Get paid $100, if you’re not too liberal

Pub date September 4, 2008
SectionPolitics Blog

by Amanda Witherell

After we ran an article on the remarkable coincidences between opponents of the Clean Energy Act and people who take money from PG&E, reader J.J. Hollingsworth sent the following anecdote. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

Hollingsworth wrote:

“Regarding Eric Jaye’s comment, “They’ve pledged enough to educate every voter in San Francisco.”

On August 19th, I received a call from Focus Point Marketing Group which promised to pay me $100 for two hours of my time provided I call back for an interview in order to be a part of a group seminar on August 21st which would address social issues.

I called the lady back and asked what the social issue was about.

She said it was about the administration of public utilities in San Francisco. We established a rapport and I said that the subject would interest me and I checked my schedule and indeed was available for the two-hour seminar at 450 Sansome on August 21st from 6-8 p.m. The pay at $50 per hour was intriguing.

I proceeded with the interview which was a question tree about if I’m registered to vote, how likely I am to vote in November, etc. When we got to the part about whether I consider myself conservative, moderate, or liberal. My answer was, “I guess I’m liberal.” She said something to the effect of, “Well, you are in San Francisco where people are liberal, but unfortunately I can’t sign you up.”

Still intrigued by the $100, I said something to the effect of “Well, let’s mark me down as ‘moderate’ because some people out here think I’m conservative on certain issues.” So we proceeded with the interview. The next question was “What political party are you affiliated with?” I told her that I registered with the Green Party over twenty years ago. (It’s not easy being green and my voting record does not always concur with the Green Party line.)

The sweet lady at the other end of the phone replied, “Ma’am, I can’t win for losin’ here.” And so we left it cordially, and with humor – I could not attend the August 23rd ‘party’ and go home with $100.

My main point here is that despite all the fundraising bravura, I believe PG&E considers at least some of the population here in San Francsico uneducable.”