Must-see video just forwarded to us–an apparent hidden camera film of a training session at the Colorado Springs office of Kennedy Enterprises last week for petition gatherers working to recall Sen. President John Morse.
As we reported Friday, a large infusion of funds from as-yet unknown sources has brought one of the state's most shady (and successful) paid petition gathering companies, responsible for controversial petition efforts in support of Doug Bruce's "Bad Three" anti-tax initiatives among many other examples, into the until-now rag tag effort to recall Colorado legislators in retaliation for gun safety bills signed into law this year.
As this three minutes and twenty seconds of video makes crystal-clear, the petition campaign against Morse is now in the hands of 100% non-ideological mercenaries, whose only interest is successfully getting the issue they are paid to promote on the ballot–in this case, Morse's recall. They flat-out admit as much 0:27 into this video:
This is what we do for a living. We travel around the country, we go from city to city, state to state, we put issues and candidates on the ballot for basically anybody who has money. [Pols emphasis]
The trainer, who identified himself as Tracy Taylor of an unnamed national petition company, proceeds to explain briefly what the petition is about, then gets into details about the pay structure. It's quick cash for petition gatherers–whatever they produce over the weekends gets turned in on Monday, and they are promised a check by the following Thursday. Taylor concludes by noting his close ties to Dan Kennedy of Kennedy Enterprises where this training was held.
Taylor promises "lots of work" going forward for people who like the job, both here in Colorado and elsewhere–referring to "pros" that he can call in by the hundreds from around the country to go to work on petition drives. According to Taylor, a good one can make upwards of $150,000 or more per year. What's more, there's nothing in the video we were forwarded that indicates any screening of applicants beyond the requirement that they be Colorado residents for this petition campaign (see relevant historical ad after the jump).
This video is a highly expositive look under the hood at paid petition drives of all kinds, and the burgeoning (and underreported) nationwide industry of paid organizers in getting initiatives and recalls on the ballot. We still have no information on exactly which Colorado recall petition campaigns have been taken over by Kennedy Enterprises, but there is obviously many thousands of dollars behind the effort that weren't in play before the last week or so. We can only hypothesize the amount whoever is funding this drive is paying to Kennedy and his consultants for each valid signature, but if they're able to pay $2 or more per signature to the end gatherers, it's a pile of money.
And as these hired guns will tell you, money makes stuff happen.