The Estado de S. Paulo reports what we already know: São Paulo is run by a political machine, although the case in point is something of a trivial one.
São Paulo, 15 – Appointed civil servants of the city of São Paulo are collecting voter signatures for the creation of the new political party of Mayor Gilberto Kassab, the Social Democrats (PSD). This newspaper had access to an e-mail sent out by an aide to a subprefect which says the subprefecture has been assigned a “mission” by the mayor to collect “as many names as possible.”
The message was forwarded to friends of the aide last Sunday. “My big boss [Kassab] has sent us poor mortals on a mission , dependent as we are on political appointments for our jobs ha ha ha ha… I have to collect the most names,” the text, send from a person e-mail account, reads. “I will tell you why: Kassab founded a new party … the PSD … and he needs the largest possible number of people to endorse it.”
This newspaper contacted the aide, who has worked in a subprefecture in the Southern Zone of São Paulo for a year. “It was a friend with ties to the subprefecture who asked me to do it,”she said. As of yesterday, the aide had collected five signatures.”It is hard collecting more than that.”
The party needs 482,000 signatures to qualify for the next ballot. The DEM-PFL, of which the mayor was once a leading member, is facing extinction in the face of a corruption scandal to beat all corruption scandals involving its poster child and VP candidate of choice, the governor of the federal district, a steely eyed champion of the New Public Management who showed up on national TV engaging in the Good Old Garbage Contract Kickback scheme.
The breakaway party could even join the alliance supporting the federal situation.
In the meantime, the mayor’s former party, the hard hard-right tea party wannabes DEM-PFL, is not having it.
The DEM are preparing a legal blitzkrieg against the PSD, the party being created by Mayor Gilberto Kassab. Party lawyers have been told to question the collection of signatures for registration of the new party and to denounce any apparent irregularities to the elections prosecutors.
Well, it does seem that the Estado is helping them with that, running a merely anecdotal tale suggesting wider spread shennanigans.