“A Spitzer Petitioner’s Tale: $1,600 To Get Signatures For ‘A Schmuck'”

Love this image of democracy in action:

Due to the high pay, I felt obligated to get at many signatures as I could. The West Village has many aging Jewish women and gay couples. These are my people. I realized the trick was to start with the most potent part to draw people in. “Hi, I’m with Eliot Spitzer for Comptroller of the City of New York. Would you like to sign our petition to put him on the ballot?” has a LOT of syllables. So I tried innumerable permutations of my pitch.

“Sign for Spitzer?”

“I’m with Eliot Spitzer. Sign our petition please?”

“Eliot Spitzer for office. Sign please?”

Then I started barking, “SPITZER! SIGN FOR SPITZER!” It worked. Many people stopped and signed. Others told me I was crazy.


“Heaven’s no.”

“Heck no.”

“You must be kidding.”

“You’re joking right?”

“You must be joking.”

“That schmuck!”

“What nerve!”

“I’d never vote for a hellion!”

I was also insulted with what seemed like 30 different Yiddish words. Who knew Yiddish could be so versatile?


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