Duped into registering as Republicans (I knew there was an explanation)

Saturday, April 01, 2006 at 04:39 PM

Fresh from the Orange County Register, on April Fool's Day, no less: O.C. voters were duped into GOP registration--Petitioners lie, cajole and commit forgery while duping more than 100 O.C. residents into joining the Republican Party

Tell me you haven't been expecting to see that headline for years.

Seems that a bunch of people were hired by Christopher Scott Dinoff to "circulate petitions" at shopping malls, on such innocuous stuff as curing breast cancer, punishing child molesters, and building schools. Dinoff was hired by a subcontractor for Bader and Associates, the Newport Beach consultant used by the GOP to conduct the registration drive.

Along with the petitions, members of the public were given registration forms to sign.  Some had Republican checked, others had the party affiliation blank.  If the signers questioned the registrations, signature gatherers said that they needed to list people that way because it was a Republican-sponsored petition.

For every registration card they got signed, the petition circulators got $7.

Overall, the newspaper and local election officials have identified some 267 people who unwittingly registered as Republicans.  Many are college students or people with a limited command of English.  Needless to say, they ain't happy.

The idea was more absurd than dangerous: unwittingly registering as a Republican isn't real likely to make you vote Republican.  In fact, the upshot is likely to be a backlash against the Republicans, and in a hotly contested District, too.

It's nice when the enemy shoots itself in the foot at $7 a bullet.