The articles included racial, anti-Semitic and anti-gay content. They claimed, for example, that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “seduced underage girls and boys’’; they ridiculed black activists by suggesting that New York be named “Zooville” or “Lazyopolis”; and they said the 1992 Los Angeles riots ended “when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.’’ The June 1990 edition of the Ron Paul Political Report included the statement: “Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.”
It is unclear precisely how much money Paul made from his newsletters, but during the years he was publishing them, he reduced his debts and substantially increased his net worth, according to his congressional and presidential disclosure reports.
In 1984, he reported debt of up to $765,000, most of which was gone by 1995, when he reported a net worth of up to $3.3 million. Last year, he reported a net worth of up to $5.2 million.
The newsletters bore his name in large print and featured articles on topics ranging from investment advice to political commentary. Frequently written in first person, they contained personalized notes, such as holiday greetings from Paul and his wife, Carol.
The Washington Post obtained dozens of copies of the newsletters from the Wisconsin Historical Society. Texas news outlets wrote about them in 1996, and the New Republic published extensive excerpts in 2008. The issue resurfaced late last year, when Paul’s presidential campaign picked up momentum. The extent of Paul’s involvement and his business strategy had not been known.
Paul’s publishing operation began through a nonprofit organization he created in 1976, the Foundation for Rational Economics and Education, which advocates for limited government and a free market. The group, founded the year Paul entered Congress, published Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, mostly a collection of his congressional speeches and commentaries.
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In 1984, just before losing a Senate bid and leaving Congress, Paul formed Ron Paul & Associates. He soon began publishing the Ron Paul Investment Letter, initially offering mostly economic and monetary information. Texas tax records listed Paul as president of the business; his wife as secretary; his daughter, Lori Paul Pyeatt, as treasurer; and a longtime Paul associate, Lew Rockwell, as vice president.