As we mentioned yesterday, Rob Black’s paying his “volunteers” $15 an hour.

This is not standard practice for local campaigns. Usually, if you’re running for office, you have people who believe in you to help out. We’ll leave it to the reader’s imagination why Black needs to pay people.

KPFA, however, decided to check it out. Here’s a sample:

REPORTER JOSHUA SMITH: On a busy street corner in District 6, campaigners are out in full force. Eric Wilson is wearing an I Black Back Button and standing next to a large poster endorsing the candidate. He says he got involved with the campaign through the Glide Church. But from a glance you would never guess his political stance.

ERIC WILSON: Allegedly Im going to be paid fifteen dollars an hour cash. I support Chris Daly, but I’m doing this for Rob Black for the cash. And its an oxymoron, but well, you gotta do what you gotta do to eat in this city.

You can listen to the broadcast at the KPFA website (it’s about 20 minutes in). After the break, we have the transcript.
Rob Black’s Paid “Volunteers” Take the Streets
(Transcribed from the KPFA Weekend News Saturday, November 4, 2006)

With just days to go before the election, Rob Black’s challenge to incumbent San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly is appearing to be ever more threatening. Black has the backing of Mayor Gavin Newsom and a strong business lobby behind him and polls indicate that Black may be leading Daly, whose resume reflects a policy that favors disadvantaged and low-income community members. The election may come down to how many homeless and people traditionally missed by polling come out to vote.
Joshua Smith has more:

REPORTER JOSHUA SMITH: As election day nears, one might think that Chris Daly would be trying to mobilize his base, but it might be that Rob Black’s campaign organizers our one step ahead of San Francisco’s most progressive Supervisor. Glide Memorial is a church in District 6 where many homeless and disadvantaged come to benefit from a wide variety of programs, a place you would expect to find a lot of support for Daly. According to the staff at Glide, Black’s people showed up Friday night to recruit people for Black’s campaign. Rob Black says he’s proud of these efforts and excited to employ less fortunate members of the community.

ROB BLACK: “So part of what we want to be able to do is help facilitate these sort of jobs and training as well so if they can get involved and help us in the campaign and they’re people who are supportive of what our issues are, we’re happy to be able to help them out.”

REPORTER JOSHUA SMITH: On a busy street corner in District 6, campaigners are out in full force. Eric Wilson is wearing an ‘I Black Back Button’ and standing next to a large poster endorsing the candidate. He says he got involved with the campaign through the Glide Church. But from a glance you would never guess his political stance.

ERIC WILSON: “Allegedly I’m going to be paid fifteen dollars an hour cash. I support Chris Daly, but I’m doing this for Rob Black for the cash. And it’s an oxymoron, but well, you gotta do what you gotta do to eat in this city.”

REPORTER JOSHUA SMITH: Wilson is not alone. Working with him is a man named Mark Jones. Jones also said he heard about the program through Glide. “Do you support Rob Black politically?”

MARK JONES: “You know actually, I haven’t really, I don’t even know either party. I haven’t, I’m not really voting. They’re just paying me to do this and I don’t have a conflict with our so-called opponent, that’s right across from us, because it’s not that serious to me.”

JOSHUA SMITH: Their so-called opponent, holding a Chris Daly for Supervisor sign, happened to be District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi.

ROSS MIRKARIMI: “I walked right by them, they didn’t know who I was.
That’s cool and they just started to ask me if I’d vote for Rob Black and I asked them questions do they know anything about him; they didn’t know a single thing about him. The Rob Black campaign clearly doesn’t have people, so they have to go out and pay people who don’t even know him. It’s extremely disingenuous, I think, but you know, democracy can be bought.”

JOSHUA SMITH: Neither of Rob Black’s street corner campaign reps were registered to vote. In the end, it may not be that Daly lacks the political support to win the election, it may just be that many of his biggest supporters, won’t show up on election night. For KPFA Weekend News, I’m Joshua Smith.

I think the story’s a little enthusiastic about Blck’s chances, but it’s amusing nonetheless.