Obama, Philly street money, and the criminals that make it work
This must be that new politics he keeps talking about
By Soren Dayton Posted in Barack Obama | Blogosphere | Electoral Corruption | Electoral Fraud | Pennsylvania | Pennsylvania Primary — Comments (13) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Last week, Barack Obama made some news. He wasn't going to play the walking around money game in Philadelphia. Here's what our own Moe Lane said:
Like Ed Morrissey, I'll grant this right off the bat: Senator Obama's taking the high ground on this one. While what he's refusing to do is actually legal, it's not particularly ethical*, either, and doing it would clash horribly with his perceived campaign style. Not doing it is a risk for him, so if it works out, he's going to reap considerable political benefits from it.
If it doesn't work out, he doesn't just lose PA. He loses PA filthy.
Our friend Barry was going to do the right thing.
Not any more. But, somehow, that wasn't an LA Times story or a big press release. Besides, "walking around money" and "canvassing money" are totally different. Read on.
The Philly Inquirer broke the story. Barry is playing the game:
Then [Carol Ann Campbell] let me in on a fact of political life. The Obama people are asking for names of people they can pay to canvass for the candidate. "Any way you look at it, they are paying people." So no street money, but a little canvassing money.
Mrs. Campbell is an icon of Philly Democratic life:
Carol Ann Campbell is a West Philadelphia ward leader. She's secretary of the Democratic City Committee, a former city councilwoman, a superdelegate. She's also a legacy, having grown up watching her father, Edgar C. Campbell, once called the Dean of Black Philadelphia Pols, inform the electorate at the polling place.
And she has an articulate defense of walking around money:
"I find this despicable," she said by phone the other day.
What, the lack of folding money?
No, the attention she and other Philadelphia politicians are getting for a time-honored local custom.
"We are a machine town and all this [coverage] puts an ominous thing over it, like it's something dirty." Walking-around money, she insisted, isn't dirty; it's about feeding the hungry.
I wonder if Mrs. Campbell will have a role in passing around the money or picking who gets it. I wonder why Obama associates himself with people like her:
In 2001 Campbell was charged by a Grand Jury with illegal collection and spending of campaign money, and failure to file campaign expense reports. Said the PA Attorney General: “Money just disappeared.” Campbell was convicted, fined and sentenced to a year’s probation.
The conviction apparently didn't sidetrack her, as the Philadelphia City Paper reported she raked in close to $500,000 in the 2003 and 2005 primary elections.
In April 2007, Campbell was sued by the Philadelphia Board of Ethics for illegally operating two PACs. She signed an agreement to refrain from such activity in the future.
And the PA Attorney General’s Office has confirmed Campbell is currently under investigation for election code violations. This was first reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer in May 2007.
Maybe some reporter should ask Obama what kind of change or new politics this is. And whether a criminal like Carol Ann Campbell is passing around "canvassing money" for him.
H/T Election Journal.