In an effort to rally support for a dwindling campaign, Anthony Weiner’s camp has been paying actors to stand as supporters, according to a source close to the deal. The New York Post reports that Weiner allegedly hired Crowds for Demand, a California firm, shortly after his second sexting scandal broke last month.
The source told the Post that Weiner surrogates ask that actors appear “like either supporters or people who met him and became supporters as a result of that encounter,” including asking the candidates questions at events and then noticeably approving of his answers and acting convinced. Actors were also asked to confront hecklers, but the firm refused to put actors in potentially dangerous situations for liability reasons. Actors were reportedly paid $15 per hour.
Although Weiner’s campaign denies employing Crowds for Demand, saying that the former congressman’s supporters have ”enthusiasm the other campaigns just can’t buy,” the Post notes that one of the campaign’s most recent ads features Weiner associates posing as regular New Yorkers without stating their associations with the campaign. For example, in the ad, an 18-year-old intern voices his support for Weiner without identifying his position.