Today we learned that voucher proponents are desperate enough to pay people ten dollars each to vote for vouchers. This came from a group called the Free Capitalist Project founded by pro-voucher moneyman Rick Koerber, the second-largest donor to PCE.
Excerpt from an e-mail message sent yesterday on behalf of PCE:
If you are motivated and have a desire to help this campaign succeed, as well as earn a little money in the process, you can sign up with Parents for Choice in Education to become an â€œadvocateâ€. As an advocate, you agree to seek out your friends and family and solicit their commitment for this important cause. In addition, if you provide your field manager with a minimum of 25 names of persons who have committed to voting for Referendum 1, and those persons actually vote, you can earn $10 per person. Thatâ€™s $250 [30 pieces of silver] for the 25 names, plus an additional $10 for every name after that.
Isn’t this illegal? What would Alexander Hamilton do?
According to The Utah Amicus, the Free Capitalist Project sent out another e-mail message to cancel the cash-for-votes campaign:
We apologize for the previous email that was sent out this afternoon regarding the voucher election and recruiting advocates. It was simply incorrect and misrepresents the Free Capitalist Projects’ grass roots efforts. Neither Parents for Choice in Education nor the Free Capitalist Project will ever provide incentives that appear to pay people to vote. The earlier email was sent by determined and sincere individuals who are working diligently, but the Free Capitalist Project and Parents for Choice in Education did not approve, authorize or see the email in advance. We are sorry for the miscommunication.
Thanks to alert and well-informed bloggers, the pro-voucher people apparently can’t get away with anything. Not secret town hall meetings (psst– there’s going to be one of these in Draper City Hall at 9am Saturday, pass it on!) Not bringing in out-of-state bloggers-for-hire. Definitely not paying for votes.
UPDATE: The Utah Amicus does the legal legwork and discovers that vote buying is indeed illegal in the State of Utah.