Saturday, April 29, 2006

Another Interesting Coincidence

I mentioned in my last post that one of Chuck's opponents seemed like the most likely source of the spurious craigslist advertisement. Isn't it interesting that the one spreading the news about Chuck's supposed hypocritical craigslist ad is a fervent Sandals supporter? I'm not pointing any fingers here, but isn't it also interesting that Alan Sandals is the only one of the three Democrats in the US Senate race who advertises on craigslist? The text reads:
field organizers wanted-$1000/month
Reply to:
Date: 2006-03-16, 10:57PM EST

Field organizers wanted for exciting US Senate campaign. Help get rid of Rick Santorum while getting paid!

Alan Sandals is seeking highly motivated, energetic activists who can multi-task and be team player.
Must have excellent communication skills and be able to speak in public.
Must provide a writing sample.
Must have own transportation.
All resumes must be received by 3/20.

Compensation is $1000/month paid biweekly.
  • Job location is philly and suburbs
  • Compensation: $1000/month paid biweekly
  • no -- Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
  • no -- Please, no phone calls about this job!
  • no -- Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.
  • yes -- Reposting this message elsewhere is OK.
Wow, Sandals has to pay his canvassers 1,000 bucks a month. Myself and the Chuck's 6,000 other volunteers support him for free. Isn't it amazing what an inspirational candidate can do?

Hat-tip to A Big Fat Slob.

Friday, April 28, 2006

More About Chuck and craigslist

(Sorry, this is a long one, but it is thorough and worth a read if you are curious about this topic)

An anonymous commenter to my last post provided the text of the bogus craigslist post, in which someone claiming to be from the Pennacchio campaign offers to pay canvassers $7/hr.

Senate Campaign Help Wanted
Reply to:
Date: 2006-04-21, 11:54PM EDT

Our grassroots campaign is looking for individuals who seek to stand up for the issues that they believe in. Canvassers needed now, before the May 16, 2006 Primary.

Apply to e-mail listed.
• Job location is PA
• Compensation: 7 dollars/hour
• This is a part-time job.
• This is at a non-profit organization.
• no -- Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
• no -- Please, no phone calls about this job!
• no -- Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.
• no -- Reposting this message elsewhere is NOT OK.

________________________________________, 4-27-06

Unfortunately, when typing in that url, a craigslist page is brought up stating that the post was removed:

Also, there is no cached version of this particular page that I can find anywhere. It is therefore unclear to me how much of the anonymous commenter's post was actually on craigslist. Not to be rude, but for all I know, the anonymous commenter could have written in the payment information by him/herself. When Googling "" two pages come up: the aforementioned page and one entitled "philadelphia nonprofit jobs classifieds and want ads - craigslist" The latter page is a printer friendly list of recent nonprofit jobs on Philadelphia's craigslist.
This list (continuously updated) makes no reference to Chuck Pennacchio's campaign. There are several posts offering payment to get Democrats elected, but none is affiliated with Chuck's campaign. Fortunately, there is a cached version of this page from Wednesday, April 26th, which does list the post in question:If you don't feel like enlarging the image above, the posting reads as follows:
Senate Campaign Help Wanted -- Fri Apr 21 -- (PA)

Our grassroots campaign is looking for individuals who seek to stand up for the issues that they believe in. Canvassers needed now, before the May 16, 2006 Primary. Apply to e-mail listed. no -- Please, no phone calls about this job! no -- Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests. no -- Reposting this message elsewhere is NOT OK.
(This is also available on This text is identical to that which the anonymous commenter submitted to The Cajun Jew, except it curiously omits any reference to payment. However, the printer friendly version is not always as complete as the original posting, so the original posting--for which I have no cached view--could have included the payment information. Until someone submits a cached version of the page in question, it will remain difficult to judge these allegations fairly.
There is one more way to test the authenticity of the bogus craigslist post. Does the writing style above match that of previous, legitimate craigslist postings for the Pennacchio campaign (i.e. were they written by the same person)? The Pennacchio campaign (or someone claiming to be from that group) posted a request for phonebanking volunteers on March 17th, 2006. This post remains available today
The text of this post reads (formatted for space):
Help get a progressive Democrat elected

Reply to:
Date: 2006-03-17, 4:55PM EST

The Pennacchio for Pennsylvania campaign is looking for volunteers to help with phonebanking. The primary election is May 16, and we need your help! We are going to be contacting Philadelphia area voters to find out who they support for the primaries, and providing them with information about the Pennacchio campaign if they're interested. Help get a progressive, pro-choice, pro-labor, pro-universal health care Democrat elected. Go here for more info:

this is in or around Phila

no -- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
This post is clearly written by a different person.
  1. The email addresses are different--then again I have three email addresses, so it could be from the same person.
  2. More importantly, take a look at the two writing styles. The bogus post--the one offering payment--refers to the "Primary." The volunteer post refers to the "primaries." I would expect that the same person to be consistent with capitalization and pluralization of the same word. I might have written both in the past, but I'm not a campaign official who would post this sort of thing on craigslist and presumably be consistent at it.
  3. The March 17th post includes "http://" in the link to Chuck's website, while the bogus post does not.
  4. The bogus post (as submitted by the commenter) includes a bullet point list, while the March 17th post does not.
Other differences probably exist, but this is a short list. Of greater interest it the fact that the Pennacchio campaign claims that they do not post on craigslist at all. According to LizM:
I remember seeing Alan [Sandals] offering $15.00 per page to collect petitions. But we don't post on Craig's List, we don't pay our staff, our CONTROL Chiefs, our circulators, our canvassers, our flyer squadron, our designers, our organizers, our rapid response, our bloggers, our photographers, our musicians, our officers, our surrogates, or anyone else who does the work of this campaign. We don't have to. Our petition drive was 100% volunteer, just like the rest of our efforts. Alan's, not so much. Alan's campaign is a conventional media campaign, largely self-funded, but on a much smaller scale than Casey's.
So if Pennacchio's campaign didn't write either of the craigslist posts, then who did? I can see three possibilities:
  1. The Pennacchio campaign wrote them. I don't see this as likely at all--see why here. They would have nothing to gain and much to lose by hypocritically doing so. Also, they are not that dumb.
  2. A foolish Pennacchio supporter(s) wrote them. Perhaps someone who likes Chuck, but is ignorant of his all volunteer campaign wrote these craigslist posts. A person or two with good intentions could have written them, but was asked to remove the one offering payment, because it was bogus. This seems like a bit of a reach to me.
  3. One of Pennacchio's opponents or a supporter thereof wrote them. Attacking your opponent's credibility--in this case Chuck's ethics--is a page right out of Karl Rove's playbook. Unfortunately, Rove's tactics are not limited to Republicans. In politics, tearing your opponent down is one of the best ways to make yourself look better. However, I remain confused about the authenticity of the volunteer phonebanking post.

Chuck on PCN

This afternoon, I watched Chuck Pennacchio on PCN's call-in show--free to view here. Chuck, as always, was wonderfully articulate and inspiring. A clear majority of callers voiced favorable opinions of Chuck. A couple Sandals supporters called in, but Chuck took care of their weak arguments in no time.

One item of interest was a caller claiming that Chuck posted a craigslist ad offering to pay canvassers $7/hour. Chuck told the caller that the ad was bogus and his campaign is composed of 100% volunteers. So, who is telling the truth here? Well, let's think about this critically folks.

  • First, Chuck is not an idiot. If your going to hypocritically pay your own canvassers, then you have to do it clandestinely. Someone running an all-volunteer campaign would have to pay loyal canvassers in secret. Publishing an advertisement negating one's own credibility would be completely ridiculous. Chuck is too credible and not stupid enough to do this.
  • Secondly, Chuck advocates a living wage of about $9/per hour. Why would he pay his canvassers anything less? I don't know about you, but if I were a paid canvasser I would be pretty pissed.
  • Thirdly, Chuck doesn't have enough money to waste on paid canvassers. Chuck uses his limited cash on hand to the fullest. Blowing through $7/hour on a bunch of paid canvassers would be pretty dumb when he already has dedicated volunteer canvassers, and he needs to spend his money on advertising. Paying for canvassers is just not fiscally smart for Chuck.
  • Finally, this seems like the work of someone opposed to Chuck's candidacy. I am accusing no one of malfeasance. However, it would benefit one of Pennacchio's opponents if Chuck's credibility was smeared. Karl Rove's tactics are not reserved for Republicans, and I wouldn't be surprised if one of Chuck's opponents were involved.
I don't know who posted this bogus advertisement, but I do know that Chuck is too smart to have done it.


Does this craigslist link even exist? I understand that it was taken down from the site--obviously because it was bogus--but there still should be a page image in google's cache. If it was posted recently, it should still exist. Does anyone have a link?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Sandals Deleting Criticism from His Blog?

I have heard reports that Alan Sandals is deleting critical comments from his blog. If this is the case, it truly signals his weakness as a candidate. I'm not talking about trolling here; rather, I mean legitimate arguments against his candidacy that are washed from his blog. When encountering a reasoned argument--or even a poorly worded one--the proper approach is to articulately refute it. If Sandals (or an agent of his) is actually erasing criticism from his blog, then he has lost my respect.

According to Charlie Crystle:
The Sandals blog has deleted my comments twice--safe, easy, non-confrontational comments that asked readers to watch the debates and decided for themselves. I'm stunned at the miscalculation.

That kind of thing might play in the top-down PA Democratic Party, but it doesn't play here. If you disagree with something, we don't remove it. That's all. Feel free to express your opinions. Our rights are being trampled all over the place. But you can speak freely here.

Sandals, I can only shake my head. What were you thinking?

Tom Ford wrote this comment in a post I wrote last month.

Also an interesting coincidence -- after the NOW PAC announced an endorsement, I submitted comments to the Sandals site which asked what changes he made to his position on parental consent for minors seeking abortion in order to secure the NOW PAC money, and if he would release the position questionnaire that the NOW PAC had him fill out.

Today, not only were my comments not posted, but my access to the Sandals site was removed.

What's going on here?