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The surrogate votergate

By Walt Brasch - posted Wednesday, 9 April 2008

“Vote for Marshbaum! Get your vote recorded early!”

On Main Street, shouting and scaring away dogs, Marshbaum was campaigning furiously, stopping almost every carbon form within 30 feet of him. In one hand was a sign, “Change With Obama”. In his other hand was “3a.m. Hillary”.

“You are running for President?” I asked somewhat sceptically.


“Didn’t you read the signs?” asked an incredulous Marshbaum, upset that even a journalist could miss props that large. “I’m accepting votes for Obama or Hillary.”

“You’re doing what?!”

“Accepting votes,” he said matter-of-factly. “Whoever gives me the most money is the one I’m voting for.”

“Obama and Hillary certainly aren’t paying you to vote?”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” said Marshbaum, “they only paid voters in the Iowa caucuses. I’m after Republicans.”

With the Pennsylvania primary expected to give either Obama or Clinton the final momentum for the Democratic nomination, Marshbaum had figured out how to provide a nefarious service and be paid for it without governmental interference, something Republicans crave in the free market economy. “If more Republicans give me money for Obama, I’ll vote for him in April. If more give me money for Hillary, then it’s wake-up time in America, and she becomes the favourite for commander-in-chief.”


“Why would Republicans pay you to vote for Democrats?”

“With Bush’s approval rating around 18 per cent and McCain getting the nomination, the Republicans need to believe they again matter - like when they could pock-mark the environment, write unconstitutional laws, and start wars without anyone objecting. By voting for a Democrat, like they could in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Texas, they can regain their voice.”

“So, you’re taking money from Republicans who aren’t allowed to cross over in Pennsylvania, and you’ll vote for whichever candidate has accumulated the most money for your scam.”

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About the Author

Walter Brasch is professor of journalism at Bloomsburg University. He is an award-winning syndicated columnist, and author of 16 books. Dr. Brasch's current books are Unacceptable: The Federal Governments Response to Hurricane Katrina; Sex and the Single Beer Can: Probing the Media and American Culture; and Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush (Nov. 2007) You may contact him at

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