Brilliant Strategist Behind Ron Paul’s Online Tactics Died Broke And Uninsured, Friends Couldn’t Raise Enough Donations

Ron Paul with Kent Snyder, the brains behind the "money bomb" campaign tactic and other online strategies

Gawker’s Seth Abramovitch has a piece revisiting the heartbreaking story of Kent Snyder, the brains behind Ron Paul’s innovative online strategy during the 2008 presidential campaign, in light of the congressman’s recent comments endorsing the position that people should have the “freedom” to suffer and die from lack of health insurance. During the CNN debate earlier this week, Wolf Blitzer asked Paul if he would let an uninsured man die in a coma or would he advocate some government role in saving his life. After saying that he would let the uninsured man suffer the consequences of not having health insurance, Paul hedged slightly and said churches and charity would take care of him most likely.

But as Abramovitch notes, Snyder, a volunteer strategist who eventually became a campaign manager for Paul’s presidential bid, fell ill of pneumonia during the campaign. Snyder did not have health insurance, like the hypothetical example given by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, and stacked up $400,000 in medical bills. On June 26, 2008, exactly two weeks after Paul ended his bid for the presidency, Synder passed away due to complications from his pneumonia. Synder’s family could not pay the bills left by Snyder, so friends set up an online campaign to raise the money for Synder’s procedures.

Snyder experienced Paul’s world of free market health care, a peculiar system that distinguishes the United States as the only Western country that does not provide basic care to its citizens. A look back at the charity effort launched to save Snyder’s life reveals a grim failure. Despite Paul’s insistence that charity is the appropriate response to America’s uninsured crisis, Snyder’s friends raised $34,870.53, far short of the $400,000 necessary to pay off his bills. View a screen shot below (click to enlarge):

Politically correct news outlets covering health policy issues refuse to note that the far right and corporate lobbying effort to repeal health reform would restore America’s system where 45,000 Americans die every year because of lack of health coverage. Although CNN scorned politicians in previous years for suggesting that health reform saves lives, Blitzer’s question to Paul has actually forced a discussion of how politics affects every day lives, interrupting an otherwise vapid discussion of horse race presidential reporting.

Snyder played a leading hand in developing the “Tea Party” and “money bomb” fundraising efforts for the Paul campaign, a strategy that helped the candidate break small donor fundraising records. “It was Kent more than anyone else who encouraged and pushed Ron to run for president,” said Jesse Benton, a Paul spokesman in a Wall Street Journal piece about Snyder’s life.