Marvin McClendon kept insisting he was doing “volunteer” work as he knocked on New Haven doors for Linda McMahon. Now he wants his money.
McClendon, an out-of-work mason, was one of a platoon of New Haven African-Americans who canvassed city neighborhoods and then worked the polls this Tuesday on behalf of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon.
On Sunday he knocked on doors of the Morris Cove neighborhood along with a fellow “volunteer.” Click on the play arrow and on this story to follow their adventures.
Over and over again, when asked if they were getting paid, the duo, both otherwise unemployed, responded with a mantra: “I’m a volunteer.” Eventually, McClendon’s partner confessed he was in fact getting paid. McClendon stuck to his story.
Until Thursday. He flagged down this reporter on the street to claim in fact he had been getting paid—and then didn’t get paid for a 15-hour shift working the polls on Election Day. He said when he got the job he was told: “You may get a lot of questions from reporters coming at you. Just tell them that you’re ‘volunteering.’”
Thursday evening McClendon appeared on WTNH with three other New Haven African-Americans saying that the McMahon campaign had never paid them their promised hundreds for working the polls. They claimed when they arrived at the campaign’s State Street headquarters to get paid, the joint had been cleaned out. (Indeed, it had been fully emptied an hour before the polls closed.) Click on the play arrow to watch the WTNH report. (And click here to read about one McMahon poll worker who didn’t plan to vote for her.)
McClendon’s nephew, Twainedon Gomes, told the Independent he had heard from “a lot of” fellow allegedly stiffed McMahon workers after he, too, appeared on the WTNH report.
McMahon campaign manager Corry Bliss denied the allegations. He said the checks will go out in the mail for all workers who have been confirmed to have put in the promised work at the polls. “Every single person who worked will be paid for every single hour they worked,” he told the Independent Friday.