I’ve been keeping half an eye on the reality-TV freakshow that is the US Republican presidential candidate nomination, and something tenuously NZ-related just popped up. One of the prospective freaks is Ron Paul, a libertarian congressman from Texas, who promises to abolish the US Federal Reserve, arguing that the state’s powers of fiat currency are the greatest threat to freedom.
As usual, being a freedom loving, classical-liberal libertarian seems closely linked to being a white supremacist, and Paul is fighting battles over this charge on a number of fronts. One of his former aides has stepped up to defend(?) Paul, and published this open letter. The relevant passage:
In 1988, Ron had a hardcore Libertarian supporter, Jim Peron, Owner of Laissez Faire Books in San Francisco. Jim set up a magnificent 3-day campaign swing for us in the SF Bay Area. Jim was what you would call very openly Gay. But Ron thought the world of him. For 3 days we had a great time trouncing from one campaign event to another with Jim’s Gay lover. The atmosphere was simply jovial between the four of us. (As an aside we also met former Cong. Pete McCloskey during this campaign trip.) We used Jim’s home/office as a “base.” Ron pulled me aside the first time we went there, and specifically instructed me to find an excuse to excuse him to a local fast food restaurant so that he could use the bathroom. He told me very clearly, that although he liked Jim, he did not wish to use his bathroom facilities. I chided him a bit, but he sternly reacted, as he often did to me, Eric, just do what I say. Perhaps “sternly” is an understatement. Ron looked at me directly, and with a very angry look in his eye, and shouted under his breath: “Just do what I say NOW.”
Jim Peron played a brief roll in New Zealand politics, back in 2005. He was involved with the Rodney Hide led ACT Party, and Winston Peters accused Peron of paedophilia using Parliamentary Privilege. As always with Peters, the details of what happened are all pretty murky – Russell Brown summarised it at the time. Eventually the Immigration Service revoked his visa.