The highly touted Tea Party '07, deliberately held on December 16th, 2007 to commemorate the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, reaped a financial windfall for Republican Presidential candidate for Ron Paul, as his campaign treasury is now more than $6 million richer (now that's a "six million" story you can believe).
And Ron Paul was overjoyed with this tidal wave of hope, faith, and gratitude that overwhelmed his campaign. Here's a part of his thank-you message posted on the official campaign website:
What a day! I am humbled and inspired, grateful and thrilled for this vast outpouring of support.
On just one day, in honor of the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, the new American revolutionaries brought in $6.04 million, another one-day record. The average donation was $102; we had 58,407 individual contributors, of whom an astounding 24,915 were first-time donors. And it was an entirely voluntary, self-organized, decentralized, independent effort on the internet. Must be the "spammers" I keep hearing about!
The establishment is baffled and worried, and well they should be. They keep asking me who runs our internet fundraising and controls our volunteers. To these top-down central planners, a spontaneous order like our movement is science-fiction. But you and I know it's real: as real as the American people's yearning for freedom, peace, and prosperity, as real as all the men and women who have sacrificed for our ideals, in the past and today.
And how neat to see celebrations all across the world, with Tea Parties from France to New Zealand. This is how we can spread the ideals of our country, through voluntary emulation, not bombs and bribes. Of course, there were hundreds in America.
As I dropped in on a cheering, laughing crowd of about 600 near my home in Freeport, Texas, I noted that they call us "angry." Well, we are the happiest, most optimistic "angry" movement ever, and the most diverse. What unites us is a love of liberty, and a determination to fix what is wrong with our country, from the Fed to the IRS, from warfare to welfare. But otherwise we are a big tent.
Said the local newspaper: "The elderly sat with teens barely old enough to vote. The faces were black, Hispanic, Asian and white. There was no fear in their voices as they spoke boldly with each other about the way the country should be. Held close like a deeply held secret, Paul has brought them out of the disconnect they feel between what they know to be true and where the country has been led."
And Alaskan Ron Paul activists were not idle. Despite temperatures starting out in the single digits and topping out in the low teens, 18 hardy supporters from the Anchorage Ron Paul Meetup group assembled at the Sears Mall parking lot at the corner of New Seward and Northern Lights for a sign wave between 12 noon and 2 P.M. on December 16th. And while there was no local media coverage of this event except for a KTUU story, the Anchorage Daily News, in an article discussing how Alaska's earlier February 5th caucus date is now causing some Presidential candidates to pay more attention to Alaska, had this to say about the Ron Paul campaign:
One candidate who has some vocal grass-roots support in Alaska is Ron Paul, a Republican congressman from Texas with a libertarian bent. Paul's supporters are active in organizing "meet-ups" through the Internet and have set up a Web site at ronpaulalaska.com.
Paul's national campaign manager, Lew Moore, is planning a trip to Alaska in the coming weeks. Paul ranks third among Republican candidates in Alaska fundraising, just behind Giuliani and Romney.
Alex Crawford, a Ron Paul volunteer in Anchorage, said Paul's appeal goes beyond Republicans. He's getting a lot of support from independents, Libertarians and Alaskan Independence Party members as well, he said.
They'll have to register as Republicans to back Paul in Alaska's Feb. 5 polling.
"These are the same people to get Sarah Palin elected (governor)," Crawford said.
In Fairbanks, sub-zero temperatures understandably drove 22 supporters from the Fairbanks Ron Paul Meetup group indoors to the Two Street Station Cafe. Temperatures in the Fairbanks area have bottomed out to around -25F lately. And while there was no local media coverage of this event, Ron Paul supporters continue to share their enthusiasm through letters to the editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Here's a typical letter, published by the News-Miner on December 16th:
To the editor:
Congressman Ron Paul is the only candidate vying for president who understands the traditional principles behind our Constitution and is willing to govern as the Constitution requires. This explains the groundswell of support for Ron Paul that’s sweeping the country.
Over 60,000 individuals, who ask nothing more than that the government observes the rule of law and honors our Bill of Rights, have contributed to his campaign so far. These aren’t Hollywood stars promoting their special interests nor corporate moguls attending $1,000 per plate fundraisers. This is the honest grass-roots involvement that everyone dreams about.
I’m most impressed by the local group that has formed to promote Paul’s campaign. Though unfamiliar with “traditional politics,” they’re remarkably astute and their enthusiasm is contagious. Perhaps you’ve seen them at an intersection waving Ron Paul signs.
If you’re wondering why they’re so excited, Google “Ron Paul 2008″ or go to ronpaul.meetup.com/187 to find out. It’s the best thing to happen since Sarah Palin ran for governor.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner had earlier published a more detailed article on the Fairbanks Ron Paul group on December 3rd.
And the support in Alaska is genuine and committed. Just one week ago, a KTUU Channel 2 "unscientific" poll showed Ron Paul the leader amongst Republican Presidential candidates, with 29%. KTUU's methodology and their pronounced statewide dominance of the broadcast media make their polls considerably more reliable than your typical "unscientific" media poll.
While Ron Paul supporters will continue to have meetups and a few sign waves, the next major objective is the District Convention in February. Alaskans can visit the Alaska Division of Elections Map Page to find your house district (1-40). After verifying the district of residency, send an email to email@example.com with your name, district #, and phone #. MAKE SURE TO INCLUDE DISTRICT # AND GOOD CONTACT INFO IN THE EMAIL as that is how we will connect you with other local Ron Paul Supporters and give you information specific to your district.If your district is having a February 9th (Saturday) District Convention you will need to attend and vote both days (5th and 9th). Also visit our "Convention" page and familiarize yourself with the rules (links on right) if you haven't already done so.
Ron Paul can win in Alaska!