Candidate's pirates bring home the booty

A pirate ship of sorts sailed to the Ashland Plaza on Sunday morning. Not often does a public display on the Plaza have Ashlanders scratching their heads.

Grassroots organizers in support of Republican/Libertarian Presidential Candidate Ron Paul were the culprits. They organized the display to contribute to the biggest single-day fundraiser in America's history, as Paul's campaign claimed.

"It's a celebration of the Boston Tea Party," said volunteer Ben Chew. "That was the kickoff of our first revolution. We're starting the second one."

Volunteer Glenn Crosse echoed these sentiments. "The first tea party sparked a revolution to overthrow the first King George. We're supporting a candidate who is against the second King George and all of his unconstitutional policies."

10 a.m. Sunday, the Paul organization has raised $2.6 million dollars.

"This is in concert with a celebration of events going on all around the world, as well as in France," said Chew.

Volunteer Wright Kiernan said, "Today, the grass roots movement has organized what is hoped to be a record fundraiser. On Nov. 5, one day of donations totaling $4.3 million dollars broke the record for any Republican fundraiser. In Vegas, they have 11-10 odds that we'll break $6 million by the end of the day."

The Plaza was just the first stop for the group, who parked their sea-worthy vessel in public locales between Ashland and Medford, attracting attention through megaphones, pamphlets and the theatrics of chucking boxes painted like tea cartoons with emblematic themes like "war" and "oil" written across them.

"I think it's a wake-up call to my generation to get involved again," said onlooker Rhonda Burgess.

Locally, the Pirate Ship event was organized by carpenter Stephen Morrow.

"There's a movement of those who think that the Constitution is still valid," said Morrow, as he hammered together the last of the display for the boat float. "The only candidate who is backing that up right now is Ron Paul. We're losing a lot of liberties right now; insert your own list.

"I've never done a demonstration in my life, but there's only so much you can take," said Morrow. "I'm waiting to see what amendments are going to go before I can arrested for something like this. I may not actually be the best guy to represent this. But I'm the guy with the pirate ship."

midnight the Ron Paul campaign had raised more than $6 million.

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