Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Obama to Poney Up "Street Money" for Votes

During the Presidential Primaries, Barack Obama rebuffed Democratic operatives in Philadelphia who demanded "street money" in return for getting out the vote, saying "we're not going to pay for votes or pay for turnout".

An Obama aide said at the time that it had never been the campaign’s practice to make such payments. The field operation “hasn’t been about tapping long-standing political machinery,” the aide said. - Source LA Times

But apparently after losing the Pennsylvania primaries to Hillary Clinton by nine percentage points, Senator Obama has decided to change course and to dole out cash to ward leaders and other Democratic operatives who help get out the vote in November.

Excerpted from the Philadelphia Daily News:
US Rep. Bob Brady (Pa) said the Obama 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...

"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....

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....
Read the rest.

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