The following day, Gun-Ho gave a call to Minister Jin-Woo Lee.
"Sir, it's Gun-Ho Goo."
"Oh, Mr. Class Manager. It has been a while."
"How are you these days? I often see news about you in the media these days."
"Don't get me started. My throat is sore, and my voice is hoarse now."
"I guess you have an extremely busy schedule, especially because the election precinct is large."
"I visited three senior citizen community centers the other day, and it took me the whole day. I've been running for election so many times before, and I can tell you that this is the hardest one. But, I'm positive that I will win."
"I agree with you, sir."
"You think so too, Mr. Class Manager?"
"Of course, sir. Not just me, who thinks you would win this election without any problems, but everyone, who took the class with us in the Advanced Center for Administrative Development at Seoul National University, thinks the same."
"Is that right? Haha. Well, please tell them that I truly appreciate their support, and I do need their continuous support."
"And, sir, I'd like to meet you in person. Are you going to stay in your election district today?"
"No, I have an executive meeting for my party today. I will be in Seoul in the morning, but I will have to go to the district this afternoon."
"I will then go to your office in the district this afternoon."
"Do you know where my office is located in the election district? I don't even know its address Let me see. If you come downtown, there is Kukmin Bank. My office is situated in the building across the Kukmin Bank. It is a three-story building, and you will see a flower shop and a pet store on the ground floor."
"Got it. I will see you at 3 this afternoon then."
Gun-Ho headed to OO City in Gyeonggi Province where Minister Jin-Woo Lee's election district was located, in the afternoon. It was easy enough to find his office. Gun-Ho walked up to his office. There were three staff working there. The person, who was sitting at the front desk, looked like she was in her mid-20s; she was probably an intern.
"How may I help you, sir?"
"Mr. Minister Jin-Woo Lee is expecting me. I have an appointment with him."
When the young worker hesitated, a male worker, who looked like he was in his 50s, said to her, "Show him to the meeting room."
Gun-Ho was led to a meeting room by the young worker who was at the front desk. The meeting room was not large. There were lots of signs piled up in a corner of the room. Banners were hanging on the wall; one of them said 'I will stay and experience the daily life with you all in our district.'"
Gun-Ho was sitting at the table in the meeting room by himself when a lady worker, who looked like she was in her 40s, brought a cup of green tea to him.
The office seemed to have a lot of foot traffic; Gun-Ho could hear people talking outside the meeting room.
"I hope Minister Jin-Woo Lee gets elected as a congressman as soon as possible and get his new office in the government. This place is very distracting."
Gun-Ho sat in the meeting room waiting for Minister Lee to show up for more than 30 minutes. He was spending the waiting time surfing the web with his smartphone checking out female actresses' photos when Minister Jin-Woo Lee entered the room. Minister Lee didn't even knock on the door, but opened the door abruptly.
"I'm so sorry. The executive meeting took more than I expected."
"I actually came to encourage you in pursuing your political goal, sir. I know your day is very busy and tiring these days."
"Look at my lips. They are swollen from fatigue," Minister Jin-Woo Lee said as he applied an ointment on his lips.
"Is your opponent from this area as well?"
"He lived in this election precinct only for two or three years during his childhood. He was probably in elementary school at that time. He spent most of his life in Seoul, not here. I don't understand why I have to compete with him when this is not really his hometown."
"You need a lot of campaign workers too, right?"
"Of course, I do. We hired lots of part-time young people, and the cost is not insignificant."
"Are you getting contributions from the local influencers and officials too?"
"Not as much as I expected. I guess the economy is not doing well now. The thing is that my opponent has his own fan club that is very active and aggressive. His fans volunteer to work for his election. I don't have that sorts of labor that I can use. Since I have a rich father-in-law, people want money from me, and they don't want to spend it for me. The thing is that I'm not rich, but my father-in-law is. But, people don't understand that."
"Mr. Minister, I can find campaign workers for you."
"Campaign workers? Do you mean your workers at your company? You are going to ask some of them to work for my campaign temporarily?"
"Not the workers at my company, but I will have the members of a civic organization work for your election."
"The members of a civic organization?"
"I won't disclose the name of the civic organization though, but there are 3,000 of them."
"Did you say 3,000 people?"
"They are not going to be in this area physically, but they will help you remotely using the internet."
"What do you mean by working through the internet? Are they going to post a lot of messages and replies on the internet?"
"Leaving a lot of positive comments or replies in favor of a specific election candidate could cause another problem; it could backfire. The opponent will attack you by saying that you are paying people to leave favorable comments about you on the internet since you can afford it."
"Hmm, then what can they do for me using the internet?"
Gun-Ho exaggerated a little bit in explaining what Min-Ho Kang and the members of his organization would do for him.
"Basically what they will do is doxing. The 3,000 people will conduct the internet-based research in collecting information about your opponent, and will find the information that will damage your opponent's reputation and public image."
"He was a news anchor. All that he had done was reading the scripts prepared for him to read on TV. I wonder if there is anything they can find that will help me."
"There is no perfect person in this world, sir. Once they find something bad for the opponent, they will repost it online. If 10 people read it, it's just a matter of time to spread to 30,000 more people."
"Even though my wife's father is wealthy, I can't pay for those 3,000 people."
"You don't need to pay them, sir. I will take care of it. Those 3,000 people are now ready to proceed; they are waiting for my order."
"Ha, I didn't know you are capable of doing such a thing."
"You said the other day that you are grateful for our classmates' support from the Advanced Center for Administrative Development at Seoul National University, hoping that their continuous support would give a great impact on your election. Our classmates are only 30 people. That number can't affect your election at all. The 3,000 people, who are waiting for my order, however, can certainly make a big difference in your campaign work. They are all young and energetic people at a civic organization."
"If you could have them help my election, that would be great, and I do really appreciate their help. But, I will eventually have to give them something in exchange for their help later, won't I?"
"You don't have to worry about it. It's very unlikely, but if anyone expects to get something from you, I will take care of it."
"Thank you," Minister Jin-Woo Lee said as he abruptly held Gun-Ho's hand.
"One thing that I want you to promise me is that you can't tell anyone about me doing this for you. It must stay between you and me only, sir."
"Of course, I understand that."
"And, this group of 3,000 people will be dissolved as soon as you are elected."