The Dondero Monologues

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 26 2011 1:27 PM

The Dondero Monologues

Our merry ride-along into the recent past continues as Eric Dondero, a former Ron Paul staffer, writes at length about his own view of Paul's early 1990s newsletters, and whether or not they say anything about Paul. His gripe: The media should focus on Paul's foreign policy, not his associations, because the man never expressed racist or anti-Semitic views as far as he could tell. Dondero goes instead of the incompetence dodge.

If they are looking for something that went un-explained after many years, it’s the Nadia Hayes incident from the end of the presidential campaign in 1988. I personally am still a little ticked off by this, and surprised that nobody has ever followed up on it. In brief, Nadia was Ron’s longtime business/campaign manager in the 1980s. On the very last day of the presidential campaign, attorneys, accountants, and even Nassau Bay police dept. investigation officials stormed into our campaign office, sealed everything off, rushed us campaign staffers into the storeroom (literally), and for hours on end ruffled through the entire campaign records, file cabinets, and other papers.
Lew Rockwell and Burton Blumert were there too. We were greatly surprised by this. Nadia was eventually convicted of embezzlement and went to jail for 6 months, plus had to pay $140,000 in restitution to Ron.
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The old-news bit of this is Dondero himself. In 2007, he came out early and often as a Paul loyalist who'd bolted and seen the light. This was not how Paul saw things. "He's a disgruntled former employee who was fired," Paul sighed when I read back some Dondero quotes in 2007. "Right now, if Eric Dondero is the only thing I have to worry about, then I don't have a lot to worry about." Today, as other reporters ask about Dondero, we hear the same thing. Dondero may not be acting in the best interest of his old, estranged boss. But Paul's associations cleave neatly into two camps: Tightly held allies, and people who failed him utterly.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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