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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Jeff Greene canvassers looking for their money



Was Democratic Senate candidate Jeff Greene the main attraction for about 50 people who came to the Mahogany Grille in Miami Gardens Sunday afternoon? Was it the free fried chicken and meatballs? The school supplies giveway?

For a bunch of folks, it was little bit of all of the above -- but mostly they were there to get paid. The campaign had offered them $50 a day to canvas neighborhoods, wave signs and make phone calls, and they had been told to come to the restaurant to get their money.

"He's a crook,'' said 22-year-old Sabrina Height, picking her teeth wth a toothpick after enjoying the spread of free food. She said she was owed $200. "He's giving us the runaround,'' she said. "To tell you the truth, I don't even know why I voted for him."

James Alvin, 43, who said he was owed $250, said he would probably vote for Greene's rival, Kendrick Meek "because of what his mom done." His mother, Carrie Meek, served in Congress from 1992 to 2002, when Kendrick was elected.

Greene spokesman Luis Vizcaino insisted that everyone who worked on the campaign would be paid. "They're here for a back-to-school event,'' he said of the people leaving the restaurant with armfuls of spiral notebooks, folders and No. 2 pencils.

Beth Reinhard

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:22am]


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