The day after the election I was perusing Twitter in a “hate to look” sort of way when I saw something about a mob scene or some such down at ODP. Complete with Twitpics of lots of people in front of the old ODP offices (now Franklin County Dems). The right was losing their minds claiming ODP wasn’t paying canvassers and a riot was about to break out.
Of course our buddy DJWorcestershire was all over the case tweeting this and that about how the GOP didn’t pay canvassers and telling the media to get down there for this BIG story. You’ll note Jon Keeling re-branded himself and is now in route back to his government – read taxpayer funded – job back in DC after having done paid carpetblogging for the Kasich campaign. Yes. We’re allowed to do paid blogging but not paid canvassing apparently.
Also on the case was ORP Political Director Jonathan Gormley, with no less than 7 tweets within minutes of each other – most with pictures of people outside the office.
So these guys you can expect to put this out there without finding out what was really going on. Sure, it’s the rhetorical equivalent of kicking the person you just knocked out in the head but we expect this level of class from this group.
What I wouldn’t expect is an actual media outlet reporting on something without finding out what the real story was with a simple phone call. The PD as late as this morning gave a “jeer” to the ODP:
JEERS . . . to the Ohio Democratic Party for failing to pay hundreds of campaign workers in a timely manner. Workers who’d expected to get paid after polls closed Tuesday had to wait hours Wednesday at an East Side storefront.
ODP was pulling a fast one on canvassers by not paying them. Horribly embarrassing, right? Not so much.
The real story that the PD or anyone else could have gotten if they had placed a couple simple phone calls is that the ODP hired a minority owned company to coordinate and pay GOTV canvassers for the election. Many of the canvassers were homeless and jobless so every penny is obviously important to them. You could indeed argue that paying these folks to do mundane and thankless campaign work was a win-win situation if you weren’t blinded by partisanship. I supposed you could also make that case – as Keeling and others did – that the GOP didn’t have to pay volunteers to canvass and phone bank. Chalk it up to enthusiasm gap or whatever. Fair point, I guess.
Today the company released a statement clearing up the confusion and deflecting the unwarranted attacks by those on the right:
Software Glitch Delayed Proper Payments to Democratic Canvassers
Company Vows to Pay All Workers Quickly and Completely
The Lancer Group, a company hired to help get Democratic voters to the polls on Tuesday, is committed to paying all canvassers who are owed money after a software glitch delayed payments to some workers.
The Washington, D.C.-based firm hired about 2200 Ohioans, and a small percentage of them were not paid at all or received less than they were owed, said Harold Gist, a co-owner of the firm. Because of difficulty locating some workers, the company has set up a toll-free number for workers affected by the problem.
To reach the payroll hot line: please call 1-800-319-9621
“We are committed to making sure that everyone is paid quickly and completely,’’ Mr. Gist said. “We sincerely apologize to anyone who has been inconvenienced by the software glitch and apologize to the Ohio Democratic Party for any embarrassment this has caused them.”
So hire a minority owned company to do GOTV work and get attacked in the process due to a simple payroll/bank glitch. Nice, right?
[Note: The payroll hotline was set up because, like I said, many of the temporary workers were homeless and are hard to reach]
Update: Some 4 hours later the PD’s Naymik does post the PR sent out by The Lancer Group but I’m sure they won’t correct the jeer. Nice reactive reporting guys!
Update2: Based on a comment the reference to “locally owned company” was removed. I haven’t verified it, but the change doesn’t alter the substance of the post.