As soon as reasonable people began to object about busing the homeless to the Election Commissioner’s office and paying them to (wink-wink) work for the campaign, you heard the Forward Omahans:
Why the homeless have a right to vote! Many are veterans! Are you denying veterans a right to vote? Should John Rambo not be able to vote?! (Actually we never heard anyone bring up Rambo. But they should have.)
But here’s the thing. The polling places are easy to get to from the Sienna-Francis House — on Election Day. No one’s saying they can’t vote. But why ferry them all the way to the Election Commissioners office for the early voting?
Ah, the early voting!
You see folks, the Mayor’s campaign strategy is this: Get as MANY people to vote early, early, early…then hope a snow storm hits on Election Day.
Yup. It’s all about the weather.
Ever heard of the old Boston Brave’s slogan, “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain”?
Well, the Suttle version is “Pay at the shelters then hope for Helter Skelter.”
“Get the Siena-Francis in early, then pray for the hurly burly.”
“Get the homeless to go, then pray for the snow.”
(Eh, you got better, send it in.)
In any case, the plan is to bank as many votes as possible and hope they stick.
So let’s stop the sudden piety from the local “progressives” about the homeless. It was clear to anyone who looked at this that the Suttle camp was taking advantage of people down on their luck who didn’t really care about the election and would like an easy five-spot.
Frankly, taking advantage of the down-trodden like that is probably worse than simple bribery. Note they weren’t going to Fairacres and paying ladies $300 for their vote. They knew they could get the shelter residents on the cheap early, so that’s where they went. Pretty low.
And what about the “jobs” program the Mayor’s campaign was suddenly fostering? The Objective Conservative makes a great point that there are thirty-two sex offenders at Siena-Francis House.
Now the Mayor said that they wouldn’t be hiring just “any Tom, Dick or Harry” for their homeless door-to-door program, but just how much background checking do you suppose Forward Omaha is going to pay for this? Is it a good idea to go to a location with a large percentage of sex offenders to get your door-to-door volunteers? Are they still going Forward with this program?
Of course not all are sex offenders. But wouldn’t a better idea be to go to an employment agency of some type to get people who will be the face of your campaign at the voter’s house? Oh, and to make sure you aren’t putting people in a dangerous situation?
Of course, maybe the Suttle campaign didn’t really intend to have the homeless shelter residents go door-to-door. Maybe they really just wanted to get them to the Election Commissioner’s office early to vote. For Jim Suttle. Like they were told to.
But that would be…bribery…
And one final knock to all those defending the Suttle campaign’s actions.
On this, we suppose we have to leave out the now-apologetic Jim Suttle.
Suttle said the whole affair was, “an unacceptable conflict of interest.”
Suttle called this, “voter manipulation.”
Suttle called it an “effort to inappropriately acquire votes from the homeless”.
Now that would seem to conflict with what Creighton Law Student and Forward Omaha spokesperson Noelle Obermeyer says.
She says she welcomes the investigation by the Nebraska State Patrol, called for by Democrat County Attorney Don Kleine. (Yup, nothing says Election Week like answering questions from the State Patrol about bribing voters.)
And Obermeyer says they have nothing to hide! Uh, well, then why did the homeless folks tell members of the local media that they were told to not speak to them as the exited the buses? Sounds like they had something to hide.
Well here’s the deal: Even though Future Omaha and Noelle Obermeyer and Gary DiSilvestro (Suttle’s campaign mastermind) and Bold Nebraska can’t see the horrible plan and idea and possible flat-out illegality here, Suttle (after no doubt seeing the sh*t-storm descending upon him) finally did.
(And Mayor, if this plan was as bad as you say it was, why are these people still on your campaign staff?)
Now what happens if Mayor Shuttle wins the recall by, say, a hundred votes?
The OWH is reporting that Suttle has “shaken up his staff” in the wake of the pay-the-homeless-to-vote scandal.
Well, except that as near as we can tell nothing of the sort has happened.
Some 30 year old guy is moving from the Mayor’s office to “oversee” DiSilvestro? Really? That’s what’s going to happen?
“Uh, um, hey…Gary? Whatcha doin’ there?”
“Beat it kid, I’m trying to run a freakin’ campaign. Go post something on a blog.”
At least that’s the way we imagine it.
And as near as we can tell Noelle Obermeyer is still there.
So please, someone let us know what exactly has been “shaken” over at Forward Omaha . (You know, other than a jar full of change in front of a homeless shelter – zing!).
**Update 2pm 1/14**
Missed this before:
The Open Door Mission also expressed frustration with the group’s actions.
President and CEO Candace Gregory told KETV the Open Door Mission told Forward Omaha no, twice, when contacted about busing residents to the Douglas County Election Commission. Gregory said as a non-profit organization, the Open Door Mission cannot take part in any political campaign effort.
Gregory said the buses showed up Wednesday anyway, and Thursday, she also took numerous calls from angry donors.
And here is the Mayor’s latest campaign commercial that will explain all of his accomplishments, square-away the reasons for the tax increases, and apologize for all the boneheaded moves he has made:
This video was taken down, as the guy at the end was wearing a red pullover with a University of Nebraska logo on it. No more. Now see in the next version that the red pullover has no logo.