By Michael Levenson, Globe Staff
Ron Paul supporters marched today through the snow from the State House to Faneuil Hall, then smashed the one-day fund-raising record for a Republican presidential candidate.
As of 7 p.m., the supporters said they had raked in $4.3 million, surpassing the record $4.2 million total they raised on Nov. 5.
Most of the 33,000 donations were made over the Internet in what the supporters called a "money bomb" timed to coincide with the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. The last fund-raising blitz, which took in 40,000 donations, was timed to coincide with Guy Fawkes Day, which commemorates a British mercenary who tried unsuccessfully to kill King James I on Nov. 5, 1605.
"This basically shows that Ron Paul is a viable candidate," said Rachael McIntosh, a spokeswoman for what was dubbed Boston TeaParty07. "People are so engaged in this campaign because it’s coming from the grass-roots."
The supporters of the Texas congressman pick anniversaries of such historical events to highlight what they call the "Ron Paul Revolution."
Paul has stood out from the Republican field with his libertarian views and his opposition to the Iraq war. While he has remained in the single digits in polls nationally and in New Hampshire and Iowa, the fund-raising success has separated him from other lower-polling candidates and has enabled him to air TV ads in New Hampshire.
His supporters are unusually enthusiastic. Today, one waved a yellow "Don't Tread on Me" flag on Beacon Street in front of the State House while a dozen others clutched "Ron Paul" placards in the sleet.
Linda Poole, 53, a certified public accountant, wore a Santa hat with a Ron Paul sticker on the fur brim. She came to the rally from her home in Macon, Ga., she said.
"I've been supporting Ron Paul since May and following him since 2005," Poole said. If the "founding fathers" were alive today, she said, "Ron Paul is the only person they would vote for."
McIntosh said 400 supporters later marched to Faneuil Hall, where about 700 people listened to speeches by Rand Paul, the candidate's son, Carla Howell, a libertarian who ran unsuccessfully for Massachusetts governor in 2002, and others.
Supporters also re-enacted the dumping of tea in Boston Harbor, by tossing banners that read "tyranny" and "no taxation without representation" into boxes that were placed in front of an image of the harbor.
"They're trying to get the attention of the mainstream media, almost like a child that is acting up, trying go get the attention of their parent," McIntosh said.
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