It seemed reasonable to join the Daily News in May in being a bit suspicious that Karen Hicks, a top field organizer working for Miller, was on payroll solely to gather signatures, a classification that means her salary doesn’t count toward the spending cap.
“We don’t expect her to work on anything other than petitioning,” campaign manager Brian Hardwick said at the time.
In Monday’s Times, Hardwick seems to have confirmed the News’s suggestion that he’s working with a rather broad definition of “petitioning.”
“The beauty of the petitioning is that it gives you a real activity for supporters and volunteers to engage in,” said Brian Hardwick, Mr. Miller’s campaign manager. “Oftentimes in elections, you can’t activate them until later in the process. The petitioning allowed us two months ago to start to build and test our organization. We’ve knocked on more than 150,000 doors of targeted primary voters to get their signatures and introduce them to Gifford.”
The Campaign Finance Board could be busy this cycle, though Miller does have the system’s leading expert on payroll, and so perhaps this is within the letter of the law.