LLR Pages

Monday, December 3, 2007

Ron Paul Supporters Taking the Streets of Manchester, New Hampshire

Ron Paul supporters are out on the streets of Manchester, New Hampshire, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

Here's an excerpt of the piece:

Adroit online, Ron Paul backers hit the streets of N.H.
'Paulites' see the first primary state as fertile ground for their candidate's iconoclastic political views.
By Ari Pinkus | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Manchester, N.H.

They're coming from Miami and Seattle, from the "big sky" state of Montana, and from close to home here in New Hampshire. They're coming to help political iconoclast Ron Paul get elected president – many as campaign first-timers who, characteristically independent, may not even feel obliged to tell the Paul camp what exactly they're planning to do on the candidate's behalf.

The Paulites' push for old-style, on-the-ground politicking in New Hampshire, coming just five weeks before the primary, marks a change for a support network that has always relied on websites and online fundraising. They're here now because they see the Granite State – with its reputation as antitax, anti-big government, and pro-individual freedom – as especially fertile ground for a libertarian-leaning Republican candidate like Mr. Paul.

"New Hampshire is really important because it's the first primary and it sends a message to other states about who's viable and who the leading candidates are. There was all this Internet enthusiasm, but we didn't have enough boots on the ground," says Vijay Boyapati, a Google engineer who recently left the Seattle firm to work on Paul's campaign.

Mr. Boyapati arrived Saturday in Manchester, N.H., to head up a project of his own invention: Operation Live Free or Die, named after the state motto. His aim is to bring 1,000 volunteers to New Hampshire to canvass for Paul. He calculates that if each volunteer, working seven to eight hours a day, meets 100 people daily, then the project can reach out personally to almost all 100,000 residents of Manchester before the Jan. 8 primary.

Then there's Linda Lagana of Merrimack, N.H. Using her graphic-design talent and a small print shop, she has been creating Paul-for-president ads and fliers for months on the cheap. Her materials have ended up in the hands of voters across the state – and are even preferred to official campaign literature. Her highest-profile project so far: designing an advertisement published in USA Today the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

Trevor Lyman, an online music promoter, already helped raise $4.2 million for Paul in a one-day Internet event Nov. 5. Two weeks ago he moved from Miami to Manchester, where he lives in a "frat house" with seven bedrooms, he says. He spends his days and nights working on other "money bomb" campaigns for the GOP candidate. At 37, Mr. Lyman plans to cast his first vote ever – for Paul on Jan. 8.