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Dem Candidate Uses Addicts for Rent-a-Mob

I got an email tip from a reader and I was ready to defend this guy, even laud the guy, until I saw what he hired the addicts to do...

Rales uses addicts at rally

Josh Rales, a Democratic candidate for Maryland's U.S. Senate seat, paid a drug-treatment center in Baltimore to drive its recovering addicts to last week's debate in College Park, where they held signs supporting his campaign.

About 20 patients from the I Can't, We Can (ICWC) drug-treatment and counseling center in northwest Baltimore attended the debate, said Adrian Harpool, president of the 21st Century Group, a Baltimore public-relations firm hired by the Rales campaign to recruit volunteers.

"It's not something that happens on a regular basis," Mr. Harpool said, adding that the recovering addicts were unpaid volunteers who were to help post signs but ended up holding the placards. "It was a real error in judgment on my part."

I'll say.

The kicker is the addicts didn't even get any of the money. If they are going to whore out the addicts they could at least give them a few bucks.

Hiring addicts is a laudable cause. What Josh Rales should do is offer to pay the addicts to help clean up after the rally... Or something that helps them recover. Not use them as a rent-a-mob. And THEY should get the money (or some benfit from their labor) not the counseling center who apparently uses them as free labor.


Comments (19)

Was participation voluntary... (Below threshold)

Was participation voluntary? If not, isn't it forced labor? I mean, it's not HARD labor, but it can't be considered part of their treatment program. Also, it's forcing someone to declare a political opinion (by holding the sign) that they may not agree with.

Eeeek! Have you seen his TV... (Below threshold)
Alexandra:

Eeeek! Have you seen his TV ads? Drivel...

First of all, these are "re... (Below threshold)
kevino:

First of all, these are "recovering addicts" -- not active addicts. Secondly, you don't know the arrangement between the treatment center and their clients. It is normal in half-way houses for the clients to work a job and contribute essentially all of their take-home pay to the treatment center. The clients don't pay anything like what their housing actually costs, but the treatment center can recover some of their costs and use the money to fund treatment for other people. It also teaches the client to act responsibly (i.e. paying part of their own way). And, I'm afraid it is a good idea not to let recovering addicts keep money. This may seem like unfair treatment of their clients, but the clients do have a choice: they can withdraw from the program.

Now, I won't defend the practice of "rent-a-mobs", but it is frequently done -- particularly by Democrats. If you want to get upset, attend a few rallies where the AmeriCorps "volunteers" show up: they are paid for by taxpayers.

you don't know the arran... (Below threshold)
Paul:

you don't know the arrangement between the treatment center and their clients.

The clients don't pay anything like what their housing actually costs, but the treatment center can recover some of their costs and use the money to fund treatment for other people.

----

You know what I find amazing kevino?

That you wrote all that, taking me to task for not knowing something, when it is abundantly clear from your comments that you did not read the article I linked.

If you had READ the article, you (too) would know about the money arragements in this case.

Next time read before you comment. It works better that way. Trust me.

OK, Paul, reading from the ... (Below threshold)
kevino:

OK, Paul, reading from the article, what was the arrangement between the center and it's clients? If the clients were forced to participate, does it say that? Was this offerred as an "outing"? (By the way, twenty people is a small number for most treatment centers or holding facilities. It is very possible this a subset of the clients volunteered.)

It says that the treatment center got the money. Fine. I understand. Now tell me from the article what the clients got and whether or not they volunteered. It doesn't say, does it.? You don't know if the clients received some other type of compensation.

And, yes, even without that information, I can, based on by experience, tell you that your statment, "The kicker is the addicts didn't even get any of the money. If they are going to whore out the addicts they could at least give them a few bucks." is probably dead wrong because most clients don't have the opportunity to work extra outside jobs, and even if they did, the treatment center would, in essence, take it away from them. And this may seem unfair, but it is normally done.

I stand by my statement, "You don't know the arrangement between the treatment center and their clients." You have incorrectly assumed that these arrangements involve money.

Now tell me from the art... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Now tell me from the article what the clients got and whether or not they volunteered. It doesn't say, does it.?

Big. Long. Heavy. Sigh.

the recovering addicts were unpaid volunteers

You might... Or you might not have noticed that not only is it in the story, but it is my blockquote above AND you might have noticed I even bolded it when I blogged it.

Short of tatooing it on your arm, I'm not sure how to make you read it.

The drugs must have impared... (Below threshold)
Sock Puppet:

The drugs must have impared his ability to read.

Hearty second to Alexandra'... (Below threshold)

Hearty second to Alexandra's comment.
If this is the best MD Democrats can muster, that's just sad.

Kevino,The addicts... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

Kevino,

The addicts were paying to be a part of this program -- then they get sent out to be unpaid labor. As fake campaign supporters.

What part of "this is so fucking wrong -- it's rediculous" don't you get?

Using recovering addicts as campaign supporters does not appear to be illegal, said a spokeswoman for the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

No? What about labor laws?

"unpaid volunteers" sounds ... (Below threshold)
SmartGuy:

"unpaid volunteers" sounds like a phrase created by the Department of Redundancy Department

Paul:OK, so you ac... (Below threshold)
kevino:

Paul:

OK, so you accept "the recovering addicts were unpaid volunteers" in faith. Fine. Then what, exactly, is your complaint? If they volunteered their services free of charge, then what is this about?

"The kicker is the addicts didn't even get any of the money. If they are going to whore out the addicts they could at least give them a few bucks."

Gee. That's terrible: they don't pay their volunteers!

Now, do I believe that this is 100% voluntary? Not without more information. And certainly not based on the word of the spokesperson for an organization that is tapdancing for the press.

For example, if these individuals were waiting in a holding facility for placement in a halfway house, then that is (typically) a very institutional environment with locked doors. If the facility simply asked for volunteers to go out and work at a political event, they would probably have no trouble at all getting volunteers. Any chance to go out would be a welcome change. That's fair.

As a different example, we've had cutbacks in drug treatment programs in the NE area. Many residents in halfway houses have tried to raise money for the nonprofit companies that run the various programs. I'm sure they would take money to do this kind of work. There are some troubling aspects about this. For one thing, if a company tells someone at a halfway house that they are running low on funds and need to reduce the amount of time that they get to stay there, that can be a real threat to the client's life (particularly if that person is serious about recovery and afraid of what will happen to them with no safe place to go). If you then tell a person in that situation that they need volunteers to work on a political event, you'll get lots of volunteers who really aren't exactly 100% volunteering.

Did the drug treatment facility offer compensation in the form of extra privileges or getting out some assignment? Could be. Did the facility use unfair tactics to get their "volunteers"? We don't know.

Bottom line: clients working on their recovery turn over a big part of their lives to the counselors who are working with them.

I'll also come back to an earlier statement: making blanket statements about paying addicts at an unknown level of recovery is ludicrous.

mesablue:RE: "The ... (Below threshold)
kevino:

mesablue:

RE: "The addicts were paying to be a part of this program -- then they get sent out to be unpaid labor."
Most of the individuals that I've worked with do not pay anything close to what their treatment really costs. The non-profit companies that do the real heavy lifting are always hurting for money. Demand is high, and their resources are low. Typically clients are sent out as unpaid (or badly paid) labor -- for a variety of reasons. For example, people in halfway houses are required to work, and yet most of their money goes to the house. Even if they have valuable skills, they are frequently required to work menial jobs. The money that they make is demanded of them -- every week. On one level, it's practically slavery. On the other hand, it teaches important lessons about being responsible, and it forces self-absorbed people to work a normal (often low-paying) job.

In any case, if a person volunteers for treatment, then they agree to do (within reason) what they are told to do. They surrender a great deal of their personal freedom. If they don't like it, they discharge themselves.

RE: "As fake campaign supporters."
What I wrote on THAT subject was:

Now, I won't defend the practice of "rent-a-mobs", but it is frequently done -- particularly by Democrats. If you want to get upset, attend a few rallies where the AmeriCorps "volunteers" show up: they are paid for by taxpayers.

Kevino.You didn't ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Kevino.

You didn't read the story.

You didn't read it again.

You didn't read it a third time.

Yet you still want to make stupid statements about it.

Spend more time working on your recovery than you spend talking to me and you'd probably be better off.

Good Luck. You'll need it.

Paul,Nice try, but... (Below threshold)
kevino:

Paul,

Nice try, but once again you're talking about something that you know nothing about: in this case, me. I've been working with people like this for decades. That's one of my most important volunteer efforts.

Now, you've been caught. You made a couple of really stupid statements, and you're furiously tryinng to change the subject. I read the article, and I read what you've written.

I REPEAT THE QUESTION: If these people are truly unpaid volunteers, then what is this about:

"The kicker is the addicts didn't even get any of the money. If they are going to whore out the addicts they could at least give them a few bucks."

Paul, they volunteered! Do you know what the word means?
You're sitting there stipulating that they volunteered to do the work. Fine. The contract between the facility and the candidate's PR group is something that they may or may not be aware of. But that doesn't matter, because, somehow, they are entitled to some of the money. Why? Who knows. I guess I'm entitled to compensation for all of the hours of volunteer work that I did.

And best of all, when they get paid, the end result is that we give money to drug addicts. That's a really dumb idea.

>Now, you've been caught... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>Now, you've been caught. You made a couple of really stupid statements, and you're furiously tryinng to change the subject. I read the article, and I read what you've written.

MAN you're still on the drugs huh?

You're "repeating the question" but you're still not asking a question.

Dude, put down the dope and try posting again.

If you have a question give it to me in one sentence with a question mark at the end.

Or print this thread and bring it with you to your treatment center and see they tell you about it.

But I'm glad you're trying to beat the monkey.

Here is one of your silly s... (Below threshold)
kevino:

Here is one of your silly statements:

"The kicker is the addicts didn't even get any of the money. If they are going to whore out the addicts they could at least give them a few bucks."

QUESTION: If these people are truly volunteered, then what are you complaining about?

That's perfectly clear.


OH I get it...You ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

OH I get it...

You belive that there was the giant group of druggies who happen to be following politics and all happened to be fans of this one candidate and they all happened to be at that same treatment center and that same treatment center just happened to also rent their vans out as a "transprotation service" and when the campaign had this rush of volunteers they went looking for a van and went, "Oh my gosh this same group of politic following druggies who happen to go to the same treatment center JUST HAPPEN to go to the same treatment center who rents vans" so they happily rented the vans and brought all the druggies to the rally.

You'd have to be on drugs to believe that one.

BTW you're only allowed to ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

BTW you're only allowed to make 6 different contradictory arguments per Wizbang thread and you've already used 5.

1) It is normal in half-way houses for the clients to work a job and contribute essentially all of their take-home pay to the treatment center.

2) It says that the treatment center got the money. Fine. I understand. Now tell me from the article what the clients got and whether or not they volunteered. It doesn't say, does it.? You don't know if the clients received some other type of compensation.

3) OK, so you accept "the recovering addicts were unpaid volunteers" in faith. Fine.

4) Now, do I believe that this is 100% voluntary? Not without more information. And certainly not based on the word of the spokesperson for an organization that is tapdancing for the press.

5) Paul, they volunteered! Do you know what the word means?

Put down the dope before you pick up the mouse.

First of all, my apologies ... (Below threshold)
kevino:

First of all, my apologies for the delay, but it's been a long day . . .

RE: OH I get it...

No you don't.

Now you seem to be saying what I've been saying for a long time. I've read the story. I don't believe it. And I've repeatedly explained why.

You want a possible scenario? Try this one: PR group calls facility and offers to pay for workers. The facility now needs to get 20 clients to do the work. There are several possibilities, including:
1.The facility asks for volunteers: the clients are offered an opportunity to get away from the facility and do something different.
2.The facility asks for volunteers but adds other compensation. For example, volunteers don't have to do one or more routine tasks, or volunteers get special privileges.
3.The facility asks for volunteers, and clients as a group volunteer out of loyalty to the group or to help the facility or because they think it would be good for their recovery.
4.The facility applies a certain amount of pressure to get "volunteers".

Do we know what happened? No. That's why I said, "You don't know the arrangement between the treatment center and their clients." Your reply was a classic: "If you had READ the article, you (too) would know about the money arragements [sic] in this case." To which I replied: "You have incorrectly assumed that these arrangements involve money." [By the way, the article doesn't explain much about the monetary arrangements, either. The critical question is the amount of money paid to the facility, and that was not disclosed.]

So now you're in a bind, and your argument moves to this little gem: "the recovering addicts were unpaid volunteers". And I've simply pointed out that if that is true, then the ending to your article makes no sense: you're complaining about a problem that doesn't exist. But you didn't give up. You kept hammering away: "You didn't read the story. You didn't read it again. You didn't read it a third time." And after repeated attempts you finally, sort of, come to admit that the article may not be telling the whole story - the article that you keep demanding that I read. (You didn't answer the question, but that's OK.)

So here we are . . .

Either they volunteered, or they didn't. If they didn't volunteer, then all of your demands that I read the article look stupid: you're asking me to read and accept something that you, yourself, believe to be false. And it's the one line you've been hammering me with to counter my opinion that we don't know the whole story. (At least that seems to be what you're implying now.) If they did volunteer, then your comments at the end of the article make no sense.


RE: "You'd have to be on drugs to believe that one."
Wow. You repeat the same tired insult -- again. Boring. You have no creativity left, do you? Why don't you call me a "Nazi"?


RE: Later post
Item #5 in your list is badly phrased. In reference to your repeated demands that I read the article and your box quote that the individuals were "unpaid volunteers", I should have said something like, "Paul,
you're the one who seems to think they were unpaid volunteers."




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