As someone who has stood on street corners and knocked on doors for petition signatures, I can tell you that if I had free food to give out, I'd have added to my totals exponentially. However that's illegal, so I didn't even think to do it. Senator Espada however, who is being threatened with expulsion from the Democratic party decided to gamble on committing that crime in order to look good at his press conference yesterday.
From The Daily Politics:
I spoke with Rivera strategist Horacio Guttierez this morning, who summed up: "We got people who were not liking what they were seeing who would call our office to let us know."
As he describes it, residents of Espada's district would get the letter you see part of here, urging them to come pick up free food (courtesy of the New Yorkers For Espada campaign). When they arrived at the pickup site, Guttierez said, they were induced to sign Espada's petition to get on the ballot.
Guttieriez noted that the program seemed very similar to a Senate program Espada announced back in February: An anti-obesity "Farmers Market Initiative" based at the Davidson Community Center, which, via a state grant, would provide free, fresh produce to residents.
While any statement from a political opponent must be taken with a grain of salt, that flyer from Espada's office says plenty all on it's own.