Paul fundraising director: Viguerie offered to help for ‘huge cut’ of campaign funds

The former fundraising director of the Ron Paul Presidential Campaign Committee, Jonathan Bydlak, says that Richard Viguerie sought to sell his services to Paul in exchange for a “huge cut” of Paul’s prodigious campaign cash.

While I was not involved directly in the discussions and don’t remember the exact terms of the deal, Richard Viguerie offered to “help” the Ron Paul campaign similarly to how he is “helping” Bob Barr. For a huge cut of the money he raised; Viguerie was willing to support Ron Paul. We did not accept what amounted to an absurd offer, and likewise — despite all the talk of Mr. Viguerie’s “conservative credentials” — he did not endorse Ron Paul for president.

In reference to Viguerie’s “Ultimate Ron Paul” Web site, Bydlak cites Paul’s campaign manager Lew Moore:

[Viguerie] has never supported this campaign, he has certainly not been a part of our campaign this cycle. He one time approached our campaign to raise money for us, for a large amount of money. But we didn’t need the services of a very high priced beltway insider, and that is what Mr. Viguerie is.

I caution your listeners that when you register on that website he’s going to take your name and do things like this with it.

Read the entire article here.

Viguerie, the new owner of the once-reputable Third Party Watch, now supports Bob Barr for president, and will be the keynote speaker at the Libertarian Party National Convention this weekend.

UPDATE: Mr. Bydlak has clarified his account, and the article has been updated to conform.

13 thoughts on “Paul fundraising director: Viguerie offered to help for ‘huge cut’ of campaign funds

  1. G.E. Post author

    To be fair, this is just an allegation.

    But the comments from Lew Moore are pretty telling on their own.

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  3. Fred Church Ortiz

    Bydlack’s one of the few RP staffers that didn’t annoy me from a distance.

    I heard plenty of bad shit about Vig months ago that I dismissed anyway – I don’t consider data-mining to be all that bad. The last few days have pretty much confirmed the allegations I heard at the time, and this pretty much seals it that they were true even then. I need to pop some foresight pills.

  4. G.E. Post author

    UPDATE: Mr. Bydlak has clarified his account, and the article has been updated to conform.

  5. Thomas L. Knapp

    I get the feeling that Viguerie is trying to make a “Great Leap Forward” and simultaneously put the capstone on his retirement pyramid.

    He was essentially the inventor of and king of political direct mail for a long time … now it’s the Internet age. He’s trying to get deep into that data/reach area while the getting’s good. If “the Ron Paul fundraising experience” can be intentionally duplicated (it’s by no means obvious that it can), then there’s a gold mine there.

    And then there’s still direct mail. I know people who would kill for Ron Paul’s list. I’ sure Viguerie would like to be able to add that list to his catalog … and the next best thing is trying to re-create the Paul campaign in certain ways, maybe with Bob Barr as the horse.

    I’m back and forth three ways: No “takeover” going on at all, just competing campaigns; an ideologically/politically driven “takeover;” and a financial “takeover.”

    Leaning toward “financial” at the moment. Think of the LP’s lists. Not just the current membership, but I think around 150,000 names of people who have popped $25 or more one time or another, many of THOSE names having in turn worked their way into the LP database over a six-year period in which the LP rented high-return lists from NRA to Reason magazine, etc.

    The margin on direct mail may be low, but 100,000 names, 200,000 names, pretty soon you’re talking real money.

  6. Fred Church Ortiz

    Tom, would you happen to know if the LP makes its list available anyway? Last time I was dues payer I got on a lot of different mailing lists inexplicably (the JBS, some adventist group, anarchist poetry magazines) and this time I’m getting similiar junk.

  7. MattSwartz

    This background is probabl

    y old news to many on this site, but I’ll post it in hopes that it might be informative for some.

    In early 1965, in the wake of Goldwater’s electoral defeat, Richard Viguerie sat down in the office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives and began writing down the names of people who had donated $50 or more to Goldwater’s campaign – the equivalent of about $300 today.

    By law in those days, federal political campaigns had to turn over to the Clerk the names and addresses of donors of $50 or more. Goldwater’s campaign had filed 15,000 names and addresses. Viguerie planned to write them all down and create a mailing list with them.

    After a few days, he realized that he could not get the job done by himself. He hired some women to do this grunt work. Then, after they had copied 12,500 names, the Clerk decided that he did not like all this and forbade them to do it. Viguerie says he should have told the Clerk to contact his lawyer. But he was young and inexperienced back then, so he complied.

    Those 12,500 names became the basis of a mailing list empire that changed American conservatism and, through Ronald Reagan, the world.

    Who else benefited from these lists? None other than George Wallace, who used them to build a network in the 70’s. Viguerie had no problem renting them to Wallace or Reagan, because the price was right.

    What does this man want from the LP? Money would be my first guess.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north538.html

    http://www.qrd.org/qrd/www/FTR/newright.html

  8. Gene Berkman

    In 1980 Richard Viguerie was fund-raiser for Phil Crane’s campaign for President until he presented Crane with a bill for more money than he had raised for the campaign.

    Crane refused to pay the bill, and fired Viguerie, who slimed off to back LBJ’s buddy John Connolly for President.

    Viguerie is bad news for Libertarians, and we need to keep him from getting any influence in our movement – and keep him away from the mailing lists.

  9. Thomas L. Knapp

    Fred,

    “Tom, would you happen to know if the LP makes its list available anyway? Last time I was dues payer I got on a lot of different mailing lists inexplicably (the JBS, some adventist group, anarchist poetry magazines) and this time I’m getting similiar junk.”

    At one time, I think the LP rented its list extensively. Less so lately, I think — my understanding is that BCRA (McCain-Feingold) put a stop to a lot of that.

    But, the presidential campaign would almost certainly be allowed to mail TO the list, even if it didn’t get to SEE the list … and anyone who sent money would end up on THE CAMPAIGN’S list. So, Viguerie could get a nice new, targeted, niche list out of it.

    Not saying that’s the whole basis for Viguerie’s involvement, but … cui bono and all that.

  10. Trent Hill

    Sounds like a money-game to me. 150,000 dues paying members, and a larger selection of Ron Paul-voters.

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