Richard Dunham of the Houston Chronicle picks up on Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul’s latest band of unorthodox supporters: the working girls of Nevada’s Moonlite Bunny Ranch.

Not only is the state’s best-known legal brothel (subject of the HBO TV show “Cathouse”) backing Paul—whose hands-off libertarian views are in alignment with their hands-on entrepeneurship—they’re offering customers clients a two-for-one special if you say “I’m pimpin’ for Paul!” upon arrival. 

It’s a story that apparently got lost in the New Year’s shuffle—the Daily Caller had it January 2—until CNN’s The Situation Room did this report:

As both Dunham and the Daily Caller noted, Moonlite Bunny Ranch owner Dennis Hof also endorsed Paul in 2008. (CNN’s Elizabeth Cohen reports that, according to Hof, the Paul campaign has not accepted the Moonlite Bunny Ranch’s donations, but suggested they might find a sympathetic PAC instead.)  

Hof has also said that many of the women at the Bunny Ranch supported President Obama in 2008, but are disillusioned that he signed a bill which makes it possible for horse slaughter facilities to reopen in the United States (never mind that this was a small provision in a major agricultural appropriations omnibus).

“We’re animal lovers, and [my dog] Gucci is also supporting Ron Paul because he feels like if Obama will let us eat the horses, he could be next,” worker Cami Parker explained in a KRNV TV segment, as recapped by Raw Story.

Of course, Ron Paul’s free-market philosophy would draw absolutely no distinction between a whorehouse or a slaughterhouse, and in fact, the new provision still leaves it up to each individual state to ban or legalize the practice, just as Paul would want it.

But the longtime Lake Jackson Republican Congressman does have one trait that no other candidate can match—he’s also an OB-GYN physician, and these are women who are legally required to get a weekly cervical exam when working. 

“The women are also impressed he’s a doctor,” KRNV reported, quoting one of the “workers,” Ara Rose, as saying Paul “knows what women’s wants and women’s needs are. And when it comes to a man that’s going to be in the office, you want a man that knows his way around a woman.”

Some of Paul’s supporters weren’t all too thrilled with the publicity: “Another Attempt by CNN to try and smear Ron Pauls name by finding supporters that work in a controversial industry,” wrote YouTube user “theGreatConspiracy,” who nevertheless uploaded the clip (which is no longer available at CNN’s own site).

“Hof actually endorsed Paul just before the Iowa caucus,” writes Salt Lake City Examiner‘s Jenn Morrill, “but CNN decided not to cover the story until a week before the South Carolina primary (where Paul has quickly risen in the polls), a state heavily dominated by evangelicals, who are likely to be disturbed by the story at first glance.”

Morrill goes on to explain that Paul is personally opposed to legalized prostitution, and would vote against it were he a Nevada state legislator, but that he doesn’t see it as an issue for the federal government or president.