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Ron Paul's fund-raising fades as reality sinks into followers

April 21, 2008 |  6:48 am

The political fund-raising of Rep. Ron Paul, which dominated the Republican presidential field as recently as December, is fading fast, apparently as his loyal followers' enthusiasm reflects the looming numerical reality of his long-shot campaign.

Paul filed his Texas Rep. and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul reports no campaign debts and $5 million cash still on handcampaign's required financial reports with the Federal Election Commission over the weekend and said he raised a mere $123,523 in the entire month of March.

The same month, he disbursed nearly five times that much, including $3.90 to a Burger King in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and $72.08 to Chuck's Donuts in Renton, Wash., when the 72-year-old OB/GYN must have really had a sweet tooth.

Reports for other Republican candidates are below.

Paul's numbers are a far cry from the fourth quarter of 2007, when the 10-term Libertarian-like Texas representative received nearly $20 million from his fervent followers, 803,000 of whom cast Paul ballots in various primaries. Despite doing better in some places than far-better known GOP White House wannabes, Paul won only a...

handful of delegates to the Republican National Convention in Minnesota in September.

He -- and they -- will try to make the Ron Paul Revolution's points there, that the party has lost its conservative way and now stands for big government and foreign military intervention.

He's been hitting these same themes at sporadic campaign appearances around the country in recent weeks tied to promoting his new book. He remains on the ballot for Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary.

Paul's financial report, true to his conservative stance, shows he carries no campaign debt. He still has nearly $5.1 million in the bank from the $34.3 million he raised in the last year. He has frequently rejected a third-party run for the White House and said he intends to use the money in a long-term effort to change the GOP from within.

He has also said he will not be endorsing Sen. John McCain, who may or may not have been listening.

According to other Paul money details uncovered by The Times' intrepid Dan Morain, Paul paid off a bunch of conservative bills, including $5.35 to a Wal-Mart in Huntington, W. Va., and several expenses to In-N-Out Burgers, including two at the store in Sparks, Nev., on Jan. 20.

In other Republican money news, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, once the prohibitive GOP front-runner, reported raising a total of $64.9 million in his failed campaign and still has $3.4 million in debts. Last month he refunded nearly $3 million in general election donations.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee reported raising nearly $3 million in March for a campaign total of $15.9 million. He's still got $643,760 in cash and debts of only $36,002.

By the way, latimes.com has assembled campaign photo galleries for all these former candidates -- Huckabee's is here, Paul's is here and Giuliani's is here. Picture collections for other candidates of both parties are also available under their names on this page here.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Photo: Brett Flashnick / Associated Press

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