Democratic candidate Barack Obama, who has built his candidacy on the promise of a “new kind of politics,” has run up against the old kind of politics in Philadelphia.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Obama’s refusal to pay “street money” to volunteers in Pennsylvania’s largest city may cost him support in the state’s April 22 primary.
Local party leaders in Philadelphia expect candidates to deliver cash to help them get out the vote, the Times says. Teens who hand out leaflets typically get a $10 bill, while more experienced volunteers can get up to $100. The total for America’s sixth-largest city could come to $500,000.
“This is a machine city, and ward leaders have to pay their committee people,” ward leader and Obama supporter Carol Ann Campbell told the Times.
Obama often rails against the influence of money in politics, and his campaign has told Philadelphia officials they should expect no street money.