0
   

Barack Obama - in trouble for not paying "street money"?

 
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 02:45 pm
It does sound a bit like extortion. I read the articles to say that the street machine could "defect" to Clinton if cash is not forthcoming. Isn't that blackmail? The whole "you need to hire my boys" sounds like organized crime. I guess my final thought is that this is probably not a new topic for Obama. He's familiar with inner city organizing and politics, so he had to know this was coming. It sounds like he made a principled decision back when he was underdog Obama and is sticking with it.
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 03:15 pm
This subject is just another indication why Democrats do better in big inner cities. Its the Democrat machine to "get out the vote." Of course, "getting out the vote" has many aspects to it. Add to it fraudulant voter registration. Has anyone heard of ACORN?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 03:26 pm
okie wrote:
This subject is just another indication why Democrats do better in big inner cities. Its the Democrat machine to "get out the vote." Of course, "getting out the vote" has many aspects to it.

And yet, the Obama campaign has refused to take part in this practice, and still easily won the big inner cities.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 05:51 pm
okie wrote:
This subject is just another indication why Democrats do better in big inner cities. Its the Democrat machine to "get out the vote." Of course, "getting out the vote" has many aspects to it. Add to it fraudulant voter registration. Has anyone heard of ACORN?

Fraudulent voter registration has been studied over and over with no evidence of fraud.
0 Replies
 
blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 05:58 pm
ACORN? Yup. I worked for them once registering voters in Jersey City. Obama has done a much better job on that score than I ever did. He's a great grassroots organizer and that's why he's gotten this far.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 06:04 pm
engineer wrote:
okie wrote:
This subject is just another indication why Democrats do better in big inner cities. Its the Democrat machine to "get out the vote." Of course, "getting out the vote" has many aspects to it. Add to it fraudulant voter registration. Has anyone heard of ACORN?

Fraudulent voter registration has been studied over and over with no evidence of fraud.


Absolutely false. There have been plenty of people arrested, tried and convicted for voter registration fraud over the years.

http://www.komotv.com/news/8729967.html
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 05:34 am
fishin wrote:
engineer wrote:
okie wrote:
This subject is just another indication why Democrats do better in big inner cities. Its the Democrat machine to "get out the vote." Of course, "getting out the vote" has many aspects to it. Add to it fraudulant voter registration. Has anyone heard of ACORN?

Fraudulent voter registration has been studied over and over with no evidence of fraud.


Absolutely false. There have been plenty of people arrested, tried and convicted for voter registration fraud over the years.

http://www.komotv.com/news/8729967.html

Good point - fact checking is always good.

With regard to Okie's original point that registration fraud, too, is another explanation "why Democrats do better in big inner cities", I'll just point out, though, that in the case you cite here, "Investigators determined that no votes were cast from the fraudulent voter registrations." So it didnt yield either party any extra vote.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 05:52 am
nimh wrote:
fishin wrote:
engineer wrote:
okie wrote:
This subject is just another indication why Democrats do better in big inner cities. Its the Democrat machine to "get out the vote." Of course, "getting out the vote" has many aspects to it. Add to it fraudulant voter registration. Has anyone heard of ACORN?

Fraudulent voter registration has been studied over and over with no evidence of fraud.


Absolutely false. There have been plenty of people arrested, tried and convicted for voter registration fraud over the years.

http://www.komotv.com/news/8729967.html

Good point - fact checking is always good.

With regard to Okie's original point that registration fraud, too, is another explanation "why Democrats do better in big inner cities", I'll just point out, though, that in the case you cite here, "Investigators determined that no votes were cast from the fraudulent voter registrations." So it didnt yield either party any extra vote.


Okie's point is, IMO, without any firm foundation. No question there.

There isn't any doubt that vote (and voter) fraud does exist. There aren't any reliable ways to calculating to what extent though. There are ancedotal cases in pretty much every part of the country but stats that rely on things like actual convictions don't provide any insight into the full extent of the problem. Without that it would be foolish to claim that it benefits or harms either party. There isn't any real way of knowing. Statements one way or the other are based on perceptions, not facts.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 05:58 am
<nods>

I dont get the whole voter registration thing in the first place. In most countries I know, people are just required to register with the municipality where they live and when they move; and thats it. There's no additional or separate registration for voting. But thats a topic for a wholly other thread again...
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 06:04 am
<at least there's someone else who has these difficulties with understanding the voter registration thing>
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 06:16 am
nimh wrote:
<nods>

I dont get the whole voter registration thing in the first place. In most countries I know, people are just required to register with the municipality where they live and when they move; and thats it. There's no additional or separate registration for voting. But thats a topic for a wholly other thread again...



Walter Hinteler wrote:
<at least there's someone else who has these difficulties with understanding the voter registration thing>



Well, if you don't have any requirement to register with your town when you move... that sort of goes out the window. If we were required to register our presence when we moved it would just shift the whole issue to that registration instead of the voter registration and you'd still have the same complaints. How does a homeless person register where they live? By definition, they don't live in any fixed place... They're homless. *shrugs*
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 09:16 am
fishin wrote:
How does a homeless person register where they live? By definition, they don't live in any fixed place... They're homless. *shrugs*


According to our (federal as well as those of the states) constitutions, every German has the constitutional right to vote. And that includes homeless citzens (who have to register and thus prove that they live for a certain time [three months, I think] in a state [or community, with local elections]).
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 01:07 pm
fishin wrote:
Well, if you don't have any requirement to register with your town when you move... that sort of goes out the window.

Well yeah, thats the part I dont understand really - why you dont have one. It simplifies things a lot.

fishin wrote:
How does a homeless person register where they live? By definition, they don't live in any fixed place...

They can register at a homeless shelter...

fishin wrote:
If we were required to register our presence when we moved it would just shift the whole issue to that registration instead of the voter registration and you'd still have the same complaints.

You wouldnt have any of these problematic practices like you've just quoted about ACORN. In fact, since the same registration is used by the municipality, for example, to cash the municipal taxes, they usually find out pretty quickly if it's a fictional person that's registered.

There's always some issues, like with illegal subletters, but nothing like the kind of stuff you hear about from America every time there are elections. It's weird; I mean, you are the wealthiest, most powerful country in the world, and yet the elections process is such a mess...
0 Replies
 
teenyboone
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 01:30 pm
snood wrote:
Well, I'm just a brainwashed drone of the unthinking and lemming-like Obama worshipping out-of-touch elitist crowd so my opinion doesn't count.

But, I think its indicative of some of the same integrity that attracted me to him as a candidate.


I couldn't agree more! Cool
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 01:43 pm
Another news report digging into this subject, and coming up with a rather nuanced picture.

Mind you, after reading this report I feel that it conflated two things a bit. There's the street money thing itself - and the stuff in this article on that subject, I think, really confirms the view of not paying it being a brave and good thing to do for the Obama campaign.

Go straight to the second half for that - from "A mystifying move" onward.

Then there's the other half of the report, the first half; the stuff about the Obama camapaign's young and sometimes out-of-state local campaign coordinators versus the older local pros, and the contrasting campaigning styles they bring with them. How the Obama campaign comes off there will depend on your perspective. You can see it as a much-needed fresh wind through the old machine, or you can think, like me, that it comes off looking a bit - uhm, dare I say it - elitist (though that might say something about the article as well as about the campaign).

(Some parts I find straight out puzzling: what's wrong with yard signs and stickers? Seriously, why not have ample supplies of them, especially if there is no lack of money? That part's just weird, especially as it's hardly a national thing -- I remember from Soz's reports from Ohio that there were Obama yardsigns a plenty there.)

Quote:
Barack Obama's campaign finds a culture clash in Philadelphia

The city's entrenched, quirky political system isn't a natural fit for a campaign staff that talks grass-roots. And what's this about no cash payouts?

Los Angeles Times
April 20, 2008


http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2008-04/38068562.jpg
NEW KID IN TOWN: Max Stahl, 19, stands in the Obama campaign office he runs in the Germantown area of Philadelphia.


Hal Sawyer figures he knows just what is needed to deliver his precinct for Barack Obama in the gritty world of Philadelphia politics.

He has rigged up his Dodge Caravan with a loudspeaker so he can drive through his neighborhood in northwest Philadelphia urging people to come out to Obama events. He has reams of contacts as a local committeeman, part of the city's entrenched Democratic Party machine.

So when Sawyer walked into an Obama campaign office and asked for a yard sign, the response took him aback. They said they didn't have any.

"Then I tried to play the 'I'm a Democratic committeeman' card and 'I need materials for my voters and stuff for election day.' And their response was nothing, zero. 'You're a what?' "

The mutual puzzlement underscores the culture clash within the coalition working to elect Obama here. In the run-up to the Pennsylvania primary Tuesday, there is a deep divide over the best tactics to use in this city's quirky political culture.

On one side is the city's aging Democratic apparatus, a collection of pro-Obama ward leaders and committee people whose tools of persuasion are yard signs, campaign hats, buttons, stickers and "street money" -- cash handed out before the election to juice turnout.

On the other is the Obama campaign team, a network of young aides from out of state who eschew the traditional trappings of a campaign and think that elections turn on intangibles: grass-roots organization and an ever-expanding web of volunteers motivated by a deep belief in the candidate.

The Obama camp isn't bent on planting signs in every yard. Nor is it paying street money to party bosses in hopes that they'll get people to the polls. Instead, the campaign wants to build an efficient and more loyal apparatus by enlisting volunteers who have one agenda: an Obama victory.

'A brand new approach'

One hot spot in this uneasy alliance is a stretch of northwest Philadelphia that includes a section known as Germantown. The area spans two wards and is home to 29,000 registered Democratic voters -- about 4% of the citywide total. A diverse part of the city, the neighborhood includes grand 19th century Victorian houses and abandoned row homes.

Although Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton is ahead in statewide polls, this territory favors Obama. Both wards endorsed him. The only question on election day is how big the Obama vote will be. Will voters turn out in numbers that pump up his margin in Philadelphia, helping him overcome Clinton's advantage in older, blue-collar parts of the state?

The Obama campaign is betting that its get-out-the-vote operation, and the theory that underpins it, will prevail even in an older city like Philadelphia that still practices machine politics. But the political leadership here is watching with dismay and growing resentment.

"They have paid college kids coming to our community and trying to get us to volunteer -- for them, not with them," said Greg Paulmier, 49, the neighborhood ward leader for the last 14 years. "We have a whole organization here. In some respect they're trying to work with us, but they're working with us on their terms. This is a brand new approach that I'm not familiar with."

For the Obama campaign, the territory is under the control of a 19-year-old college student, Max Stahl.

A Massachusetts native taking a year off from school, Stahl is committed to the Obama view of field work. The ring tone on his cellphone is the John Lennon song "Power to the People." He sees his job as recruiting volunteers to do the hard and unglamorous work of getting Obama elected: knocking on doors in hopes of coaxing voters to the polls.

Standing outside the campaign office in Germantown, Stahl complained that Paulmier wasn't working hard enough for the candidate.

"Greg's not making calls quick enough to committee people," Stahl told Sawyer on a recent afternoon. "He said he made 'a few.' I'll take that to mean zero."

Stahl, whose curly black hair sticks out from under an Obama baseball cap, has little use for the yard signs that many Philadelphians covet. The real value in such swag is that it may entice people to volunteer.

One afternoon last week, a woman came into the Germantown office to pick up a couple of campaign buttons for her mother. By the time she left, she had agreed to volunteer.

A man walked in, motorcycle helmet in hand, looking for a sticker to put on his bike. Would he be willing to volunteer? (No, he said.)

Someone called the office and asked for a ticket to the Obama rally on Independence Mall. The volunteers in the office replied that there was a "preferred seating" ticket available in exchange for -- volunteering.

"If this were a yard sign primary, Hillary Clinton would have won South Carolina and Iowa big-time," said Stahl, dressed in a T-shirt, jeans and sweatshirt. "We're focused on different things. We're focused on talking to people and getting them out to vote."

Trouble is, Philadelphians may like Obama, but they also like what a well-funded campaign can give.

Speaking of the young Obama workers, Sawyer said: "To them, hats, yard signs and T-shirts are out of the Stone Age. They're about the Internet, cellphones and BlackBerrys. It's all digital, conceptual and theoretical. But people here want stuff. . . . They want T-shirts and hats and buttons."

He points to an Obama button on his shirt. "They want these buttons!"

A mystifying move

And they want money.

For decades, candidates have passed money to city ward bosses, who in turn give it out to the committee people and party loyalists under their jurisdiction. Called street money, it is used for any number of purposes. In its most noble form, it reimburses people for gas, coffee or other legitimate expenses rung up on election day.

But even the system's proponents acknowledge the cash payouts are occasionally abused.

"I bet in those neighborhoods where things are harder you'll find the street money doesn't get used the way it should be," said Dock Brown, 43, a Democratic Party committeeman who lives in Germantown. "It just gets pocketed. You'll find people working both campaigns trying to make as much money as they can."

The Obama campaign has told the local ward bosses they're not paying out street money this year, a position that has stirred criticism. At a time when Obama is pulling in tens of millions of dollars in campaign money every month, the city's ward bosses are mystified. They know he can afford it.

"Maybe in other parts of the country you can come in and you have people who are not really into politics and they're excited about working for a candidate, but Philadelphia is not one of those places," said Betty Townes, a committeewoman from Germantown.

"This is old-time politics here."

Breaking convention

Donna Reed Miller, a city councilwoman and a ward leader from northwest Philadelphia, said: "There are many people who, because of poverty rates here in Philadelphia and unemployment rates, see election day as a way to make a few extra dollars. And I don't see anything wrong with that. When people read in the paper that you've raised a lot of money, they're wondering why they can't be paid on election day."

Ward leaders supporting Clinton said they had been told that her campaign, which is not as well funded, would pay a select number of local foot soldiers a fee for working election day.

Obama supporters think he should at least do the same. But the campaign is digging in, on the theory that conventional rules of politics don't apply. In Obama, they think they have the rare sort of candidate who can bring people to the polls without financial inducements.

Jeremy Bird, the campaign's Pennsylvania field director, said the campaign faced a similar predicament in South Carolina, a state that Obama won easily.

"We always said that we're not going to do politics the way it's always been done because it's always been done that way," Bird said. "In South Carolina, the kind of politics that have always been done there -- give some money to ministers and to some people on election day -- to me is disempowering. Why not build a real grass-roots [model]?"

With its tradition of street money and election day spoils, Philadelphia is posing perhaps the toughest test for the Obama field strategy.

Sawyer tells of driving around in his Dodge one day, using the loudspeakers strapped to the roof to recruit volunteers. One person was interested but didn't seem to get that volunteers don't get paid.

"A guy yells at me: 'How much?' "
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 02:00 pm
Interesting, thanks.

The yard signs here did eventually run out but not for a while, and they were EVERYWHERE in Columbus. (Interestingly, a high percentage of them are still there. There were far fewer Hillary signs to start with but I think more of those have been taken down than Obama signs. I pass at least 10 Obama signs on the way to sozlet's school every day.)

But there was plenty of swag, in general. Sozlet was given a fistful of Obama stickers and handed them out and put them on this and that and we still have several left. We got several buttons, an "OHIO for Obama" sign (with an Obama "O" in Ohio), etc., etc.

So whatever is being described there (the swag vs. technology dichotomy) doesn't seem to accurately be about the nationwide campaign. Wasn't that mentioned in the "I was a ____ volunteer" articles, that the Obama local campaigns were given a lot more autonomy than Hillary's?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 05:53 pm
sozobe wrote:
Sozlet was given a fistful of Obama stickers and handed them out and put them on this and that and we still have several left. We got several buttons, an "OHIO for Obama" sign (with an Obama "O" in Ohio), etc., etc.

You gotta keep those! By the time she's a lady of respectable age, they'll be museum-worthy prize items...
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 06:38 pm
fishin wrote:

Okie's point is, IMO, without any firm foundation. No question there.


I think there is plenty of foundation. The subject of this thread is one.

Acorn is another solid example with documented fraud.

What about New Yorkers going to vote in Florida? They vote in New York, and then vote in Florida. This has been documented.

Numerous cases of illegals voting have been documented.

Just a few examples of numerous that could be cited. Fraud is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer, and vote fraud in big municipalities is I am sure more common. Only someone totally ignorant of what has been done and can be done would claim there is little or no fraud.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2008 07:53 am
I thought I heard on the radio that the DNC would be poviding the cash to get the Philadelphians motivated.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  0  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2008 09:01 am
McGentrix wrote:
I thought I heard on the radio that the DNC would be poviding the cash to get the Philadelphians motivated.
I thought I heard on the radio that McGentrix was on lifesupport and pronounced braindead.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Obama '08? - Discussion by sozobe
So....Will Biden Be VP? - Question by blueveinedthrobber
My view on Obama - Discussion by McGentrix
Obama/ Love Him or Hate Him, We've Got Him - Discussion by Phoenix32890
Obama fumbles at Faith Forum - Discussion by slkshock7
Expert: Obama is not the antichrist - Discussion by joefromchicago
Obama's State of the Union - Discussion by maxdancona
Demand a plan - Discussion by H2O MAN
 
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 07/16/2019 at 10:53:48