importantly, he's not doing it now (he has the support of a myriad of racist wacko groups).

You have a right to express your opinions, no matter how wrong they may be. If you and Ron Paul think this is an appropriate campaign tactic, I am free to vote for someone else, FLUFFY.

Adam Holland said...

what I said to "FLUFFY" goes for bbartlog as well...

It's not innocuous political theater. It's a dirty trick designed to conceal embarrassing facts about Ron Paul's connection to racist groups...

Eric Dondero said...

I do in fact, speak about 10 to 15 languages. More on a good day.

Back in 2003 I appeared as a guest on Dr. Barry Farber's Radio Show in NYC for an hour. I had just authored "Worldwide Multilingual Phrase Book." Farber is a well-known linguist who speaks "16 to 25 languages." Farber quized me on air, and I passed with flying colors thank you.

I ask that you retract that assertion saying questioning my language abilities.

And for the record, I've endorsed Chris Peden for Congress against Ron Paul, and am no longer running for the seat.

Eric Dondero
www.mainstreamlibertarian.com

Adam Holland said...

Eric:

You seem a bit confused about who's calling your language skills into question; it was an anonymous commenter. I merely said in response that your story should be taken with a grain of salt until it could be verified by contemporaneous news reports. No offense was intended. On the contrary, I find your story to be very believable.

Perhaps you can cite some news media sources to back up the story and I will happily post them.

Thanks...

Anonymous said...

Rather smart move on Paul's part, providing a response to slanderous insults that are not true. Paul a rascist, no way.

Adam Holland said...

You acknowledge that you believe that your candidate had his aide pose as a Jew to disrupt a press conference at which the same issues which Ron Paul continues to conceal were to be discussed. In spite of that, you still believe him innocent. Compartmentalize much?

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