Thursday, December 5, 2013
Independent U.S. Senate candidate Angus King took a moment during Monday night's debate in Lewiston to draw attention to the oft-used weapon of modern campaigning: The tracker.
King singled out Republican tracker "Zack" -- not sure of spelling -- who the former governor claims has been dispatched to follow him on the campaign trail, taking pictures and video in the hopes of catching an embarrassing or exploitable moment.
The King campaign was quick to release the video of the exchange. King said it's further evidence that the political system is overwrought with cynicism, calling the practice "lousy."
Summers' surrogates later took to Twitter to claim that King employed his own tracker (He doesn't, according campaign staff). Summers communications director then tweeted the same video, saying an "agitated" King "yelled at an audience" member during the debate (He didn't.)
Of course, both political parties use trackers to stalk opposing candidates (Just ask Gov. LePage). While their presence is generally tolerated, things can get ugly. See Exhibit A below, in which the driver for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren gets testy with a Republican tracker.
Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.