It’s time for the Left to quit pretending that conservative activism is artificial and orchestrated, but liberal activism is genuine.

They haven’t presented credible evidence that the huge crowds at town hall meetings are paid shills. But there’s plenty of evidence that the Left relies on huge numbers of paid workers to hit the streets and show up at meetings.

The biggest proof is an announcement made in January—long before the town hall flare-ups—by the SEIU labor union (Service Employees International Union). This is the union whose purple shirts are so visible in town hall altercations.

SEIU announced it would hire over 1,000 people to work in 35 states on behalf of the Obama agenda, which it calls “Change That Works”. As stated in its press release:

  • “SEIU members have committed to more than 1,000 members and staff working full-time in the field and dedicated 30% of the union’s resources to the campaign. Already approximately $10 million has been set aside to build and mobilize public support in key states.
  • “SEIU has hired or assigned full-time state campaign directors . . . in 35 states.
  • “SEIU has created a “war-room” at its headquarters in Washington, DC to facilitate the Change That Works program.
  • “In coalition with other organizations, SEIU will participate in multi-million dollar paid advertising campaigns this month and throughout 2009.”

The SEIU website has listings that show it continues to hire more activists.

And which are the 35 states where these 1,000+ paid activists are working? SEIU identified them as Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Their ongoing campaign is a follow-up to the almost $61-million the SEIU spent to elect Obama. Union president Andy Stern recently told the Las Vegas Sun, “We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama–$60.7 million to be exact—and we’re proud of it.”

Now they want payback. And as their behavior at townhalls demonstrates, the SEIU is willing to do anything to get it.