“Internet Sabotage” and Cash for Votes: Rick Perry’s Excellent Tuesday Morning


The Perry campaign has been hyping its Obama-style, cutting-edge grassroots and social-media savvy to anybody who’d listen. And if you didn’t believe them, they were advertising a live “Talkin’ Texas” feed from Perry’s campaign site this morning at 11:30. But shortly before 11:30, the site went down and all viewers got was an error message.

By 12:30, Perry spokesman Mark Miner had posted a note on the site claiming “Internet Sabotage”:

“Today’s ‘Talkin’ Texas’ webcast by Gov. Perry was deliberately interrupted by a denial-of-service attack, preventing countless users from logging in to view the Governor’s remarks. This planned and coordinated attack was political sabotage, and we are working to identify those responsible for this illegal activity. Before the attack was initiated, more than 22,000 users were able to log in and view Gov. Perry’s complete remarks, which will be distributed shortly.”

Before 1 p.m., questions were already being raised about the “hacking” claim by Philip Martin at Burnt Orange Report: “What is more likely—that someone hacked a meaningless video announcement, or that Rick Perry’s team just screwed this whole thing up?” I’ll let you answer that one.

As for the grassroots campaign, The Dallas Morning News this morning reported on Perry’s cash-for-volunteers program, an “Amway-style program, known as Perry Home Headquarters.” The governor’s campaign is paying volunteers $20 to sign up other “Home Headquarters” volunteers, who each pledge to recruit 11 voters for Perry. Another $20 is promised for additional clusters of 11 voters the volunteers sign up. One Dallas-area volunteer, reports Gromer Jeffers, has already scored a $3,500 haul.

The story makes delicious reading, especially the Twitter post from a woman trying to take advantage: “HELP ME RAISE MONEY FOR MY NEXT CAR!!! COPY, PASTE, AND SIGN UP TO SUPPORT RICK PERRY!” Campaigns often use incentives to encourage volunteers, as Jeffers points out, but paying cash is a new twist. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s site, which was humming along just fine, quickly jumped on “Home Headquarters” as an “ACORN tactic,” issuing this statement: “Typical Rick Perry arrogance, when his failed record can’t earn him support, he’ll just buy it. This is just more of the disappointing politics we’ve come to expect from Rick Perry. From making policy for the benefit of his political contributors to pressuring Regents, Texans are ready for a governor who will earn votes with results and not buy support with campaign cash.”