Supporters of presidential candidate Ron Paul, the libertarian-leaning Congressman from Texas who recently finished second in the Nevada Republican caucuses, used the occasion of yesterday's Martin Luther King Jr. holiday for another fundraising extravaganza, collecting $1.85 million for the campaign. Last month Paul's supporters raised more than $6 million in a 24-hour period to set a new one-day fundraising record.

There's more than a little irony in the campaign's latest accomplishment, given that Paul voted against the creation of the King holiday. And then there are those unflattering remarks made about the slain civil rights leader in past issues of various Paul newsletters, as revealed by reporter James Kirchick in his recent story about Paul for The New Republic magazine:

* King was "a world-class adulterer" who "seduced underage girls and boys" and "replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration," according to the November 1990 issue of Paul's Political Report.

* King was a "world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours" and a "flagrant plagiarist with a phony doctorate," according to the January 1991 edition of Political Report.

* A February 1991 Paul newsletter criticizes "The X-Rated Martin Luther King."

Paul has blamed those statements on his associates, saying he has "always agreed with Martin Luther King, Jr. that we should only be concerned with the content of a person's character, not the color of their skin." He has also said that he takes "moral responsibility" for not paying closer attention to what went out under his name.

But those remarks serve to spotlight Paul's alliances with characters such as Lew Rockwell, who served as his congressional chief of staff from 1978 to 1982 and often ghostwrote the politician's newsletters. As Kirchick reports, Rockwell founded the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Auburn, Ala. that has published books by Paul and for which the congressman has taught seminars. The Institute has a history of romanticizing the Confederacy; for example, faculty member Thomas E. Woods Jr. is among the founders of the pro-secessionist League of the South and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, a pro-Confederate work published in 2004.

Among those who provided blurbs for Woods' book? None other than Paul, who says the work "heroically rescues real history from the politically correct memory hole."