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Students Campaign For Ron Paul

This story was written by Brenna Hawley, University Daily Kansan

Adam Wood walked from door to door, each slamming in his face. He was in a far away state, yet every person in the Botany Woods suburb of South Carolina seemed to hate him. The police were called, and an officer motioned for Wood, Lawrence junior, to come have a chat.

The police officer told Wood he needed a solicitor's license to canvass for Ron Paul, and Wood politely denied the statement. The police officer thought carefully then gave his reply.

"Well, you be careful," he said. "I wouldn't want you to get shot."

Wood was campaigning for Republican presidential candidate Paul in South Carolina over winter break, and continued to canvass despite saying a gun was pulled on another campaigner in Iowa. Wood was one of four KU students who campaigned in Iowa the last week of December, and one of two to later continue on to South Carolina in early January. These students were involved in a presidential campaign that is largely grassroots.

Wood said the days in Iowa were long. He and the other students campaigning stayed in a cabin in the rural part of the state. They would leave by 8 a.m., campaign door to door all day, take a quick break for dinner and make phone calls for Paul at night.

Wood said the trip, which he and the other students paid for themselves, was worth the money and time because he thought Ron Paul was one of the only honest men left in politics who could make changes in the country. He said there were problems with foreign policy, the economy and domestic issues, and Ron Paul was the only man who could fix them.

"If we don't fix these problems now, we won't have much time to fix them," Wood said.

Matt Hurd, Olathe senior, who also campaigned for Paul in Iowa, said he liked Paul's economic plan. Paul has spoken out against the Federal Reserve, and also voted against the Iraq War and Patriot Act as a Texas representative. Hurd said his message has been consistent throughout the campaign and for the last 20 years.

"People have been able to see his message," Hurd said. "Even if he doesn't win, he's gotten the issues out there."

Paul's campaign wouldn't have been possible without the Internet, Hurd said.

Will Stewart, Whittier, Calif., senior and another campaigner for Paul in Iowa, said another reason the grassroots campaign was so large was because the media had not covered Paul. He said Paul's message appealed to both young and old.

"People who have never seen the point of voting are coming out in droves," Stewart said.

Stewart said many Paul supporters believe he's the only candidate who follows the Constitution today and votes in the House of Representatives accordingly.

Colin Barnes, Overland Park sophomore, who also campaigned for Paul in Iowa, said Paul is one of the only candidates standing up for the civil liberties promised in the Constitution.

Barnes continued on to the South Carolina primary after returning home from Iowa. Wood said that he and Barnes were disappointed with Paul's poor showing in Iowa, where he received 10 percent of the Republican vote. After driving home from Iowa, the two slept for part of the day and then drove the 20 hours to South Carolina, where they spent another ten days campaigning.

Jeff Frazee, the national youth coordinator for Paul's campaign, said students came to Iowa from all across the country to campaign for Paul. He said that during a two-week period in Iowa before the state's primaries, more than 300 students went door to door and made phone calls for Ron Paul. Wood said some came from other countries, including New Zealand and Canada.

Frazee said at least 40 college students campaigned for Ron Paul in South Carolina. He said that 20 percent of the people in the 18-30 age voting bracket voted for Ron Paul.

© 2008 University Daily Kansan via U-WIRE

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