So, a month ago, when Wooden started pushing her to buy yet another ticket, she contacted the Daily News. I then was invited by her to listen in when she returned a call from Wooden to discuss the ticket.
Tameka said that she couldn't afford the ticket; her fiancé was out of work. Wooden reminded her that "three [tickets] a year is what it's all about." If Tameka ran into job problems, he said, the first thing PPA bosses would ask is, "Did she buy her tickets?"
They sparred for about three tense minutes. Finally, Wooden suggested that Tameka pay for the ticket in two installments.
Tameka reluctantly agreed.
"I'm afraid to say 'no,' " she said after she hung up.
Over the next few weeks, though, she ignored Wooden's follow-up calls for the money. Finally, she phoned PPA's deputy executive director, Linda Miller, for advice about the situation, although she never told Miller that Wooden was the person pressuring her.
Both women agree that Miller assured Tameka that job security didn't depend on ticket purchases. But they disagree about what was said next.
Miller, Tameka claims, suggested that, in the future, Tameka regard the tickets as a Republican "donation," the way Miller had done for years. She says that Miller also suggested that Tameka create a "payment plan" so that, when fundraisers came up, she could pay for them with squirreled-away savings.
Miller told me she was speaking hypothetically about what Tameka might do if she chose to buy tickets. She said she emphasized that the PPA doesn't condone the practice of seeking political contributions from employees. And she said that she offered to guide Tameka through a formal complaint process if Tameka chose to go that route.