That Sinking Feeling When People Only Like You for Your Money

After Bloomberg joined the race, there were reports that some of his campaign workers were taking the money and campaigning for other candidates. Turns out that was pretty widespread (boldface mine):

But despite an almost limitless budget, the Bloomberg campaign would learn that money can’t buy loyalty. Staffers described an almost total lack of belief in Bloomberg himself. “Most people knew this was a grift,” one campaign official explained, describing even leadership as being unwilling to fulfill basic campaign responsibilities. “At our first office meeting, my [director] said, ‘We don’t need to canvass. We can just make calls, right guys?’ And everyone was like, ‘Yeah, that’s sensible.’”

Another employee who specialized in social media explained how their coworkers’ lack of enthusiasm resulted in lackluster engagement with social media audiences, which often led to tweets so perfunctory—many would just copy and paste campaign talking points—that their Twitter accounts would get mistakenly flagged as spam and suspended.

Multiple people described elaborate schemes to undermine the campaign and help their favored candidates. As one staffer explained, “I would actively canvass for Bernie when I was supposed to be canvassing for Mike. I know of at least one team of ‘volunteers’ that was entirely fabricated by the organizers who had to hit their goals. It was easy enough to fudge the data to make it look like real people put in real volunteer work, when in reality Mike was getting nothing out of it.”

Another staffer told me, “In San Diego, the regional organizers also exploited the campaign’s resources, staff, and infrastructure for local races they either were running in or consulting on.

Think of it as the gig campaign, which, of course, means there’s an incentive to juice your numbers:

While the campaign had ambitious quotas for things like phone calls or doors, some staffers simply faked their numbers. “Many campaign staffers—including myself—had to juke the stats in order to keep up with these impossible goals,” one explained.

Can’t buy me love

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