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Friday, April 14, 2006

Tarrant solicits students for campaign

Just stumbled across this article from Boston.com's Vermont RSS feed... thought it was interesting: Went to Rich's website, no mention of this program.

U.S. Senate candidate solicits students for campaign

WASHINGTON --Republican U.S. Senate candidate Richard Tarrant has offered Vermont high school students money and laptop computers to help with his campaign.

Tarrant has written to teachers saying he would give students $3,000 and a laptop computer to work on his behalf.

"Getting our youth involved in the democratic system is more important now than ever before," Tarrant wrote in a letter obtained by the Bennington Banner and the Brattleboro Reformer.

Rep. Bernie Sanders' campaign accused Tarrant of disguising a multi-million dollar campaign as education for students and said the effort could make the Senate race even more costly.

"He's trying to buy volunteers," said Jeff Weaver, chief of staff to Sanders, who is leaving the House to run for the Senate. "The truth of the matter is he doesn't have hundreds of people who want to come out and work on his campaign."

Tarrant's letter offers students a 10-week internship in which they would campaign for Tarrant in their own towns.

"This program offers high school students an exciting opportunity to spend their summer learning about the American democratic process while earning additional money (and a laptop computer that they will be able to keep)," Tarrant wrote. "Hopefully you agree and will encourage students to participate."

Students would be required to write 500 words about "why Rich Tarrant should be elected to the United States Senate" and must submit their grade point average and list of extra-curricular activities to be considered.

Tarrant, who founded IDX Systems Corp. of Burlington, has put $2 million into his campaign.

Sanders has raised $1.8 million and plans to have 1,000 volunteers to canvass for him around the state.

Tarrant's plan to solicit students drew a mixed reaction.

"That smacks of bribery," said Garrison Nelson, a political science professor at the University of Vermont. "He just opens himself up to misusing his money. This is the quintessential rookie mistake."

Jason Gibbs, spokesman for Republican Gov. Jim Douglas, said he was not aware of the program.

"It seems on its face to be a legitimate employment opportunity for high school students," he said. "I don't see that it would be any different than a manufacturer offering paid internships to students."





An interesting approach for campaigning, something I've never heard of... even in my home state of Texas.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

"That smacks of bribery," said Garrison Nelson, a political science professor at the University of Vermont. "He just opens himself up to misusing his money. This is the quintessential rookie mistake."

How is it bribery when the kids themselves can't vote? Bernie won his first mayoral campaign by convincing UVM students to register and vote for him, this doesn't even approach that.

Haik Bedrosian said...

What's wrong with campaigning at UVM?

Heavenly said...

Rich just posted something about the response to his blog:

http://www.tarrant06.com/blog/


April 18, 2006
Student Intern Program

There has been some negative reaction to our program to hire high school students to work as interns for the TARRANT '06 campaign.

Due to miscommunication, some are under the impression we intend to hire as many as 1000 students before school ends, a feat that is clearly impossible. The fact is, we are planning to hire a few interns for each county to assist our county chairs with logistical chores as the campaign heats up. Some critics believe we should not be paying these young workers. I strongly disagree! There is no better use of money than to give deserving students an educational and well-paying job and offering a laptop to take to college as a bonus.

Our student interns will receive a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn politics up close and in person. In the process, they will realize our Congress is borrowing vast sums of money from China and other countries, and doing so in a fashion that will cause the next generation of Americans to be saddled with repayment of close to $9 trillion, the current U.S. debt. It is our goal that by Election Day, our interns will know and understand this injustice and will educate their peers as to the meaning of taxation without representation.

I look forward to infusing our ranks with these energetic, bright, young workers

Rich

Bob the Optimizer said...

"There is no better use of money than to give deserving students an educational and well-paying job and offering a laptop to take to college as a bonus."

There's the difference between Tarrant and Sanders. Rich offers kids jobs and a computer to take to college. Bernie tells them that corporations are evil and the government should give them computers!

That Tarrant just keeps employing people. And all without the help of the government!!

Anonymous said...

"What's wrong with campaigning at UVM?"

I should have been more specific - out of state students.

Haik Bedrosian said...

"I should have been more specific - out of state students."

Even students from other states are Burlington residents when they're at school, and thus perfectly entitled to register and vote here.

So what's wrong with campaining for their support too?

Haik Bedrosian said...

"Our student interns will receive a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn politics up close and in person." -Tarrant

So will you, Mr. Tarrant.

Anonymous said...

"Even students from other states are Burlington residents when they're at school, and thus perfectly entitled to register and vote here."

No shit, sherlock. It's generally considered unethical to corral votes by out-of-state students, as they're not governed by the decisions made at the polls. That's why it caused an uproar at the time, and also why no one has done it since.

Sherlock said...

Huh. I don't know anyone who considers it unethical and I never heard of any outrage over it.

Why aren't students from other states governed by the decisions made at the polls? When they're in town, which is about nine months of the school year- they have to obey the same ordinances as losers like me who were born here, don't they?

Just curious- Were you born in Burlington, anonymous?

Anonymous said...

"I don't know anyone who considers it unethical and I never heard of any outrage over it."

Then you weren't paying attention. A lot of people were upset, it was written about repeatedly and talked about ad nauseum, look it up.

"Why aren't students from other states governed by the decisions made at the polls?"

Oh good lord, please tell me you're trying to be disingenuous. I refuse to believe that I live in the same town with someone that stupid.

Haik Bedrosian said...

Answer the question if you can.

Students have to put coins in the parking meter. They have to pay noise fines passed by the city council. If they rent, part of their monthly payment goes toward their landlord's propety tax. They drink water from Lake Champlain. Etc., Etc. Etc.

Regardless of what state they come from they are indeed governed by what happens at the polls in Burlington. There is nothing at all unethical about them voting here.

I'm not being disingenuous. I'm serious.

So why is it unethical for students from other states to vote here? Why?

And were you born here, or not?

And were you born in Burlington or not?

Anonymous said...

"And were you born here, or not?

And were you born in Burlington or not?"

Wow, getting a little wound up, aren't you?

Bernie was recruiting in the dorms. Kids in the dorms are not affected by the property tax. A lot of them rarely if ever leave campus. Their kids aren't affected by the choices that are made about the schools. 95% of the decisions made by the mayor and city council have ramifications that go far beyond their departure, and do not affect them even while they're here. And they certainly weren't voting because of water-related concerns.

The kids who voted for Bernie weren't looking out for their own best interests or those of their families or neighbors. They were impressionable kids who bought into Bernie's cult of personality, and were convinced that they were serving some higher socialist-inspired purpose. A lot of his bullshit probably sounded really good to a bunch of 18 year olds who had never had to live out in the real world.

Mayoral candidates have not campaigned in the dorms like that since Bernie's first election, and there's a reason for that. You clearly weren't of voting age when this all happened or you would remember it.

Anonymous said...

Someone corrected me offline: apparently the Progs still practice "dorm-storming," and made extensive use of it in this March's mayoral election. Probably chanting "the ends justify the means" as they did it.

Haik Bedrosian said...

That 'someone' should have corrected you about more than "dorm-storming."

Bernie was recruiting in the dorms. Kids in the dorms are not affected by the property tax.

The propery tax is factored into the price students pay for any good or service procured from any establishments in town that pay it. Any Republican will tell you that.

A lot of them rarely if ever leave campus.

That's rediculous on its face. If there are such shut-ins, they are a tiny minority.

Their kids aren't affected by the choices that are made about the schools.

So would you disenfranchise anyone without children?

95% of the decisions made by the mayor and city council have ramifications that go far beyond their departure, and do not affect them even while they're here.

"95%" is obviously a number you pulled out of your ass. Plus many students stay in Burlington years after graduating. Plus lots of people move away from Burlington. What do you want them to do? Sign a pledge to live here five years after voting?

And they certainly weren't voting because of water-related concerns.

You don't know that. I imagine some of them took an interest in the recent flouride debate, but even if they don't think about water issues, they wouldn't be the only ones. Most people probably don't. You want to take away everyone's right to vote unless they promise to care about water-issues?

The kids who voted for Bernie weren't looking out for their own best interests or those of their families or neighbors.

That's your opinion.

They were impressionable kids who bought into Bernie's cult of personality, and were convinced that they were serving some higher socialist-inspired purpose.

That's your opinion.

A lot of his bullshit probably sounded really good to a bunch of 18 year olds who had never had to live out in the real world.

You seem to know an aweful lot about Bullshit.

You are stupid.

Anonymous said...

"That's your opinion.
You are stupid."

Ah, such scintillating repartee from the typical Bernie supporter.

It never ceases to amaze me how much effort you put into letting the world know how ill-informed you are... and it never ceases to entertain! Keep it up!

Haik Bedrosian said...

I'm sorry I called you stupid. Two wrongs don't make a right. If other bloggers read this whole string, they will form their own opinions about our little debate here. I think it was a useful and thought provoking discussion.

My final thought on the subject is that in general I prefer to expand voting participation wherever possible and believe acts toward limiting it are generally unhealthy for democracy. That's it for me on this. You may have the 'final word.'

Anonymous said...

My point would have been obvious to all but the simplest reader, but I will add this - there needs to be a restriction on registering students in the dorms. It makes a mockery of the political process in this city when kids are voting as a "goof," or for purely ideological reasons having nothing to do with practical city matters.