The Ron Paul Effect

If Mike Huckabee wins the Republican nomination, he may have 19-year-old twins from Oregon to thank. First, Brett and Alex Harris led Chuck Norris to endorse Mike Huckabee. Now, they’re trying to raise him a million dollars.

The Harris brothers started in October after realizing Huckabee supporters didn’t have a digital water cooler to congregate around. (Unclear if Jesus juice is the drink of choice.) In many ways, it was an attempt to build a community for Huckabee similar to Ron Paul’s. 

Taking another page out of Ron Paul’s shadow campaign , the Harris brothers are now organizing a moneybomb for Dec. 27 . The fund-raising goal is relatively modest: $1 million from 10,000 donors. That pales in comparison to the $10-plus million Paul brought in during his two moneybombs this quarter. Some Paul fans weren’t pleased, even though Huck’s effort wouldn’t threaten Paul’s record total .

So, as has happened before , some in the Ron Paul community dug through their digi-saboteur tool kit to unleash the deadliest weapon of all: spam. Brett Harris told me that in the first hour the site was live, people pledged $200,000–except they didn’t. Ron Paul spammers did. Harris said the e-mail addresses attached to the pledges denigrated Huckabee, exalted Paul, and had plenty of naughty words. ( UPDATE 5:19 p.m.: Yes, in the past it wasn’t Ron Paul supporters who spammed. Harris thinks it was this time.)

The twins, in response, took action. They weeded out the fake pledges and posted two harshly worded letters on the moneybomb Web site that took aim at the “rotten apples” in Paul’s base. In one letter Brett writes, “You [speaking to the spammers] may liken yourselves to American revolutionaries, but your behavior is more reminiscent of Nazi tactics – sending in hooligans to break into and disrupt political rallies for their opposition.” This, needless to say, did not make many Paul supporters happy

Animosity for Huckabee has been brewing for quite some time amongst Paulies. In the Tale of Two Dark Horses, Huckabee has far surpassed Paul nationally. Moneywise, though, Paul’s ad-hoc organization has drubbed Huckabee time and again. Now the two big story lines of this campaign cycle are at war with one another. In the battle of Huck’s army versus the Paul technocrats, what does victory look like? Last time we checked it’s judged by votes, not dollar bills.

As is our occasional custom with Ron Paul stories, here are some handy links: Talk back in our discussion board, The Fray , or drop by my inbox .