In a lengthy telephone interview with the Spokane Conservative Examiner Monday evening, Eric Dondero, former staffer to Texas Congressman Ron Paul, said the GOP candidate is not telling the whole truth about his role in the newsletters that contain a number of controversial statements.
According to Dondero, Ron Paul “absolutely read every single article” in the newsletters that bear his name.
In fact, Dondero went so far as to say Paul was “obsessed with the newsletter.”
“Of all the things he’s fibbing about,” Dondero said, “this is the worst.”
“He’s completely telling falsehoods about the newsletters – they were his babies,” Dondero said.
Dondero, who served as Paul’s driver, said he had to map out every Kinko’s in the area to ensure the Congressman – who insists on punctuality – could get to a fax machine and still be on time for his appointments.
Many have wondered if the articles – written in the first person – were actually written by Paul himself or by a ghost writer. Dondero said it was a joint effort between Paul and Lew Rockwell, and others joined in later on.
He explained that Paul himself never actually sat down to a word processor, but would rather scribble copious notes on a yellow tablet that he would fax to an assistant. That person would collate the notes and forward them to Rockwell – or another associate – who would turn the notes into something resembling an article.
Once the article was written it was faxed to Paul who would either approve or disprove the work. Once he approved the article, he would sign or initial the last page and fax it off to the printer. According to Dondero, while 20 – 30 percent of the article was penned by Paul, nothing was printed without his approval.
Whether the controversial material was penned by Paul is unknown, but Dondero said Paul approved of everything that was published.
“Ron knew all about the articles,” Dondero said, adding that he “would not let anything go out without his initials on the last page.”
From there, Dondero said Paul would personally fax the material to Mark Elam, who owns M & M Graphics and Advertising in Houston, Texas.
Elam, who directed Paul’s 1996 campaign, could not be reached at his business, and the number listed went straight to voicemail.
Recently, two videos have surfaced showing Ron Paul actively promoting his “babies” in 1995. His story, however, has changed considerably since then.
“I never read that stuff. I was probably aware of it ten years after it was written and it’s been going on 20 years that people have pestered me about this and CNN does it every single time,” he told CNN’s Gloria Borger in late December.
Dondero’s explosive expose made headlines around the world. In response, Paul supporters instantly followed the campaign’s lead in labeling the former staffer a “disgruntled former employee” who was fired for cause.
“Eric Dondero is a disgruntled former staffer who was fired for performance issues,” Paul campaign spokesman Jesse Benton said in an email statement, according to CBS News. “He has zero credibility and should not be taken seriously.”
But Dondero says that is categorically not true.
According to Dondero, he resigned from Paul’s service not once, but twice. The first time, he says he was tracked down by Mr. Tom Lizardo, Paul’s Chief of Staff, and agreed to return for a short stint.
That was before 9/11.
Dondero said Paul actually witnessed the attack on the Pentagon and immediately wondered how the Bush Administration would react.
The rest, he says, is history. Although the two men often debated foreign policy, they came to loggerheads when Paul almost voted against responding militarily to the attack that killed nearly 3,000 innocent men, women and children.
“I saw the parade of radical Islam, I saw that these people killed 3,000 of my fellow countrymen and I saw my boss sit there and just, shrug his shoulders,” he told KVUE Monday.
Moreover, Dondero said the Congressman contacted him two weeks after they parted ways, asking him to return. Additionally, he says he received a hefty bonus – $10,000 – upon leaving. To the casual observer, this is not the normal reaction of an employer terminating a sub-standard employee.
An email obtained by the Spokane Conservative Examiner indicates that there was much more to Dondero’s separation than a simple termination.
“While I agree you weren’t fired, it was probably suggested you leave and you agreed. Tom [Lizardo] wouldn’t get into the nitty gritty, but it wasn’t as simple as you quit or got fired,” Jim Lagnese of The Right Guy wrote on November 30.
An email from Lizardo to Lagnese explains:
The parties mutually agreed to an end of the employment relationship on a negotiated basis. Frequently parties go their own ways by mutual consent. While Eric did, at some point, send a letter of resignation — I would say it is accurate to suggest that both parties were interested in ending the employer/employee relationship. I believe it would be inappropriate for me to further characterize the nature of these discussions as they were, obviously, related to personnel matters — and it is standard procedure for managers who are engaged in such talks to avoid discussing these matters in public either while the discussions are occurring or thereafter.
It would seem from this email, that Dondero was terminated for cause the same way Michele Bachmann “hates Muslims” and wants to “go get them.”
As for being “disgruntled,” Dondero says he is very happy with his life and is as far from disgruntled as one could get.
He simply wants voters to know the truth about Ron Paul and his foreign policy.
More on Ron Paul at lodeplus.com can be found here.
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