Another Dodgy Nonprofit Stunt from “Most Corrupt” Pol Ron Paul

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Rich Koele /

April 4, 2013; Source: Center for Public Integrity

The NPQ Newswire has noted the tendency of former congressman Ron Paul to play a bit fast and loose with his nonprofit arms. The libertarian Liberty Committee, a 501(c)(4) founded by an aide to Paul, discovered that it was paying for trips that Paul might have also billed to the U.S. government. The double-billing controversy earned the then-congressman a place on the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington’s list of the most corrupt members of Congress in 2012.

Paul’s presidential campaign had more than the Liberty Committee as part of his nonprofit support structure, including the Foundation for Rational Economics and Education (FREE), which Paul personally founded and his wife leads as its unpaid president. Last month, his campaign operation, the Committee to Re-Elect Ron Paul, still with money in its accounts, donated $150,000 to FREE. The donation must have been easy to do, as the campaign committee and FREE share the same address. By law, campaign committees can donate leftover funding to legitimate charities.

How many recipients of unneeded campaign cash are charities established by the candidates themselves, run by their primary family members, and dedicated to promoting their ideas and legacy? It may not be illegal, but it certainly seems borderline in terms of ethics. –Rick Cohen

  • Rebecca

    How can you call Ron Paul “corrupt” when you state in the same article that everything his 501(c)(4) has done is perfectly legal? We, the supporters of Ron Paul, gave him the money in the first place. If we don’t have a problem with the way he’s spending the leftover funds from the 2012 Campaign, why should you?

  • ron

    Thanks for the article. The Liberty Committee is not libertarian in any way: it espouses anti-libertarian beliefs, and seems not to be as transparent as it should.

    Many people do assume that candidates will continue the cause with their own charities.

  • Matthew

    I can hardly believe you are seriously trying to malign Ron Paul. Exactly how many other Congressman of either party returned their unspent office budgets to the Treasury other than Ron Paul? I bet you can guess the answer.
    Your specious innuendo about some other group putting Ron Paul on their unethical list unjustifiably speaks more about your integrity than it does about his.
    How kind it was of you to note that he has done nothing illegal in spite of your judgment that he may have engaged in “borderline” unethical behavior. Too bad you didn’t note how many other former Presidential candidates still have their campaign committees stuck with unpaid bills while Ron Paul managed to only spend money that the campaign actually had rather than taking out loans. What a concept!

  • George

    Ah, the ever-vexing distinction between “legal” and “moral” has evaded Mr. Paul and at least one of his supporters. Any objective observer knows that double-billing for expenses and the so-called “donation” to FREE don’t pass the smell test. Whether it’s technically legal or not isn’t the point. This is clearly unethical behavior, thus meriting the description “corrupt”.

  • kate

    Can you really not see anything wrong with Ron Paul converting campaign dollars to personal use? He is now free, as an employee of this charity, to pay himself a high salary and use up all the funds on his personal needs.

    Wow. Guess I will run for something. I know ahead of time I won’t get elected, but then I can start a charity and donate all the campaign cash to it, appoint myself CEO and pay myself a high wage. That seems to be what they are doing these days, and probably the reason many are running for office. Free money. It would go to better use building roads, libraries, schools and hospitals, but don’t let common sense get in the way.

  • windwardtack

    ‘most corrupt’ was a campaign smear, which never found that he had double billed anything, even accidently. All it showed was that two tickets on the same flight were charged. Given Ron Paul often traveled with staff that isn’t suspicious, and the man gave back money every year to the treasury from his budget, so spent less than others even with travel. What’s more, he turned down his government pension because he thought it was immorally rich while constituents only had social security. How ‘corrupt’.

    What do you think these private donations to him should have been used for? Surely you don’t imagine any Ron Paul supporter would want a penny going to government?

  • windwardtack

    Presumably your supporters would rather you decided where the money would go than anyone else. Good luck getting supporters if ad hominum smears are your style, though.

    Ron Paul is the least corrupt politician I have ever learned of and I researched him extensively to get to that conclusion. This is highly offensive.

  • kem

    What is he suppose to do with the left over campaign money? pick and choice who it goes back too.
    Yes by law, campaign committees can donate leftover funding to legitimate charities If they want too.
    Paul donates to charities yearly out of his own pocket.
    He choose to Found an On-line SCHOOL out of the left over campaign money & grades K-5 is offered for free.
    Why do you hate home Schooling? What the heck is wrong with you?

  • R G Mesch

    SCUMMY BASELESS SSSSMMMMMEEEEEEAAAAAARRRRRRR on a man by any measure who the most honest politician the US every had. Shameful even if you disagree with him.

  • Ladalang

    Wow talk about pure propaganda or fantasy even!


    This article is so out of touch with reality.