Dependable Erection

Sunday, November 09, 2008


So what's this i hear that B.J. Lawson's (Republican candidate for congress from the 4th district) paid poll workers were encouraging people to vote Obama, Democratic Party, but switch the congressional vote to Lawson instead of Price? Anybody else experience this?

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  • not sure I believe it (and check your facts on whether Lawson had paid poll workers).

    For what it's worth, I encouraged my supporters to vote for Obama (to the chagrin of party leadership).

    By Blogger KeepDurhamDifferent!, at 6:25 PM  

  • The folks at Precinct 18, where i handed out Democratic Party literature, were pretty adamant that the Lawson person at the site was being paid. Unfortunately, she left very shortly after i got there, so i wasn't able to ask her directly.

    I've heard from a second source that Lawson's people at the polls were being paid to be there.

    The one piece of literature i picked up for Lawson did not show any support for Obama, but did try to portray Lawson as being to the left of David Price.

    By Blogger Barry, at 6:29 PM  

  • I'm glad someone was saying something other than the "Do you have any questions about voting a straight ticket?" BS. No, I didn't have any such questions at all. I'd also prefer *someone* did *something* besides encouraging groupthink. But I can understand where the average individual, or perhaps even most readers of this blog, think that straight ticket voting is double-plus good. I don't.

    By Blogger Joseph H., at 6:58 PM  

  • I cannot speak to whether the Lawson campaign was paying any poll workers or not, but I can tell you that I was asked to volunteer for the Lawson campaign at my poll the night before the election. (I declined.) I would think that if they were going to pay anyone to do it, they would be more likely to make that offer at the 11th hour, but who knows?

    For Lawson's part, any attempt to run on Obama's coattails (esp. in this town) seems like pretty sound electioneering strategy to me (it certainly does after the fact.) And in his case I find it pretty unsurprising, since on the issues where the president has the most direct impact (foreign policy) Lawson is actually closer to Obama than McCain.

    FWIW, I voted for Obama and Lawson, and don't think straight party tickets should even be an option.

    By Blogger Brian, at 9:28 AM  

  • I was a poll worker for Lawson. I am a Democrat who encouraged the voters to whom I spoke to vote for Obama, and Lawson. How is this a bad thing. BJ Lawson ran on a trans-partisan ticket. The campaign did not encourage this, but as a democrat who supported Lawson and Obama I thought that I was well within my right to do so.

    Straight party voting is the worse thing ever. To be honest, I did vote for all Democrats (with the exception of Lawson) but the straight ticket option does not encourage voters to be informed.

    Ray McKinnon
    (for full disclosure, I was the volunteer field organizer for Orange and Durham Counties for Lawson for Congress)

    By Blogger Pastor Ray, at 12:35 PM  

  • As someone who stood out in the rain at the polls encouraging straight party voting (I did not, because I wanted to make the meaningless gesture of not voting for Bowser), I do take exception to the notion that I was encouraging groupthink.

    I've made this argument elsewhere, but studies of voter education don't bear out that partisan voters are less educated than ballot splitters. In fact, in many cases, they're more educated.

    Frankly, it's very, very difficult to become a fully "educated" voter, and I think that ballot splitters are actually more prone to groupthink than partisan voters, because they're that much more likely to be influenced by the last minute attack ad, or the bullshit question about flag burning, or some other dumbass thing.

    Now, I admit that this assumes that we have a good, contested primary system, which we pretty evidently don't. I see that as the thing to be addressed, not straight-party voting, because again, ticket splitters often make really stupid, ignorant decisions about their voting. Republican straight-ticket voters, even if I agree with them, have a pretty damn good idea of what they're voting for.

    By Blogger Michael Bacon, at 5:19 PM  

  • I voted early. We all hugged and smiled.

    Didn't hear anything about Lawson or people getting paid. I may have said something about "pay back," but it was The Heat of the Moment.

    I was at Parker & Otis a few weeks after I voted early and someone came running through touting Larson's more-Libertarian-like beliefs, like decriminalizing most drugs. Not sure if that was true Lawson position or not.

    I got a mailer from Lawson a week after that, wayyyyyy after I voted early. Honestly, I had no idea the guy was not your typical Republican. He had a serious "branding problem" as we say in marketing. I MAY have voted for Lawson, partly because Price pissed me off with The Bailout, but I honest-to-God hate the Republican Party so much for what they did to this country in the years 1994-2008, that I'm not sure I would vote for Jerry Garcia even if he came back from the dead as a "new" Republican.

    Yeah. I'm partisan.


    By Blogger Tony, at 9:58 PM  

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