MONDAY, JULY 26, 2010
LITTLE PAVEL HAS A SENIOR MOMENT
Reflections on facilitating vote fraud
By John F. Di Leo
Left alone at a work table at party headquarters, young Pavel Syerov Jr. (Paul to his friends) had been collating literature and listening to country music on his radio for an hour, while Pockets, the deputy committeeman, was on the phone in the back office. When he heard Pockets emerge at last, Pavel quickly changed the station back to NPR and asked “So what’s up, Pockets?”
“Gotta deliver a floppy disk to a nursing home. Ya got another hour or two to join me, Paully?”
“A floppy disk? Do you mean maybe a CD, Pockets?” Pavel knew that the old pol’s jargon was a mixture of several eras, so interpreting his speech was sometimes a bit touch-and-go.
“Yeah, right. CD. Whatever. So can ya join me? It couldn’t hurt to show a little young blood when we make this call." Pockets dropped his voice before continuing. “It’s a new guy, who just took over management of one of the nursing homes in the 5th precinct. Gotta deliver the format we need their voting info on.”
Pavel looked at him quizzically. “Um, Pockets, you know you can just email the format, right? Whatever you want from him, you can just email him the blank Excel file and tell him to populate it. No need to hand-deliver anything.” Pockets just didn’t want to get with the 21st century. Pavel began to elucidate on the ease of transferring data in the information age.
“It’s not like twenty years ago, when you’d reach 750 kb of data and have to insert a new diskette, Pockets. With high speed internet connections and modern computers, you can transfer all that stuff back and forth by email now. You never have to leave headquarters if you don’t want to!”
Pockets chuckled, as it was now his chance to explain the ways of the world to his young charge. “I know I could email it, Paully. In fact, I emailed it last week. The thing is, I can’t be sure he’ll do what we need until we pay our little visit in person. He’s new, see? So it would be helpful if you’d accompany me. Just stay in the back and don’t say anything. Or if you do, speak in Russian.”
This was unusual. “I didn’t know you spoke Russian, Pockets!”
“I don’t. I’m just sayin’, if you say anything, say it in Russian.”
“Oh… so, does the nursing home owner speak Russian?”
“I sincerely doubt it,” chuckled Pockets. “The Russian language, when spoken, just conveys a certain somethin’ that I’d like to convey right now, that’s all.”
Not normally so slow on the uptake, Pavel was beginning to catch on. This was no ordinary delivery. He was being asked to help deliver a threat. His parents had told him that volunteering at party headquarters this summer would be more educational than summer school; they just hadn’t told him how, so every day was doubly enlightening.
“Level with me, Pockets. What are we doing today?”
Pockets sat down and opened a beer as he began the day’s lecture. “Nursing homes, senior citizen apartments, assisted living centers, whatever you want to call them (I’m sure there are subtle differences between them, Paully, but I don’t really care), are an important part of our operation. Put as simply as possible… they have voters, and we have carrots and sticks.”
“Sorry, Pockets, I don’t get it. Are they wealthy donors?”
“Well, son, yes, they’re not wealthy, but a nursing home owner is always good for some bucks, but that’s just a side benefit. The important thing is the votes they deliver. Say there are 200 people in a nursing home. Maybe fifty would vote intelligently on their own – for the purposes of this discussion, let’s call it 25 GOP, and 25 Dem. What does that mean?”
“It means a 25% turnout, with no net benefit to us. Unacceptable, right, Pockets?” read the whole story here
Illinois Review: Little Pavel Has A Senior Moment