Sunday, June 25, 2006

A Lie is a Terrible Way to Begin ...

.. or, why I didn't attend the Ed Rendell Campaign Kick-Off featuring Sen. Hillary Clinton. (article from today's Inky on the event here; "Sen. Clinton cheers Rendell," by Mari A. Schaefe)

A lie is a terrible way to begin a relationship, even if it the tenuous tie between voter and candidate. If I had gone it would have been because I had fudged, fibbed and signed a contract under false pretenses. My non-blogger persona received an invitation to attend the event but it sent me to a web page with a form to fill-out; submit it and a ticket would be forthcoming, or so it said. I didn't get that far. The page was entitled "Women for Rendell and Citizen Co-Chair Signup." This is the text on the page:

Citizen Co-Chairs aren't typical campaign supporters. Co-Chairs have agreed to help the Governor's campaign with small -- but significant -- contributions of their time and energy. With their commitment to the Governor, Co-Chairs will become a vital part of the campaign team over the next five months.

Now, as part of the citizen Co-Chair campaign, we are annoucing "Women for Rendell," a special program to ensure that women across Pennsylvania vote to re-elect the Governor.

As a Citizen Co-Chair and a leader of "Women for Rendell" your efforts could make the difference because, when women vote, Democrats win. There is a great deal at stake for women and their families in this year's race and need your help.

It was followed by a form that required email, first name, last name, zip, and phone. Address was optional. Below that was a list of five options.

As a leader of "Women for Rendell," I pledge to help Governor Rendell by ...:
Registering at least five women to vote and keeping in contact until Election Day
Taking at least five younger women to vote on Election Day
Getting at lest five other women to volunteer and sign up as a citizen Co-Chair
Hosting a "Women for Rendell" house party
Donate $50 to the campaign

I am a stickler about words, particularly about promising or agreeing to things. If so inclined I could agree to TRY to do any of the first 4 items on the list but under no circumstances could I say that I WOULD. Too many variables beyond my control. As for the donation, the governor is sitting on a huge pot of money and I can think of a number of candidates (here, here, and here, for example) that need it more. Regarding the Citizen Co-Chair concept generally, I want details. I want to know exactly what I am agreeing to. There was no way I could sign up for this without knowing the full text, including fine print, of what a Citizen Co-Chair is. It's just awful to take on a job and then find out you simply cannot meet the requirements of it, or that there are hidden clauses you didn't know about. Furthermore, I know a ploy to build a database when I see one, and this definitely was such a ploy.

The email invitation did say I could also call the campaign office and ask for a ticket. So I did. The woman asked for my email. I gave it. I received another email invitation just like the first. You have to go to the web page and agree to be a Citizen Co-Chair or no ticket. I can't in good conscience agree to the broad contract listed on the page so I stayed home.

(If the text of this posting doesn't show my geek colors enough, the title is loosely taken from a line in the "City on the Edge of Forever" episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. Edith Keeler, played by Joan Collins, says it to Capt. Kirk.)


eRobin said...

Good for you. I would have done the same thing. That's why I don't go to church.

AboveAvgJane said...

Interesting point about church. I've attended the same one for over 8 years, rarely missing and Sunday and always bringing a check, but I've never officially joined the congregation. A public oath of fealty to every point of denominational beliefs just makes me uncomfortable.

ACM said...

still, amazing that they'd risk cutting off donations by tying them to a work promise -- surely there are other ways to find volunteers (not least, starting by calling all of your donors!)...


AboveAvgJane said...

YOu could choose any of the options so you could pledge to donate instead of volunteer work. It's just that I think other candidates need the money more. If they had set it as a fundraiser with a $50 entrance fee and skipped the citizen co-chair thing I might have gone for it, but not the package. Ooooh, maybe that's what you meant. (some days I'm slower than others)

MetroBlue said...

I think you might be mistaken about the requirements for attending the event.

Tickets were not required. I did not have a ticket but I attended the event with several people who also did not have a ticket.

I think the email you received was part of an effort to recruit volunteers for the campaign. The Clinton event was part of their effort to draw attention to the "Women for Rendell" group.

AboveAvgJane said...

When I called the number on the email I asked if tickets were needed and was told that they were. It is possible that once you got there you could get in without but the campaign office told me I needed one, and as far as I could tell the only way to get one was to sign up.