Friday, July 25, 2014

Democratic consultants: pay me five grand and I'll tell you how to win

I have long chastised local political goofball (it's like a curveball, except dumber) Marc Campos for this sort of "hire-me-and-I'll-tell-you" baloney, and it's not really surprising to see a carpetbagger like Jeremy Bird recognizing a huge business opportunity in Texas when he sees one.

Two top veterans of President Obama’s campaigns are asking political campaigners to pay $5,000 per person for the chance to learn their secrets and then work for five weeks in an unpaid campaign job somewhere in America.

Democratic operatives and progressive activists are questioning this training program launched by Obama campaign architects Mitch Stewart and Jeremy Bird. The $5,000 program promises access to the wizardry of Obama’s presidential bids — and a five-week, unpaid gig on an “important Democratic campaign.”

Run by Bird and Stewart’s consulting company, 270 Strategies, the new program’s emphasis on placing paying customers in essentially volunteer roles on Democratic campaigns is atypical in the campaign training industry, and some Democrats say it sets a dangerous precedent. The firm’s first-ever “270/360 Training Intensive” program is scheduled to begin in September.

The program’s website describes a six-week program, consisting of five days of “intensive” campaign training at 270’s Chicago HQ featuring Stewart and Bird and other “architects of the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaigns,” followed by five weeks of volunteer work on an “an important Democratic campaign in the United States.”

The cost for the five-day training with Bird and Stewart is $3,500. It costs $1,500 more if a student wants the five weeks of work experience. Critics say those costs are way above the market rate for campaign trainings.

“It’s deeply concerning that leaders in our party are launching a ‘pay to play’ system for would-be campaign staff,” said a Democratic campaign veteran. “As Democrats, we should be working together to eliminate workforce barriers — such as unpaid internships — rather starting programs that further discourage participation in electoral work.”

I saw a Tweet from Houston's uber-Dem-activist Erik Vidor about this -- seeming to offer his own experience for hire -- and breezed on past it, thinking he was just being, you know, entrepreneurial.  But in context he's miffed, and then I saw that Juanita Jean was pretty steamed.  When she goes off on a Democrat about something, you know it's gotta be bad.

Yeah, it’s Jeremy Bird doing his damnest to turn Democratic politics into WalMart.

He also owns Battleground Texas (where they fight each other) and Ready for Hillary (where they openly admit that they want you to collect emails and phone numbers for them so they can “sell” them to Hillary if she decides to run).

When you put politics in the hands of people who want to get rich off of free labor, you’re might as well try to make honey out of pig poop or go on and elect the Tea Party because that’s what they want, too.

Worthless as corn flake recipes.   I’ll tell you something  - I’d rather have a four card flush than these guys.

Progressive Texans don’t know whether to laugh our butts off or to be totally mortified.  Mostly, we’re pretty damn mortified.

Democrats have long forgotten that they're supposed to be the party of "socialism" -- in the sharing sense of the word -- and not pure, raw, brutal, naked-and-afraid capitalism.  They've abandoned it because, like the the denigration of the word liberal (which only goes back to the Reagan administration) it's become a perjorative that they shirk from.

Give conservatives credit for being masters at framing the discussion.

Besides that, you might have noticed -- if you carefully read the links above -- a certain amount of frustration that extends to the Wendy Davis campaign.  As Kuff likes to say, make of that what you will.  I think it's notable that we haven't gotten to August yet and the criticism is starting to go public.  Another reminder that when someone says 'nobody pays attention to elections until Labor Day', that person is full of shit.

As far as paying a political expert for anything, you should know how I feel about that.  As far as paying a political expert this kind of money for this kind of experience, my advice is to negotiate a train car of lubricant for the sellers to throw in.  It's not like anything is going to blow up in your face, it'll just feel better after you have completed your training.

P.T. Barnum at work here, people.  It's just business.  My only question: is this a facet of the booming Texas economy for which we need to thank Rick Perry?

Unlike the credit he gets for having killed and buried all those dinosaurs millions of years ago in places like the Permian Basin and Spindletop and elsewhere across our Great State, in this case I would have to answer 'yes'.


Gadfly said...

Maybe their unpaid five weeks of work could be helping Our Man Downtown and his co-defendants to beat the rap?

Gadfly said...

Wendy's going to apply this $5K for 5 weeks to rich Ill Eagles. I have the inside scoop that I'll write about.