Friday, September 10, 2010

Astroturf at the Gate

What does an elected official do if she doesn't have enthusiastic constituents to volunteer for her campaign? Just hire a few strangers through the internet!

As The Right Side of Austin reported, and the Austin American Statesman's Politifact has confirmed, the Diana Maldonado campaign has been advertising on Craigslist for paid canvassers.

When volunteers canvass, they are given names, addresses, and other information about residents of the district, and are instructed to visit homes in person. The Statesman article does not mention whether or not the Maldonado campaign conducts background checks, and one has to wonder about the caliber of folks who might be knocking on doors this weekend to lobby for the beleaguered incumbent. Hopefully these internet hires won't behave like the infamous 'paid volunteers' of ACORN.

The Republican challenger, Larry Gonzales, has been canvassing the district with known volunteers from within the district. The momentum for his campaign is growing, and if someone knocks on your door on Larry's behalf, it's likely to be one of your neighbors.

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