Thursday, September 25, 2008

Obama Campaign Admits Meeting With Lake Co. GOP Chairman

A few more pieces to the puzzle fall in place. A follow-up story in today's Gary Post-Tribune confirms Lake County GOP Chairman John Curley's claim that an Obama campaign representative, Orrin Evans, met with him to discuss early satellite voting in Lake County. The Post-Tribune writes:

Curley said Orrin Evans, a field representative for Obama's Indiana organization, made the offer during a Sept. 12 meeting about early voting offices in Gary, Hammond and East Chicago. Swain acknowledged that Evans, 23, contacted Curley at the behest of Lake County Democratic Chairman Rudy Clay to try to convince Curley to endorse the satellite plan.

"Orrin has had many meetings to discuss the need for satellite voting centers, with officials from both parties around the state," Swain said.

Curley, who has opposed the satellites on the grounds they promote vote fraud, told Evans it didn't make political sense for him to support the sites since Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans in the three northern cities.

"I told (Evans), 'I'm worried about Mitch Daniels,' " Curley said.

According to Curley, Evans then offered to "procure votes" for Daniels at the satellite locations since Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jill Long Thompson has no chance of defeating Daniels. "He told me 'Don't worry about the governor. We can get votes for the governor up there,' " Curley recalled. "I told him to forget it."

Swain said he was surprised by Curley's accusation.

"Nobody in this campaign would ever approach a routine meeting of this kind with any kind of deal in mind," Swain said. "Orrin does not recall a discussion of a deal of any kind."

Evans could not be reached for comment.

What is surprising is that the Obama campaign would send in a 23-year-old staffer to do the work of a seasoned political veteran. We've seen plenty of machiavellian-style actions by the young upstarts working in Obama's campaign. I have no problem believing this guy said exactly what Curley says he told him: we'll help you get votes for Daniels if you give us the satellite voting facilities in Gary, East Chicago and Hammond. Of course, the Obama campaign had no intention of helping get votes for Daniels. They just want to make their job of exporting illegal votes from Chicago into Lake County to swing Indiana for Obama a little easier.


Russell said...

I think everyone is missing the big point of this article:

The GOP chair wants to block making voting more accessible to people because it will hurt Daniels' reelection campaign.

Curley and Orrin differ on their stories of what was offered to who, so we can't debate that part, but Curley says right out that he can't support Democrats voting rights.

Anyone see a problem with this?

Chris Worden said...

First, AI, thanks for the follow up story and for getting the name and identity of this kid...because now I know how much of this is NOT Obama central.

You are right at your surprise that the Obama campaign would send somebody who is 23 to negotiate a huge deal like this, and this is how I know this offer never came from the actual campaign.

Put this kid on a polygraph and you'll learn he was playing hotshot because he wanted to brag how he went toe-to-toe with the R chair of one of Indiana's biggest counties and got him to give in by lying and saying Obama's people would push Daniels at the polls. People who are trying to seem more educated than they are use words like "procure." Now this idiot has people thinking the Obama campaign is going on e-bay and buying votes.

In short, my party needs to stop letting its young political operatives watch West Wing in syndication because too many think everything in politics is a secret back-room deal with political intrigue.

David said...

We don't know what the kid Evans said. We only know what Curley said he said. We do know, however, that few if any Democrats are in a position to deliver or "procure" large numbers of Republican votes. Republican leaders on the other hand are making every effort to block Democrats from voting. If we're going to start polygraphing anyone, I'd start with Curley.