Organizing for America, the permanent incarnation of the Obama presidential campaign, has a new offer to its members: send money now and be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to meet Barack Obama.
It will happen October 22, when Obama appears at a rally for faltering Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Las Vegas. "The president will be kicking off the final push at a grassroots rally," an Organizing for America email says. "We're saving three backstage passes for supporters like you."
Obama has been criticized for appearing at high-dollar events like a soiree at the Washington DC home of former network newswoman and White House health care spokeswoman Linda Douglass. That event cost $30,400 to attend. This one will be different. If you send in just $3 between now and 11:59 p.m. Friday, you'll have a chance to win -- air fare, hotel, and "backstage pass" to meet Obama.
And it's even better than that. Read the fine print of the email, and you'll see -- at the bottom, just like a contest on the back of a box or a six pack of soft drinks -- "No purchase or contribution necessary to enter. Void where prohibited." Even if they don't send in any money, winners will receive "one round-trip ticket within the continental U.S. to Las Vegas; hotel accommodations for one; and a meeting with President Obama at a rally even on 10/22/10 (approximate combined retail value $1,200.00)." The email does not specify how much of the $1,200.00 is for the plane, how much is for the hotel, and how much is for meeting Obama.
"Your donation will help us fund the most ambitious grassroots program ever run in an election like this," says Organizing for America, "from putting targeted ads on the air to paying the operations expenses in our field offices to providing food for volunteers."
Organizing for America has two pages for people who want to enter the contest. For those who want to contribute for a chance to win, go here. For those who want a chance to win without contributing, go here.