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.
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.
Democratic [SIC] 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.
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