Kampanye pemilihan legislatif (Pileg) 2014 akan segera digeber. Mulai 16 Maret hingga 5 April mendatang , 12 partai politik (Par
Kampanye pemilihan legislatif (Pileg) 2014 akan segera digeber. Mulai 16 Maret hingga 5 April mendatang , 12 partai politik (Parpol) peserta Pemilu akan unjuk kekuatan. Pada masa kampanye itu, mereka tentu juga akan mengerahkan massa dengan jumlah yang banyak.
Saat masa kampanye terbuka digelar inilah, peluang mengais rezeki bagi pelaku jasa pengerahan massa makin terbuka lebar. Tentu bukan sembarang orang yang bisa terjun di bisnis ini.
Mereka juga harus memiliki jaringan, memiliki pengaruh dan massa yang banyak. Dan umumnya, mereka dari kalangan aktivis, LSM maupun organisasi massa.
Di Surabaya misalnya. Ada beberapa aktivis gerakan yang juga mengaku kerap dimintai tolong oleh Parpol maupun Caleg, untuk dapat mendatangkan massa yang cukup banyak, saat kampanye Pemilu digelar. Tentu dengan imbalan yang menjanjikan.
Mantan aktivis 98, sebut saja TM, meski sudah tidak lagi terlibat dalam gerakan mahasiswa, wajahnya masih cukup familier di kalangan Parpol dan para Caleg di Surabaya. Sebab, sesekali dia dan massanya (yang sebagian juga dari golongan seniman) masih sering terlihat turun jalan mengkritisi kondisi kontemporer di Kota Pahlawan.
Meski dia tidak mengaku kalau pada Pemilu 2014 ini dia tidak di-booking partai atau Caleg, diakuinya kalau dia memang kerap menerima job mendatangkan massa, termasuk ketika Pilkada digelar.
"Yang penting bisa mendatangkan uang, ya saya kerjakan. Untuk beli susu anak. Berapapun jumlah massa yang diminta, pasti siap asal harganya cocok," celetuk pria berambut gondrong yang meminta namanya hanya disebut inisial saja itu.
Selain TM, yang dikenal jago orasi saat masih terlibat dalam gerakan mahasiswa tahun 1998 di Surabaya itu, masih ada banyak aktivitis yang tak akan menolak jika diminta bantuan mendatang massa.
Seperti yang diungkap oleh tim sukses dari salah satu Caleg asal Surabaya, CN. Bapak dua anak yang kini terlibat aktif dalam pengorganisiran massa di kalangan petani dan nelayan ini mengatakan, untuk dapat mendatangkan massa dari berbagai daerah di Jawa Timur, dia juga terus aktif berkoordinasi dengan beberapa aktivis gerakan di daerah-daerah. Hal ini agar bila dibutuhkan bisa segera menyiapkan massa. Sehingga, saat kampanye digelar massa sudah siap diturunkan.
"Ya kita manfaatkan teman-teman yang ada di daerah-daerah untuk dapat mengondisikan massanya, termasuk meminta bantuan jasa orang lain," kata CN yang berkantor di kawasan Surabaya Selatan itu.
Memang, lanjut dia, untuk dapat mengumpulkan massa, perlu dirawat (membayar) mereka. "Ini kan bagian dari kerja politik, tentu ada anggaran untuk itu. Misalnya untuk makan, bikin spanduk, stiker, transportasi serta anggaran tak terduga lain, termasuk mengganti waktu orang yang disisihkan untuk datang ke lokasi kampanye nanti," katanya tanpa menyebut nominal dana tersebut.
From sea to shining sea, or at least from one side of the Hudson to the other, politicians you have barely heard of are being accused of wrongdoing. There were so many court proceedings involving public officials on Monday that it was hard to keep up.
In Newark, two underlings of Gov. Chris Christie were arraigned on charges that they were in on the truly deranged plot to block traffic leading onto the George Washington Bridge.
Ten miles away, in Lower Manhattan, Dean G. Skelos, the leader of the New York State Senate, and his son, Adam B. Skelos, were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on accusations of far more conventional political larceny, involving a job with a sewer company for the son and commissions on title insurance and bond work.
The younger man managed to receive a 150 percent pay increase from the sewer company even though, as he said on tape, he “literally knew nothing about water or, you know, any of that stuff,” according to a criminal complaint the United States attorney’s office filed.
The success of Adam Skelos, 32, was attributed by prosecutors to his father’s influence as the leader of the Senate and as a potentate among state Republicans. The indictment can also be read as one of those unfailingly sad tales of a father who cannot stop indulging a grown son. The senator himself is not alleged to have profited from the schemes, except by being relieved of the burden of underwriting Adam.
The bridge traffic caper is its own species of crazy; what distinguishes the charges against the two Skeloses is the apparent absence of a survival instinct. It is one thing not to know anything about water or that stuff. More remarkable, if true, is the fact that the sewer machinations continued even after the former New York Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, was charged in January with taking bribes disguised as fees.
It was by then common gossip in political and news media circles that Senator Skelos, a Republican, the counterpart in the Senate to Mr. Silver, a Democrat, in the Assembly, could be next in line for the criminal dock. “Stay tuned,” the United States attorney, Preet Bharara said, leaving not much to the imagination.
Even though the cat had been unmistakably belled, Skelos father and son continued to talk about how to advance the interests of the sewer company, though the son did begin to use a burner cellphone, the kind people pay for in cash, with no traceable contracts.
That was indeed prudent, as prosecutors had been wiretapping the cellphones of both men. But it would seem that the burner was of limited value, because by then the prosecutors had managed to secure the help of a business executive who agreed to record calls with the Skeloses. It would further seem that the business executive was more attentive to the perils of pending investigations than the politician.
Through the end of the New York State budget negotiations in March, the hopes of the younger Skelos rested on his father’s ability to devise legislation that would benefit the sewer company. That did not pan out. But Senator Skelos did boast that he had haggled with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, in a successful effort to raise a $150 million allocation for Long Island to $550 million, for what the budget called “transformative economic development projects.” It included money for the kind of work done by the sewer company.
The lawyer for Adam Skelos said he was not guilty and would win in court. Senator Skelos issued a ringing declaration that he was unequivocally innocent.
THIS was also the approach taken in New Jersey by Bill Baroni, a man of great presence and eloquence who stopped outside the federal courthouse to note that he had taken risks as a Republican by bucking his party to support paid family leave, medical marijuana and marriage equality. “I would never risk my career, my job, my reputation for something like this,” Mr. Baroni said. “I am an innocent man.”
The lawyer for his co-defendant, Bridget Anne Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, a Republican, said that she would strongly rebut the charges.
Perhaps they had nothing to do with the lane closings. But neither Mr. Baroni nor Ms. Kelly addressed the question of why they did not return repeated calls from the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., begging them to stop the traffic tie-ups, over three days.
That silence was a low moment. But perhaps New York hit bottom faster. Senator Skelos, the prosecutors charged, arranged to meet Long Island politicians at the wake of Wenjian Liu, a New York City police officer shot dead in December, to press for payments to the company employing his son.
Sometimes it seems as though for some people, the only thing to be ashamed of is shame itself.