Campaigns/Elections

Obama Campaign Vets to Young Lefties: Pay Us $5,000 and We'll Let You Do Our Grunt Work

Do we have a deal for you!

|

Campaign
Roxanne Jo Mitchell / Flickr

Are you a young liberal, eager to use mass democracy to put your progressive beliefs into action? Well, do we have a deal for you! For the mere cost of $5,000, you could work for two top Obama campaign strategists as an unpaid volunteer doing five weeks of grueling labor for a random Democratic candidate.

That's right, just $5,000—which includes a 5-day training session where you will gain firsthand knowledge from Obama campaign veterans Mitch Stewart and Jeremy Bird, who now run a political consulting firm called 270 Strategies.

The existence of the training program was first reported by BuzzFeed's Evan McMorris-Santoro, who for some reason comes across as skeptical about the value of this unique opportunity:

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. …

Much of what the company is offering sounds similar to existing campaign training programs that usually have little or no upfront cost. …

Participants will work on GOTV efforts for their assigned campaigns, according to the 360 program FAQ on 270's website. That includes making phone calls, knocking on doors, and online campaign efforts. This is the grunt work that wins campaigns; it's also the standard task for immersion trainees.

Said election grunt work is often minimally paid or not paid at all. The irony of Democratic staffers replacing the unpaid internship with the you-pay-us internship is not lost on some progressive campaigners:

To Mikey Franklin, a former progressive field staffer who's now trying to end the D.C. practice of unpaid internships, asking people to pay to to volunteer goes against progressive values.

"It's a basic principle that people should work for pay; they shouldn't pay to work," Franklin said. "It's shameful that 270 Strategies are throwing their progressive values out of the window by charging $5,000 for a 5-day training and an unpaid internship. How will we win for the 99% if we only recruit from the 1%?"

A top official at another prominent progressive campaign training firm said 270 shouldn't be running the program at that cost.

"The idea of paying to be a volunteer, I don't entirely understand why they thought that was the best approach," the official said. "I think it's a terrible idea."

For its part, 270 Strategies says it will offer discounts and scholarships as appropriate.

Truly, this is a can't-miss, shut-up-and-take-my-money opportunity for all you prospective Democratic politicos. 

Advertisement

NEXT: NYPD Accused of Using Chokehold on Suspected Farebeater

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “The idea of paying to be a volunteer, I don’t entirely understand why they thought that was the best approach,”

    Why? That’s a tough one.

    1. For some reason they’ve gotten the impression that the progressive rank-and-file are economically illiterate rubes that exist to be gulled by the progressive elite.

    2. I figured it was a way of getting around the donation limits.

    3. “Show me a young Conservative and I’ll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I’ll show you someone with no brains.”

      ? Winston Churchill

  2. Hey Mikey! As a progressive, you aren’t fighting for the 99%. You are helping the politically connected 1% rip the 99% off.

    In fact, you aren’t fighting at all. You are sloganeering, editorializing, passing out flyers etc.

  3. “….who for some reason comes across as skeptical about the value of this unique opportunity”

    Marge: I’ve never heard of these Movementarians. Are they some kind of church?

    Homer: Who cares what it is? The point is that these are some decent generous people that I can take advantage of.

    Marge: But what if they try to talk us into something?

    Homer: Marge, Marge, Marge. Remember when those smooth-talking
    guys tried to sell me a time-share vacation condo?

    Marge: You bought four of them! Thank God the check bounced.

    Homer: So I beat the system.

  4. It’s shameful that 270 Strategies are throwing their progressive values out of the window by charging $5,000 for a 5-day training and an unpaid internship. How will we win for the 99% if we only recruit from the 1%?

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    This guy needs to pull his head out of his ass. But he won’t. He’ll continue to believe that progressive “leaders” actually mean what they say. He’s finally looking at actions, and still not getting it.

    Also, this “internship” stuff reminds me of a televangelist asking people to send in money. It reminds me of it a lot. “Donate and you will be saved!” “Donate and you will bask in the glory of serving the Lord some Democratic politician scumbag!”

    1. I’m on the Progressives United mailing list. And yes, it’s exactly like the televangelists’ pitches.

      BREAKING NEWS: Newly released documents show that prosecutors believe Scott Walker was at the center of a “criminal scheme” that broke Wisconsin election law in the recall election.
      We knew corporate money was flowing into Wisconsin elections, protecting Walker and his Republican allies from the grassroots recall effort. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s lawless Citizens United decision, that’s all legal now.
      But what we didn’t know — and what’s still very much illegal — is that the investigation is focused on whether Scott Walker himself was coordinating the whole effort. Walker even emailed Karl Rove a description of how one of his top deputies would be overseeing the operation.
      With Democrat Mary Burke tied with Walker in the polls already, we’ve got to unite against Scott Walker now as he is already running TV ads across Wisconsin trying to shift focus away from his corrupt behavior.
      Contribute $5 to Mary Burke today so she can end Walker’s reign come November.
      Republicans have argued day after day that the John Doe investigation that led to these accusations was a political witch hunt, that Walker was completely innocent, and that Republicans were the victims of a big left-wing conspiracy.
      Baloney.

      1. Here’s the thing ? Scott Walker isn’t just in legal trouble, he’s in political trouble. Polls show his reelection campaign is tied with Democratic candidate Mary Burke, and that means Walker is running scared.
        If we show our strength right now, we have a clear shot at defeating Walker in November and ending his agenda of corporate giveaways, education cuts, and slashing the rights of women.
        We have a shot to defeat Scott Walker in November, and we must take it. Contribute $5 to Mary Burke today.
        Thanks for uniting as a progressive,
        Josh Orton
        Political Director
        Progressives United for Wisconsin

        1. Replace “Scott Walker” with “The Devil” and you’ve got yourself a televangelist pitch. Amazing. Just look at all the code words for the faithful in that mailing. It’s exactly the same.

        2. It is so pathetic. I get similar shit from Conservative groups. I guess it works though b/c people keep on giving.

          At least when I get Reason mailers they basically say: hey we’re better than everyone else so you should help us out.

      2. I was in Madison a year ago, and it was just loaded with hippies chalking anti-Walker shit all over the place. So he must be at least an OK guy, right?

        1. though you have to wonder why hippies even know who Walker is. Hippies don’t work, especially union jobs, so why would they care?

          1. “Like, he’s The Man, man, you gotta go against him.”

    2. Epi, I like to hold out hope that the guy you quoted is in the early stages of realizing that he’s been duped. It’s hard to change a belief system. Maybe he won’t make the next leap, but he has to get to this point before he can move further.

      1. Epi, I like to hold out hope that the guy you quoted is in the early stages of realizing that he’s been duped.

        THIS is the voice of someone who wants so hard to believe, but simply can’t understand that it’s the entire political philosophy of Democrats who believe that the regulatory state is the key to a good society that is the problem. He has taken every necessary step to see the problem, but always tries to frame it in language that does everything but make the correct indictment: Democrats are not our friend and have no plans to allow anyone any personal liberties.

        http://ep-ology.com/2014/07/12…..th-warren/

  5. Also =

    Amway Had Great Hopes For Its New Partnership With Organizing For America!

    1. They’re still around?

      1. dude, Amway is like @!#*& Hydra. Cut of its head, and 2 replace it.

        i did some research on their domestic MLM business about a decade+ ago. They had like 6bn in sales. Now its closer to 12.

        Amway is pretty big-time in the consumer products world. Granted, much of their revenue is in the equivalent of being an OEM for store-brand generics. But they still make plenty coin from their affiliate-marketing/MLM scams where you pay to be a distributor. Just like the above Dem-flunky scam – with the exception that no one in the DNC promises to make *you* rich. Well, rich in spirit i guess.

  6. Critics say those costs are way above the market rate for campaign trainings…

    Stupid critics: since when do our friends on the left care about market values?

    1. The minute someone charges one cent more than what they think it should be.

      1. Or one cent less, that’s predatory pricing.

        1. God forbid you charge exactly as much as your competitors, because that’s collusion.

  7. asking people to pay to to volunteer goes against progressive values.

    I thought that was the entire progressive business model for the last century.

    1. Like taxes are voluntary, right?

    2. Funny though, replace ‘volunteer’ with ‘be trained’ and it makes a lot more sense.

      But it still goes against progressive values to pay someone for their time and knowledge.

  8. Five grand seems like a pretty good investment to make contacts for future jobs where you make big bucks off the federal teat.

    1. Most of the contacts you’re going to make will be with the other schmucks who also coughed up the dough. You think the instructors are going to hobnob with the schmucks?

      1. I completely disagree Epi…..of course they will hobnob with the shmucks. For two reasons: 1. The shmucks have their $5000 paid for by a rich Mommy and Daddy who are obviously idiots, and 2. The big guys will also if the interns breasts are big enough. Either one, you get to hobnob with the big guys.

  9. Robby forgot to mention that if you buy your ticket and do this gig, your name goes on the secret list of citizens who will be first in line for surgery after we switch to National Health Service in 2017.

  10. I call that a bargain. The best I’ve ever had.

    1. +1 power chord

  11. This article kind of made my day so far.

    I can’t — no wait, I absolutely can — believe this exists.

  12. OT: it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Posted yesterday at Space.com:

    http://www.space.com/26628-voy…..versy.html

    1. Just because they said Elvis had left the building didn’t mean he actually had.

  13. “It’s a basic principle that people should work for pay; they shouldn’t pay to work,”

    What about training? Or is that too much of a complication so you simplify things to make it easier for you to ‘manage’ the economy?

  14. So if I spend 100k to send 20 unemployed progressives to this boot camp does that count as a political contribution?

    1. How about using that 100K to help save those 20 unemployed progressives from their current trajectory of hate?

  15. ” How will we win for the 99% if we only recruit from the 1%?””

    Someone needs a *Progulator*!

    The NEW, Solar-and-Ethanol Powered Progressive-Calculator That Enables YOU to empower YOUR multilevel marketing-and-campaign-training event volunteers with JUST the right rhetorical formulae to enable Electoral Success for whomever your DNC-Assigned Progressive Candidate may be!

    Just input “Time”, multiply by “Interns”, factor in “Payola”, and WHAMMO! You’ve just calculated your total donation this year to the local party boss! Cash only.

  16. This reminds me of a lefty college girlfriend who spent several large of her parents’ hard-earned money to attend a Marxist seminar. She was one of the few paying students; the rest were on scholarships. The “training” mostly consisted of them lecturing here about how bad she was because she (her parents) had the money to pay for the seminar, and how lucky she was to be able to pay the way of the “real” Marxists. Took some of the wind out of her sails about Marxism, but she’s still drinking the proggie Koolaid.

    1. At least they were honest enough to call her a useful idiot right to her face.

  17. There’s a campaign intern born every minute.

  18. 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.

    Well, this is just too fucking perfect. And, yet, the irony will be lost on progs everywhere. If you try to explain it to them, you’ll get to watch their eyes glaze over, lip curl, and spit as they hurl nonsense epithets about “KORPERASHUNZS!”.

  19. Definitely my favorite news item this week.

    1. …progs eating their young…

  20. You look at a scumbag puke like Messina pulling in $30,000 a month, meanwhile the victims of his side’s policies are being asked to go deeper into debt. Or Obama’s fundraising junkets which cost the hard-pressed taxpayers millions – a direct subsidy to a party’s political funds – with $32000 a plate…
    Also, aren’t all the White House comment line operators volunteers?

    Ayn Rand was right about this: the looter mindset is the same, to loot your labor or to loot your resources.
    http://www.politico.com/story/…..03829.html

  21. And they are upset about the minimum wage not being a living wage?

    1. Weren’t they pushing to have unpaid interns outlawed a little while ago?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.