Report: Gov. Perry paying volunteers

Sept. 30, 2009 at 12:22 AM

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry's campaign is paying volunteers to sign up other activists and get voters to the polls, the Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday.

The program has been named the Perry Home Headquarters, the newspaper said, and appears to be modeled on Amway and similar sales operations where salespeople are also paid for recruiting.

Perry, a Republican who became governor in 2000 when George W. Bush was elected president, is seeking a third full term. He faces a stiff primary challenge from U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

"It's ripe for abuse," said Jason Stanford, a Democratic consultant who served as campaign manager for former U.S. Rep. Chris Bell, Perry's 2006 opponent. "It's the Anglo ACORN. A dishonest Perry supporter could create a huge scam."

Volunteers played a huge part in Bush's presidential campaign and in President Obama's run last year. But their rewards were generally intangible -- a chance to shake hands with the candidate or pose for a snapshot, attend a fundraiser or watch a campaign event from backstage.

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