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.

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  • Anorganizer

    The Lancer Group is from Texas, and was referred to the ODP by the DNC and this “computer glitch” doesn’t account for the fact that they were trying to pay people with out of state checks to individuals who do not use traditional banks and normally lack proper I.D. which further compounded the issue.

  • Hard to judge the veracity of an anonymous commenter but even if true I’m not sure there’s a point to it. There was a problem with getting people paid and it’s being addressed. It’s certainly not a “big story”. It’s something that wouldn’t even be reported normally other than to attempt to discredit a political opponent for partisan gain – AFTER having nearly wiped them off the map in the state.

    Pretty classless move and one we won’t forget.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t really care about this at all.

    However, I would like to thank all the liberal and union PACs for spending $8 million on class warfare ads against Kasich in the final weekend of the governor’s race. $8 million down the rat hole and you still lost. Classic!

    Gas for the Strickland/Brown bus – $1,000

    Democrat GOTV efforts – $20,000

    Anti-Kasich class warfare ads – $8,000,000

    Losing anyway ………. priceless

  • Yes, because they’re the only ones who spent tons of money on this race. How is living in oblivion anyway? Or is that in the darke…

  • Anastasjoy

    Not one penny was spent on “class warfare” ads, beecause the war was over years ago and the rich annihilated all the rest of us.

  • Anastasjoy

    You’re right, Eric, and one of the thins lots of us won’t forget it the behavior of the Plainly Republican and its biases coverage. It owns John Kasich and anything he does. I doubt it had much impact on the race but its atrocious endorsement of Kasich is costing it subscriptions by the day, and I guarantee it will continue to hurt the paper’s bottom line.

  • Anonymous

    $8 million spent in the final weekend on attack ads against kasich, all of which referenced kasich getting rich on wall street while some segment of the public got screwed. the $8 million was spent by a PAC formed just a few days before it spent all the money. so who knows where this money came from. unions? george soros? whoever it was is rich enough to drop $8 million on ads while saying john kasich is too rich to be trusted. interesting contradiction.

  • Again, Republicans don’t dump tons of money in races via PACs and non-profits. Nope. Never. Do you even have a point? You’re starting to become one hell of an insufferable troll.

  • Anonymous

    troll! well i never …

    i can see i haven’t brought you around to my way of thinking yet, so i will re-double my efforts.

  • I wouldn’t re-double. Your singular efforts are already wearing thin.

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  • Mdigits2000

    i worked in pompano beach florida doing for ron klein and the fdp canvassing and they have not paid me either for to checks the keep giving me the run around saying the mailed it but i waited 4 weeks

  • Guest

    This article is nonsense. I helped to run one of the offices that was authorized to hire 105 people to canvass in Cleveland. We were explicitly instructed to tell the people we hired that those who canvassed Saturday and Sunday would be paid Sunday night at 8 pm, and those who canvassed Monday and Tuesday would be paid on Tuesday at 8 pm. Sunday came and went, and the plan changed so that everyone would be paid on Tuesday. On Tuesday, at 8:20, I received a call informing me that no one would be paid that night. I had the pleasure of relaying this information to the 105 people amassed in the office to receive their pay. Everyone was instructed to show up on the East Side at 9 am to receive their checks. By 8:30 there was a line of some 50-75 people. The checks didn’t even arrive until 11:30 am, and they were blank. Apparently no one at Lancer or the ODP had done anything with the meticulous records we kept, and had just handed a stack of checks over to be delivered two and a half hours late. By 12:30, the checks ran out. For those who couldn’t afford to wait 6 hours in line to receive money they had been promised payment of days earlier, a telephone hotline was set up, which no one knew about. I only found out about this number several days later from an angry canvasser who had a bad experience with whomever was on the other end of the line. As the only person willing to give out my phone number, I have received calls from dozens of angry canvassers, some of whom are demanding payment from me personally based on the fact that the hotline is telling people it will take up to 2 weeks to process payment, and they cannot get ahold of anyone else. This morning, I received a call from a canvasser informing me that the voicemail box at the hotline was full. I called this afternoon and the line is disconnected. Nobody from the Party has called me or will answer the phone. Nobody has attempted to take any responsibility whatsoever. There is no number I can call at Lancer after I get off the phone with angry unpaid canvassers. All told, the buck doesn’t stop anywhere with this operation, except perhaps with me, and I can’t do anything about anything. I have worked numerous campaigns, and I know they are prone to problems and exploitation of temporary labor, but I have never been so disgusted, disappointed, and publicly humiliated in my life as I have been this election cycle by the ODP and whoever made these awful decisions. I will certainly never work for a Democratic candidate again, and it will probably take some years before I can vote for one either.

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  • were you working out of ohio or texas?

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