By Justin Rood
- November 9, 2006, 12:59 PM
A Philadelphia Daily News columnist tracked down one of the unfortunate locals who had been tricked by the Michael Steele for Senate campaign to hand out deceptive pamphlets outside Maryland voting places.
The result: a refreshingly candid indictment of the failed GOP candidate Steele, who now hopes to head up the Republican National Committee.
"I might not have a home," an outraged Yusuf El-Bedawi told the Daily News' Ronnie Polaneczky, "but that doesn't mean I don't care about right and wrong. No one has the right to use me that way."
The Steele campaign recruited six busloads of poor and homeless Philadelphians to hand out flyers to Maryland voters portraying Steele and his ticketmate, governor Bob Ehrlich, as Democrats. Steele is currently Maryland's lieutenant governor; Ehrlich is governor.
"People started screaming, at us, 'Do you think we're that stupid? What are you trying to pull?' " El-Bedawi told the writer. "I said, 'I didn't know it was a lie! I'm from Philly!' And they said, 'Then go back to Philly!' "
"I am so angry and upset, I don't know what to do," said El-Bedawi, who's particularly shattered that he and at least 200 other Philadelphians didn't get home from Maryland in time to vote here.
"These people think we're too stupid to understand the magnitude of what we did."
What they did, said El-Bedawi, was cheat an entire community of unsuspecting voters.
And just because they didn't know they were doing it doesn't mean it doesn't feel awful.
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