Ron Paul: The most transparent candidate

U.S. Representative Ron Paul (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)
In the midst of the Mitt Romney tax filing fiasco, Ron Paul said he’d be embarrassed to publish personal finances on account of his comparably indigent income. Paul has come clean now, however, with just how he conducts costs on the campaign trail.

Federal Election Commission rules require presidential candidates to only disclose costs of more than $200 spent while running for office, but the Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign Committee is providing purchase information for practically every item, no matter how miniscule, used by the GOP hopeful. ProPublica has published a sampling of spending reports released by Texas Congressman Ron Paul’s office as he vies for the Republican Party nod, and the candidate clearly wants voters to know that, no matter the situation, every cent counts.

Just how meticulous are the items made available by the Ron Paul campaign? Some staffers have made sure that even their $1.39 snack at the Circle K gas station in El Dorado, Kansas are taken into consideration, and that’s not even the smallest item published by the could-be president’s team. On April 25, 2011, for example, the Ron Paul camp coughed up an alarming $1.07 by way of an iTunes purchase, and a month earlier Paul’s people emptied their pockets to the tune of $1.00 at a Concord, New Hampshire Salvation Army thrift store.

Jesse Benton, Paul’s often outspoken campaign manager, explains to ProPublica that there is indeed a reason behind the candidate’s inclusion of every cent along the campaign trail. “We take the trust our donors place in us very seriously and are deeply committed to transparency and accuracy in our reporting,” explains Benton.

Throughout his attempt at running for the White House, Paul has insisted time and time again that he is not only the most consistent of the conservative choices, but transparent as well. Even before begging for the GOP nomination, however, Paul was pushing for more openness in Washington. Two years ago the congressman introduced the SEC Transparency Act of 2010, which the representative hoped would force the US Securities and Exchange Commission to be more forthcoming with their finances. Back then Paul attacked the SEC and especially a section of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that kept much of what the SEC received as confidential. In attempting to repeal those provisions with his own proposal, Paul condemned the Dodd-Frank Act as “unfortunate,” and said in introducing the bill that the legislation he hoped to overturn claimed to fix problems with the banking system, but instead “actually makes them worse and provides more cover and power for organizations that failed us like the SEC and the Fed.”

Aside from coming clean with his own campaign finances, Paul continues to tackle both the SEC and Federal Reserve as he attempts to win the Republican Party’s nomination for the presidency. Paul just recently conducting another round of campaigning as voters will cast ballots Tuesday during primaries in Maryland, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.