Foot soldiers for the Ron Paul revolution

James Rainey
LA Times
Saturday December 1, 2007

The late-fall night fairly crackled with energy — from a persistent Santa Ana wind, the high-tension power lines overhead and, especially, from the crowd packed inside the living room of a ranch house at the west end of the San Gabriel Valley.

Eighty people sat elbow to elbow on tight rows of folding chairs, chattering with enthusiasm and ideas. They would produce wall calendars and a concert. They would reenact the Boston Tea Party on the Santa Monica Pier. They would write to every independent voter in Iowa.

The foot soldiers of the Ron Paul Revolution, Pasadena Division, were only getting started.

Founded nine months ago by one of the first followers of the Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate, the Pasadena “meetup” spawned more than 1,200 similar groups that claim nearly 77,000 members nationwide.

These fervent supporters and their freewheeling tactics have helped turn Paul into, first, an Internet sensation and, now, this political season’s most unlikely phenomenon.

A 45-year-old artist and adventurer is bicycling from Santa Monica to the Jefferson Memorial in Washington to raise awareness about Paul. A Nevada brothel owner recently promised to take up a collection from her customers. One Colorado backer quickly raised more than $350,000 online this week, with a plan to launch a Ron Paul blimp.

“It’s bigger than one. It’s bigger than a group,” Juliet Annerino, a Silver Lake fitness trainer and singer, said at the recent gathering of the Pasadena group. “We are making history right now. Right here.”

Paulites tend to be tech-savvy, tired of traditional politics and suspicious of their government and the mainstream media.

But after that, they defy categories. A quick survey of the Pasadena group found Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and Constitution Party followers uniting behind some or all of the Paul libertarian agenda — ending the war in Iraq, abolishing gun control laws, legalizing marijuana and dismantling big hunks of the U.S. government, especially the IRS and Federal Reserve system.

Full article here.


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