I have a friend who is a Texas Republican. He frequently earns money circulating petitions, all over the U.S., usually for initiatives. I asked him how much he is being paid per signature. He said he wouldn't tell me until after August 9... He also hinted that Lieberman is trying to get way over the minimum number of signatures, as a symbol of strength.
Strong = Getting way more than 7,500 signatures
Weak = Suffering from such a lack of enthusiasm in the state where you have been a Senator for 18 years that you can’t get your signatures without hiring out-of-state Republicans to collect them for you for a per-signature fee! Feel that Joementum!
The Lamont campaign, via Tom Swan, comments:
If the Senator decides to officially file the Connecticut for Lieberman party, I am sure that there will be a thorough review to ensure no laws have been broken and that every petition and every signature are legal.
Break laws? Surely the Lieberman campaign will not be breaking any laws!
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-453e (2006)
Each circulator of a nominating petition page shall be a United States citizen, at least eighteen years of age and a resident of a town in this state and shall not be on parole for conviction of a felony. Any individual proposed as a candidate in any nominating petition may serve as circulator of the pages of such nominating petition.(emphasis added)
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-453j (2006)
Each page of a nominating petition submitted to the town clerk or the Secretary of the State and filed with the Secretary of the State under the provisions of sections 9-453a to 9-453s, inclusive, or section 9-216 shall contain a statement as to the residency in this state and eligibility of the circulator and authenticity of the signatures thereon, signed under penalties of false statement, by the person who circulated the same. Such statement shall set forth (1) such circulator's residence address, including the town in this state in which such circulator is a resident, (2) the circulator's date of birth and that the circulator is at least eighteen years of age, (3) that the circulator is a United States citizen and not on parole for conviction of a felony, and (4) that each person whose name appears on such page signed the same in person in the presence of such circulator and that either the circulator knows each such signer or that the signer satisfactorily identified himself to the circulator. Any false statement committed with respect to such statement shall be deemed to have been committed in the town in which the petition was circulated.
It seems from the statute that any petition pages circulated by a person who does not qualify are not counted. It is entirely possible that this particular Texas Republican is is coordinating the circulation among Connecticut residents or that he is a resident of a town in Connecticut. It is also entirely possible that any other paid petition circulators are Connecticut residents. All of these things would have made interesting questions for the Lieberman campaign. I contacted them, but as of this post, they have not replied. I will post any updates as they happen.
There are, of course, Lieberman supporters in-state who are collecting the signatures because they believe in their guy. One of them agreed to speak to me anonymously. The volunteer’s comments are included below:
I started [collecting signatures] about two weeks ago... As of now, [I have not collected] that many...I have asked the Lieberman supporters I know and who are around this summer... I have not turned them in because I want to get more signatures... I did not receive any pay, I volunteered to do this... I only personally know two other people doing it and they are volunteers as well...
Personally I have gone through my network of friends. I haven't had time to go to public places. I do not know the campaign's position on this, although I know of some petitoners who have gone to public areas such as supermarkets and have been succesful. I am sure they are also going through their network of friends to supplement as well....as would anyone looking for support.
I have encountered enthusiasm from most...I have been getting signatures from a lot of people my age and they are really interested in what I am doing, what Lieberman is doing, and this race in general.
Unfortunately, speaking to only one person does not give you a very good sense of how many petitions have been collected. We may have to wait until August 9 to find out.