Ron Paul's boogeyman may have been hiding in a Kansas University library all these years.
An article in the national magazine The New Republic is citing documents from Kansas University's Spencer Research Library that suggest the Texas Congressman and GOP presidential candidate has supported bigoted causes against blacks, Jews and gays.
In compiling his article - "Angry White Man: The bigoted past of Ron Paul" - author James Kirchick believes he found his smoking gun in the form of old Ron Paul newsletters that had been archived by the Spencer Research Library.
"What they reveal are decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews and gays," Kirchick wrote of the newsletters that he found at Spencer and at the Wisconsin Historical Society.
"I think Kirchick was a bit surprised to find them here," said Rebecca Schulte, the university archivist for KU.
He shouldn't have been. The newsletters are part of the Wilcox Collection of Contemporary Political Movements, a collection of nearly 10,000 books, and more than 100,000 fliers, brochures, bumper stickers and other items related to "fringe" political movements or candidates.
"I would definitely say it is one of the largest and most-used collections of its kind in the entire country," said Rebecca Smith, director of public relations for KU Libraries. "Just the sheer volume alone probably makes it one of a kind."
Schulte, who also serves as curator for the collection, said Kirchick found the newsletters by using the library's online catalog. She said that Spencer had been collecting materials on Paul since the 1980s and increased the collection when Paul ran for president under the Libertarian Party banner in 1988.
"The collection isn't about the mainstream political groups," Schulte said. "We're out to capture the left and the right wing. We're out to capture those people on the fringes of politics."
That has meant staff members at Spencer have worked hard to get the library on the mailing lists of a multitude of political organizations. The pamphlets, direct mailings and other pieces of information are what librarians are looking to add to the collection.
"We're talking about pieces of information that people a lot of times receive and then throw away," Schulte said. "That's what we're trying to save."
The collection - which includes holdings from the 1940s to the present day - was established in 1965 when the university purchased KU student Laird Wilcox's collection of political materials.
Wilcox, an Olathe resident, continues to contribute "boxes of information" to the collection on a regular basis. Schulte also seeks to purchase items from other collectors.
As for the allegations made against Paul, the Texas Congressman said the writings do not represent his views. He said that although the articles went out as part of a newsletter with his name on it, he said he was not the author of the articles.
"I have never uttered such words and denounce such small-minded thoughts," Paul said in a written response on his Web site.
Paul said that the newsletters were put out under his name and that he did not edit the publications.
"For over a decade, I have publicly taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name," he said in the statement.