Martin Anding, a Ron Paul partisan from Santa Cruz, point out to me that I had recently questioned Congressman’s Paul statement to the effect that he received more contributions from the military than any other Presidential candidate. I did, and, once more, I must eat humble pie … after a fashion. Or maybe not. You decide.
Martin provides the following link to what he thinks (and I don’t doubt) is the Paul source for this statement: http://www.armytimes.com/news/2012/02/military-ron-paul-gets-most-military-donations-020912w/
This source, the Army Times, is, I think, a generally trustworthy periodical with only limited resources with which to check the information it receives.
The article in the Army Times confirms that Congressman Paul ‘s listed, recorded contributions from armed forces entities have been to-date much more numerous that those going to other candidates. The article states that Paul received 1405 separate donations against Mitt Romney only 55 (that’s: fifty-five).
Now, there are currently 1,45 million active personnel in the armed forces plus an equal number of reservists. I will ignore the latter because the story does not say if they are counted as potential political contributors. However, the story specifies that military dependents are included among the contributors and so are civilian employees of the military. I would be surprised if dependents and civilian employees together did not jack up the number to two million or so.
With these reasonable and moderate adjustments, here is a summary of what I learned from the article in Army Times: I am expected to believe that the proportion of military donations to two Republican candidates to the relevant population is like this:
1,405 contributions for Ron Paul
55 contributions to Mitt Romney
or, alternatively, that the donation figures are foolish for reasons I need not fathom to dismiss them outright.
For the record, I would bet that a proper count would show that the number of separate donations to Ron Paul originating in all branches of the active military and dependents and civilian employees, is much larger than 1,405.
Same for the number in favor of Romney. This information is worse than no information. It’s not a rare event. Journalistic neutrality has its limits. Press organs should not publish absurd information without comment.
This is just another case where Ron Paul and his staff are not paying attention to what he says or displaying an extraordinary lack of understanding of simple numbers. I suspect they do this because his rivals dismiss him while they think many of his supporters will believe just about anything he says.