Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Obama's Economic Stimulus Plan: Pump Out the Street Money Come Election Day

I bet there will be plenty of community organizers lining their pockets all over the country. Heck, I wouldn't put it past these people to actually pay people to vote.

Of course, The Anointed One campaigned against this kind of politics, but I guess all that baloney about Hopenchange goes flying out the window when it comes down to actually getting the vote out.
REST ASSURED, Philadelphia. Come Election Day, there will be street money.

According to U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, the local Democratic Party chairman, Sen. Barack Obama's general-election presidential campaign in Philadelphia will be run different from his primary operation, which relied more on volunteers than on Democratic ward leaders and did not provide street money on Election Day.

"We're not going to pay for votes or pay for turnout," Obama said before the Pennsylvania primary.

But Brady said that the campaign has promised street money to pump up turnout in November. And now that Obama is the official nominee, his campaign will team up with the city's Democratic ward leaders, who traditionally help get out votes.

An interesting and so-far-unanswered question is whether Obama will campaign more in Philadelphia than he did during the primary to stoke turnout in his strongest political base.

"They told me there are going to be resources here," Brady said. "That's what we do in Philadelphia; we pay people to work. They understand that."

Craig Schirmer, Pennsylvania director for the Obama campaign, would not talk about street money. But he did say that the campaign would be working closely with the local Democratic apparatus.

"As a campaign, we really are enjoying working with Congressman Brady and Mayor Nutter and Congressman Fattah," he said.

Ward politics in the city presents a unique set of challenges to the Obama campaign.

Paying money to ward leaders and other supporters represents exactly the kind of transactional politics Obama has run against. His primary campaigns were fueled on Internet-based fundraising and on grassroots organizing rather than on traditional political relationships.
Transactional politics? Seems to me there will be plenty of transactions of the greenback variety.
When he came to Pennsylvania, Obama ignored pleas to fund street operations in Philadelphia. He did spend record sums on TV advertising, but still lost the state to Hillary Clinton by nine percentage points. Some insiders said that he should have worked harder at driving out his base in Philadelphia, even if it meant handing out some Election Day cash.

"The apparatus was not energized," said Al Spivey, chief of staff to Councilman Curtis Jones and an expert in Philadelphia elections. "They can't just do this campaign with ads."

Now Obama needs a big win in the city to win Pennsylvania. Both Sen. John Kerry and Al Gore were carried to Pennsylvania victory on the backs of massive wins in Philadelphia - Kerry winning Philly with a margin of more than 400,000 votes, Gore with a margin of 350,000.

Brady estimates that Obama must win Philadelphia by 500,000 votes to ensure winning the state. Because Obama may not have the same support in central and western Pennsylvania as Kerry or Gore, Brady thinks a bigger Philly margin is key.

"I think we're going to need that because of the middle part of the state," said Brady. "McCain plays right in there."

Schirmer would not discuss vote margins.
Seems to be a long history of shakedown street money in Philly.

Mark it down: Look for some judge to order polls kept open late due to "large turnout" in Philadelphia.

Back in 1993, Ed Rollins reportedly provided walking around money to black minsters in New Jersey in order to suppress the black vote, though the Christie Whitman campaign denied it. Back then you'd have thought Rollins committed a capital crime. Obviously if Republicans do something like this, the media will be outraged.

If The Messiah does it, it's just part of doing business, I guess.

Update: Thanks to Sister Toldjah for the link!

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