A new report from the Washington Post suggests Ron Paul had far more involvement with his newsletter operations than he has previously admitted.

The Post‘s Jerry Markon and Alice Crites tracked down some of Paul’s former staffers, who said he was heavily involved with putting out the newsletters, a number which contained racist passages:

[P]eople close to Paul’s operations said he was deeply involved in the company that produced the newsletters, Ron Paul & Associates, and closely monitored its operations, signing off on articles and speaking to staff members virtually every day.

“It was his newsletter, and it was under his name, so he always got to see the final product. . . . He would proof it,’’ his former secretary, Renae Hathway, told the Post.

While Paul’s colleagues denied he holds racist views, one former employee claimed that Paul and his associates decided to include the inflammatory language as calculated move to push up sales. “It was playing on a growing racial tension, economic tension, fear of government,” the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Post. “I’m not saying Ron believed this stuff. It was good copy. Ron Paul is a shrewd businessman.’’

Paul’s campaign and the former publisher of the newsletters denied those claims, holding that Paul was too busy to be so involved. Paul “abhors it, rejects it and has taken responsibility for it as he should have better policed the work being done under his masthead,” campaign spokesman Jesse Benton told the Post.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, blogging at the Atlantic, was disgusted with the thought that Paul would peddle racism for cash:

If you believe that a character who would conspire to profit off of white supremacy, anti-gay bigotry, and anti-Semitism is the best vehicle for convincing the country to end the drug war, to end our romance with interventionism, to encourage serious scrutiny of state violence, at every level, then you should be honest enough to defend that proposition. 

At Talking Points Memo, Evan McMorris-Santoro noted that this cynical reason for including the inflammatory language—to drum up more readership and cash—might just be the thing that turns some of Paul’s supporters against him:

Paul has made his name on being the non-politician and the honest man in the race. The Post and Reason’s reporting on the cynicism behind his newsletters challenges that reputation.

Adam Martin of the Atlantic Wire remarked that with Paul dipping in the polls, the report is simply too late:

The Washington Post finally landed the scoop everybody wanted a month ago.