View Full Version : Democrat Stalkers.

07-09-2012, 06:44 AM
The Dems will regret this when one of them are caught on camera either beating their wife or engaged in incest.
Personally I cant wait to hear the bleating when that occurs.
A video of Obama slapping Michelle around would be perfect.

<span style='font-size: 23pt'>GOP unnerved by Democrats' candid camera techniques</span>

<span style="color: #000000">Politicians recognize they give up a degree of privacy when they run for office.

But Democrats are testing the outer limits of that understanding with a practice that raises questions about when campaign tracking becomes something more like stalking.

While most serious campaigns on both sides use campaign trackers — staffers whose job is to record on video every public appearance and statement by an opponent — House Democrats are taking it to another level. They’re now recording video of the homes of GOP congressmen and candidates and posting the raw footage on the Internet for all to see.

That ratcheting up of the video surveillance game is unnerving Republicans who insist that even by political standards, it’s a gross invasion of privacy. Worse, they say, it creates a safety risk for members of Congress and their families at a time when they are already on edge after a deranged gunman shot former Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords 18 months ago.

Wisconsin GOP Rep. Reid Ribble, who said he’s also been followed by a cameraman when shopping for groceries, said the home videos cross a line.

“I feel it’s totally inappropriate,” said Ribble, a freshman facing a competitive race for reelection. “It was disturbing to me that they would put that online. I don’t understand any political benefit that can be achieved with that.”

In Ribble’s case, a clip of his northeastern Wisconsin home appeared online June 18. The soundless video — which lasts 38 seconds — is taken from a car sitting just outside the house. The shot pans across the large home, showing it from several different angles.

DeaNa Ribble, the congressman’s wife, said it is deeply unsettling.

“I’m more creeped out about this than Reid is, just because I’m home more,” she said. “If they so much as put a foot on private property, I will be the first person to call the police.”

Republicans whose homes have been videotaped say they understand that politics is a contact sport and that every public utterance they make is fair game. But, they argue, filming a home — and posting actual addresses — ought to be off-limits, if only out of respect for their families and neighbors.

“I think your family or your personal life should be off-limits unless it enters the campaign,” said Ohio Rep. Jim Renacci, who said a neighbor informed him that a tracker had been crouching in the bushes taking footage of the first-term congressman’s home. “It’s hard for my neighbors or my family to get comfortable when someone is in the bushes.”

His Wadsworth, Ohio, home is the subject of a 49-second video, which pans from a view of the mailbox on the left side of the house to the shrubbery on the right and then back and forth several times before cutting off.

“I think that goes a little too far,” said Renacci, who noted that his son told him he had seen the clip on YouTube.

Trackers assigned to California GOP candidate Ricky Gill, a highly touted challenger to Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney, pushed the edge of the envelope even further.

In May, a clip of Gill’s parents’ Lodi, Calif., mansion appeared online. The one-minute video shows the front of the huge home, a gated fence and vast front yard. The next month brought a three-minute video that begins by slowly passing by Gill’s home, with a cameraman overheard saying, “This is the house that he’s been registered to vote in since 2005.”

About one minute in, the video shifts to the University of California-Berkeley, campus, where the 25-year-old Gill recently finished studying law. The tracker waits in a hallway where Gill soon appears. As the candidate walks outside, the tracker follows in clandestine pursuit.

Gill declined to speak for this story. But a spokesman said, “I think anyone who sees pictures of their family’s home posted on the Internet would be a little concerned. … We would never post a picture of our opponent’s home on the Internet. We would never do that.”

Republicans aren’t exactly innocent naifs when it comes to campaign tracking. The GOP hit political gold in 2010, when then-North Carolina Democratic Rep. Bob Etheridge grabbed and yelled at several camera-wielding interns for the National Republican Congressional Committee who had stopped him on the street.

And on Tuesday, aides to Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop said they found a tracker working for his Republican opponent, Randy Altschuler, sitting outside the congressman’s Long Island, N.Y., home with a camera.

But Bishop’s campaign said it did not believe any footage of the home had been made public.

In an email, Paul Lindsay, an NRCC spokesman, wrote: “Our trackers serve as eyes and ears to hold Democrats accountable in public events and public spaces only. Anything beyond that would be a violation of our policy.”

Democrats, on the other hand, insist the videos are fair game — and are unapologetic about the hardball tactics.

They say showcasing the homes — most of which are spacious and neatly maintained — underscores what will be a key avenue of attack for the party this fall: communicating that Republicans just can’t relate to economically struggling voters.

“House Republicans have spent this entire Congress trying to hide that they’re protecting benefits for millionaires and perks for themselves instead of protecting the middle class, but we won’t let them keep it secret any longer,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Jesse Ferguson wrote in an email.

Democratic officials said placing the videos on the DCCC’s website and YouTube serve a useful purpose, most notably making the footage available to friendly outside groups for use in TV commercials. That way, they don’t violate laws against coordinating with those groups.

Andy Stone, a spokesman for House Majority PAC, a super PAC that plans to spend millions targeting Republicans over the next four months, declined to comment on whether the organization will make use of the videos, saying it will “make race-by-race strategic assessments about the most effective course.”

In some cases, outside groups are producing the aggressive tracker footage themselves. A liberal group called Colorado Fair Share released a video showing volunteers hunting around the house of GOP Rep. Mike Coffman and asking neighbors if they’ve seen the congressman.

In the video, a woman is seen knocking on the door of Coffman’s home in Colorado. Then, standing on the stoop, she turns to the camera and says: “Well, I guess he’s not home. Where’s Mike? We’ve been trying to find him.”

Ali Cochran, a spokeswoman for Colorado Fair Share, said the clip stemmed from a broader campaign the group launched called “Where’s Mike?” that seeks to show voters that the Republican congressman has been absent from the district. Cochran, who pointed out that the video does not include Coffman’s address, said she didn’t see a problem with putting his house on the Internet.

“I think that when you decide to run for office, it’s like being a celebrity — you take the responsibility of being in the public eye,” she said. “We didn’t intend for this to be nasty. We were trying to show that this guy is inaccessible to his constituents.”

California Republican Assemblyman David Valadao, whose two Central Valley farms are the subjects of videos that also include their addresses, said he recognized the risks that come with campaigning for office and is prepared to deal with them. So is his wife.

“It’s one of those things. We know we’re in this position, and it’s part of the job. I wish it wasn’t,” he said, noting that a mechanic on one of his farms chased away a tracker filming the scene. “We have alarms on the house. My wife knows how to use weapons. As far as safety goes, we do our best to be cautious and to keep track of our kids.”


Gayle in MD
07-09-2012, 11:48 AM

This one is down right funny!

Thanks for the laugh.

Politics as usual, unless it's something Repiglicans can conflate into another whiney claim of victimism. WHAH WHAH WHAH. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/cry.gif

So these rich people don't have any electric fences?

No gates in front of their mansions?


Wow, they can parlay a few photos into a massive left wing plot!


They should stay home then, and stay out of politics. They're too SCARED for the status quo of being public figures.

Reminds me of the suppposed shot into Cantor's office window. LMAO! Another conflated hoax.


07-09-2012, 12:03 PM
Its vast left wingnut conspiracy I tell you!!!

Oh and some of them are residing in the privacy of their own property.
We need more extensive "Make My Day Laws". /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

07-09-2012, 01:07 PM
That does sound over the top, but actually, when in public, there is no presumption of any privacy.

I'd say that filming private residences (from outside them on public streets), or grocery shopping trips, makes little sense, but is not stalking or illegal, if of questionable value.

07-09-2012, 01:35 PM
Try filming children from the street and see where that get you.

07-09-2012, 05:09 PM
I know of no children who are public figures, or governmental officials.

Still, if one is on public roadways, one can film anything anywhere, except when the police say no about filming them.

And I think that is legal as well, although it may get you tazed or arrested or stomped or killed.