Thursday, April 8, 2010

Abbott Watch

The first flip-flop of the campaign?

An independent candidate for governor complained to a national Republican group this week about a woman it hired to follow him and other opponents with a video camera.


In 2007, Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins' staff complained after a tracker for the Maine Democratic Party videotaped her as she walked in a parade and chatted with people along the way.


Steve Abbott, a Republican candidate, seemed to share Cutler's view of trackers when he was Collins' chief of staff in 2007 and wrote a letter to the Maine Democratic Party.

"Tactics such as tracking demean the political process, contribute to voter cynicism and have no place in the type of substantive issues-oriented campaigns that our voters deserve," he wrote.

Abbott's spokeswoman, Felicia Knight, said Wednesday that Abbott's criticism was focused on the intrusive and intimidating nature of the tracker who was then assigned to Collins.

"On the other hand, he has absolutely no objection to people who are going to be videotaping public events and public speeches," Knight said.
Of course, Collins was videotaped only at public events; there's no evidence of her having been tracked in an "intimidating" way; and even Abbott seemed to concede at the time that the tracker never got in his candidate's personal space.

More background here.

UPDATE: Gerald adds a delicious detail that really should have been in the PPH story.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was googling to find other coverage if this story (which there is very little, thanks mainstream media). Anyway, I found this gem. Abbott's website had a video about stripping up instead of his campaign ad.