More Creepy Campaign Tactics From Democrats
During the Scott Walker recall campaign in Wisconsin Democrats resorted to some pretty creepy campaign tactics, including direct mail campaigns using personal voter information to intimidate voters into making contributions or casting their ballots. In the past, too, the left has resorted to some questionable tactics. In California, gay marriage activists used public contribution information to harass opponents and President Obama has not been shy about singling out the individuals/organizations who support his political enemies.
But this Politico report about Democrats recording and publishing footage of a candidate’s private home would seem to take these tactics to a new low:
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.”
In addition to Wisconsin, this is also happening in races in Ohio, Colorado and California.
Video tracking is a perfectly legitimate campaign tactic in so far as it targets candidates and their public activities. The things candidates do and say in public can and should be documented, and trackers do that. But recording the private homes, or private activities, of these candidates is over the line.Tags: democrats, election 2012