Here's an interesting bit of contextual information on the rent-a-protester scandal: Capitol Fax's Rich Miller notes that this isn't the first time that anyone's paid random people to fill a room -- the big ComEd debate in Springfield is one example -- and that Rev. Watkins was involved way back then, too [here.] See also this coverage of the scandal and investigation:
Paid protesters, longer day and secret documents WBEZ: The meeting was much more subdued than last month's meeting, which was taken over by Occupy protestors. WBEZ education reporter Linda Lutton was there and joined Eight Forty-Eight to give listeners the low down on what went down... [Rich Miller has some interesting context on ComEd doing a similar thing and Watkins' involvement ]
Church groups with city contracts back Emanuel's school agenda Tribune: Faith-based groups that have become the face of community support for Mayor Rahm Emanuel's controversial plans to lengthen the school day and close failing schools also receive millions of dollars in grants from his administration.