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Perry’s paid volunteers

This story is just full of mockery opportunities.

Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign has unknowingly paid convicted felons as part-time workers under its incentive program to turn out voters for the Republican primary.

The campaign lists about 300 part-time workers on the financial disclosure forms it filed with the state, recruits under the “Perry Home Headquarters” program that pays people to get others to sign up as a Perry supporter and pledge to vote. A handful have criminal histories, a Dallas Morning News review shows.

Maybe if they’d required all their volunteers to show photo IDs first, they wouldn’t have had these problems.

“People in life make mistakes,” said Perry spokesman Mark Miner. “It doesn’t mean they can’t get a second chance and work hard. That’s what these people are doing. They are out there trying to change their lives and make a difference.”

I’m pretty sure that if you searched all of Rick Perry’s record as legislator and Governor, you wouldn’t find as much sympathy expressed towards those who have committed crimes as you do in that statement. Clearly, the path to redemption begins with working to help Rick Perry get re-elected.

But e-mails written by Perry campaign officials indicate there have been problems. The messages, obtained by The News, show that the campaign was overwhelmed by Internet-savvy workers who were earning too much money. The Perry team has stopped paying workers under one segment of the program: Recruiters are no longer paid for bringing in other recruiters.

Campaign officials have also complained that they had to verify the names of registered voters submitted by the more than 300 people looking to get paid.

Well, that’s the problem with performance bonuses: People figure out how to game the system, and you wind up getting worse results than you would have without it. And by the way, is it just me, or does this sound a little bit like the problems that ACORN had with its paid voter-registration canvassers?

OK, that’s enough for me. But feel free to find more stuff in there for you to have fun with.

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  1. Dennis says:

    There is nothing inherently wrong with allowing convicted felons to participate in political campaigns. Texas is one of the few states that permits felons to vote – and I vote in just about every election and often contribute money to political candidates. But why on earth they would be working for Perry’s campaign is a mystery. Of course, why Perry polled at 50% in a recent poll is a mystery to me, too.

  2. PDiddie says:

    Ah, thank you. And “Thanks, Governor Perry”.