By Elizabeth Benjamin, NY Daily News blog
Here’s a “help wanted” flyer being circulated by the Bloomberg campaign in search of “well-spoken, persuasive, confident, and hard-working” field workers to pound the pavement of Brooklyn and Queens to rally the Jewish vote on behalf of the mayor.
For some reason, I find the carefully-chosen use of the word “persuasive” amusing.
What? Pushy and aggressive is too much?
The flyer was forwarded to me by a Jewish reader who noted that it seems kind of early to be hiring paid field. Along with the flyer, there was also an e-mail from Ari Hoffnung, Councilman Simcha Felder’s chief of staff, who is doing double duty with the mayor’s campaign.
Hoffnung, a onetime Council candidate who signed on to a lawsuit challenging the term limits extension, recently went-part time in his taxpayer-funded job so he could take another part-time gig to do what Bloomberg campaign spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker called “targeted field research” for the mayor’s re-election bid.
In his e-mail, Hoffnung wrote:
“As you may know, I‘m now working on mobilizing the Jewish vote for Mayor Bloomberg’s re-election campaign.
“Our goal over the next few months is simple: we’re going to be communicating with as many members of the Jewish community as possible. In fact, we plan to lead the most comprehensive Jewish outreach program this city has ever seen.”
“Do you know any talented individuals who are ready to roll up their sleeves, pound the pavement, and knock on doors on behalf of Mayor Bloomberg? If so, we want them!”
“In order to help us achieve our ambitious goals, we’re looking to hire a few well-spoken and hard working individuals with a passion for politics and government. Folks working in this role will have one-on-one contact with voters on a daily basis and have the opportunity to learn about neighborhood issues, voter interaction, and campaign strategy.”
Also working the Jewish vote for Bloomberg is Mark Botnick, who moved over to the campaign from City Hall a few months ago.
Bloomberg had a bit of a falling out with the Orthodox community recently over cuts to the so-called “Priority 7” child care vouchers program. Some of the money was ultimately restored – as the Bloomberg campaign noted in a series of full-page ads in Jewish newspapers.
The question, as it so often is when it comes to Orthodox voters, isn’t whether they chose to back Bloomberg’s Democratic opponent, Comptroller Bill Thompson, which seems unlikely, but whether they bother to come to the polls at all.