Usually when a candidate receives a campaign donation from a disreputable donor, the money either gets returned or donated to a charity. Ron Paul wants to be a maverick, however, so he will keep the $500 from Stormfront founder Don Black. Paul claims his own campaign as a charity, in a sense:
Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul has received a $500 campaign donation from a white supremacist, and the Texas congressman doesn't plan to return it, an aide said Wednesday.
Don Black, of West Palm Beach, recently made the donation, according to campaign filings. He runs a Web site called Stormfront with the motto, "White Pride World Wide." The site welcomes postings to the "Stormfront White Nationalist Community."
"Dr. Paul stands for freedom, peace, prosperity and inalienable rights. If someone with small ideologies happens to contribute money to Ron, thinking he can influence Ron in any way, he's wasted his money," Paul spokesman Jesse Benton said. "Ron is going to take the money and try to spread the message of freedom."
"And that's $500 less that this guy has to do whatever it is that he does," Benton added.
Sorry, but that doesn't sell. It's one thing to get a donation from a neo-Nazi; after all, Paul didn't solicit it. It's another thing entirely to keep the money after its source becomes clear. Keeping the money makes it look like the campaign approves of the source, and that is a very, very bad message to send when one is bragging about the success of recent money-bomb events.
What kind of money will Ron Paul refuse? Drug money? Extortion rackets? Mob skim? Those are the questions people will want answered. Paul's response does not give confidence in the judgment of his campaign, and by extension its candidate.
UPDATE: Allahpundit has a must-read on this topic.
UPDATE II and BUMP: I'm bumping this to sit below the Hot Seat question so people can follow the thread more closely. If you're visiting here from AOL for the first time, click on the Home tag at the top and take a look around!
UPDATE III: Charles has some interesting info on alleged connections between Paul and the supremacists. The "commander" of the neo-Nazis wrote a message on the group's website detailing the frequent meetings between Paul and his group at a Thai restaurant, and LGF has the link to Paul's FEC statements that show him picking up the tab there more than once.