PHILADELPHIANS AGAINST SANTORUM.

PHILADELPHIANS AGAINST SANTORUM. Sunday afternoon, I shadowed a few lifelong activists who were canvassing for Philadelphians Against Santorum (PAS). We met on a South Philly street corner, where PAS armed us with an arsenal of fliers highlighting the fundamental differences between Casey and Santorum. PAS is geared toward getting a minimum of 60 percent of Philadelphians to vote against the Republican incumbent. Their logo is an angry cartoon of William Penn with �Philadelphians Against Santorum� scrawled across his chest along with a Liberty Bell. PAS has been canvassing various Philadelphia neighborhoods for the last two months straight, as Bob Casey�s lead has grown to double digits. They target Democrats and unaffiliated voters whom they suspect might not make it to the polls. With any luck, one PAS staffer told me, a canvasser will average 25 knocks an hour and hold 6-8 conversations with voters. �We�re potentially sitting on a third of the votes needed to get rid of Santorum,� he said.

We headed to a predominantly African-American stretch of South Philly where signs of gentrification have started to appear. Construction sites and scaffolding dotted streets of dilapidated row homes. Over the course of two hours, PAS knocked on about 40 doors, though most of the residents didn�t match up with the names their list. In fact, PAS only contacted one person who was actually listed; he wouldn�t say which way he was leaning, but he did listen to their spiel.

PAS must struggle as a grassroots campaign working independently of more established organizations. Toward the end of our outing, we came across one staunchly Democratic resident who asked if we could help him get to the polls on Tuesday. PAS took his information and then tried to pass him off to a ward leader, who happened to be stapling Rendell/Casey signs to telephone polls around the corner. After she learned what organization we were from, she became dismissive of our request. �What would you do if I wasn�t here?� she asked.

The PAS workers walked away, baffled to have been met with resistance by a ward leader working toward the same goals. It was the kind of in-fighting the Republicans seem more adept at mollifying. Dems ought to be thankful Casey has such a large lead.

--Zack Pelta-Heller

You need to be logged in to comment.
(If there's one thing we know about comment trolls, it's that they're lazy)

Connect
, after login or registration your account will be connected.
Advertisement