Eric Dondero for Congress

The excellent Ron Paul is to face a challenge for his Congressional District - Texas CD 14. Despite Dr Paul's important contributions to American politics, it is one which I hope will succeed.

Ron Paul has been a Republican Congressman for most of the last 20 years. He took some time out of Congress to run for President as the Libertarian Party candidate in 1988. He is known by the (mostly) affectionate nickname of "Dr No", because he votes against almost everything. That's a useful role. Firstly, because most federal projects are misguided or not authorised by the Constitution, and secondly because no project is so good that it could not do with at least some opposition, if only to sharpen the thinking behind it. When there is only one vote cast against something in Congress, that vote is usually Ron Paul's.

Now he is running for President again - this time contesting the Republican nomination. He won't win, of course. He may just be using it to raise out of state funds for his Congressional run. More likely he wants to push his ideas. In the main, good luck to him with that. He will probably stay in the race right up to the convention - where he will have no more than a handful of delegates - rather than withdraw and endorse someone else. He may jump ship, and return to the Libertarians.

With all the good things I have said about Ron Paul, the headline here probably looks incongruous, but I mean it.

Dr Paul has fallen out with a great many of his supporters for his weak stance on national security. I think that he - just like the Libertarian Party in the 2004 election - is mistaken on this. Rudy Giuliani's slapdown of him in the South Carolina debate was only slightly unfair in the way it characterised his position. Dr Paul did not precisely say that he thought the US invited the 9/11 attacks, but when asked to deny that this was his view, he twice evaded the question. (See below).

So, if we could find a candidate who shared Ron Paul's general philosophy and integrity, but was firmer on national security, we would certainly have a very strong candidate indeed. Such a candidate has come forward, and his name is Eric Dondero.

Eric, like Ron Paul, is a former member of the Libertarian Party. In fact, he was an aide to Paul in the 1988 campaign. He later founded the Republican Liberty Caucus and went to work for Paul again. He was his campaign manager in 1996. He lives in the district, and knows it well. He only fell out with the Congressman recently, on the issue of national security.

If you want a Congressman who agrees with Ron Paul across a range of issues, but not on national security, Eric Dondero is the man.

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