Our friend Ben Smith at Politico reports on a pro-Obama outside group in California called Vote Hope (its website http://www.votehope2008.com/ bears an uncanny resemblance to Obama's official one)…Vote Hope is both a PAC and a 527, meaning its different arms can conduct different activities playing under different rules.
As you may recall, in Iowa Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, was a fierce critic of outside cash and third party groups -- when they were helping former Sen. John Edwards, D-NC.
In an email Smith obtained, Vote Hope told supporters that a different group, PowerPAC would in preparation for Super Duper Tuesday be hiring organizers to help turn out the vote at a salary of $12.50 an hour as well as $15 gas reimbursement.
In August, Obama said “We do not think people should be donating to 527s." Of Vote Hope, he told the San Francisco Chronicle ‘It would be hypocrisy if I had anything to do with them, since I just heard of them. This not something that I authorized or had any part of…My recommendation to people who are interested in supporting me is to support me through our campaign ...Get involved in the campaign that we've set up, that is above board, that is transparent, that is legal."
But some suggest that Obama has gotten mighty silent on the subject since Iowa -- when he assailed pro-Edwards 527s as part of "the Wild West" and slammed Edwards, their beneficiary, despite the North Carolinian's claims he had nothing to do with the groups and had no way to control them.
“So you can’t say yesterday you don’t believe in ‘em, and today you have three quarters of a million dollars being spent for you," Obama said then. "You can’t just talk the talk. The easiest thing in the world is to talk about change during election time.”
Well? Mr. Obama? What about Vote Hope?