Team Obama’s Astroturf Operations

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on June 19, 2012

Well, well:

The protesters popping up at Mitt Romney’s rallies throughout Michigan Tuesday look like run-of-the-mill grassroots liberals — they wave signs about “the 99 percent,” they chant about the Republican’s greed, and they describe themselves as a loosely organized coalition of “concerned citizens.”

They’re also getting paid, two of the protesters and an Obama campaign official told BuzzFeed.

At the candidate’s afternoon stop outside a bakery in DeWitt, a group of about 15 protesters stood behind a police barricade, a few of them chanting in support of Obama. Asked why he was protesting, a man dressed in a grim reaper costume pointed a reporter to a pair of “designated representatives” standing in the shade.

“I can’t talk, you gotta get one of those people over there to talk to y’all,” he said. “They’re the ones who can talk to reporters.”

Neither of the representatives agreed to give their names, but two protesters said they were getting paid to stand outside of the rally, though their wage is unclear: one said she was getting $7.25 per hour, while another man said they were being paid $17 per hour.

Meanwhile, about 50 feet away, another protest had been organized by local Democrats in conjunction with the Obama campaign. A campaign official told BuzzFeed they had nothing to do with the other group — which he said he believed they had been sent by the labor-backed “Good Jobs Now” — and confirmed that they were being paid.

“I mean, it’s a free country, they can go anywhere they want, but they’re not with us,” the official said.

Personally, I don’t understand why Team Obama doesn’t admit to paying the protesters. If they do, perhaps then the president can actually claim to have created a few jobs.

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