Weeks before Election Day, Local 98 boss John Dougherty sent a message to union members, 80 percent of whom are white: Don’t let Obama’s skin color impede your vote. Even more intriguing than his plea to bridge the racial divide was how it was delivered — J. Doc mailed 5,000 one-time-use MP3 players loaded with his pro-Obama stump speech, plus words from building trades manager Pat Gillespie, Rep Pat Murphy and Senator Bob Casey. Operation: MP3 ran a cool $90,000 — but Dougherty says it was worth it: “Everybody loved it. I even saw one on Craigslist for $150.”
Pulse: Chatter: First Rosa Parks, Then King, Then … Johnny Doc?
Originally published in Philadelphia Magazine, December 2008