Lines were long and tempers flared Wednesday not to vote but to get paid for canvassing for Barack Obama. Several hundred people are still waiting to get their pay for last-minute campaigning. Police were called to the Obama campaign office on North Meridian Street downtown to control the crowd.
The line was long and the crowd was angry at times.
"I want my money today! It's my money. I want it right now!" yelled one former campaign worker.
The temporary workers were hired in the final days of the Obama campaign to help volunteers canvass neighborhoods. They showed up to get paid Wednesday morning at 10:00 am.
"There was a note on the door saying 1:00 pm and then at 1:20 pm everybody was like why is nobody here. They just got here and they're trying to get it organized," said Heather Richards, a former campaign worker.
The large gathering of around 375 people prompted police to call in extra officers and set up temporary barricades. The barricades helped keep the crowd from spilling out onto Meridian Street. Police say the several hundred people in line were for the most part orderly.
According to WTHR, someone started paying the workers hours after the workers had been waiting in line but some complained that they there were being shorted on the hours they worked. A spokesman for the campaign offered an assurance that everyone would eventually be paid for their work. I guess if you can raise hundreds of millions of dollars in non-traceable campaign contributions over the Internet, you can afford to pay hundreds of workers in every major city across the country for doing the work normally performed by volunteers. But you better make sure everyone gets paid as promised or you have a public relations disaster as was witnessed in downtown Indianapolis today. Kudos to WTHR's Jeremy Brilliant for being brave enough to do this story. You can bet he'll be getting hate mail from the Obamanauts for weeks.