Democrats are taking their class warfare to a new level this year. As revealed in a Politico story
yesterday, paid campaign trackers are being sent to film the homes of
GOP candidates and, in an unprecedented step, the footage is being
upload to You Tube. Politico's report identified four examples of the disturbing new
new practice (plus one by an outside group). A Breitbart News review of
YouTube channels created by Democratic trackers has identified four
additional instances in which the homes or businesses of GOP candidates
were filmed and uploaded for use in attack ads by outside groups.
Campaign trackers are usually college age staff who are paid by
political campaigns to follow opposing candidates. Both sides do this
routinely. However, Democrats have recently introduced two new wrinkles
to an old practice. First, in an attempt to sidestep federal election
laws, Democrats have been uploading raw footage captured by their paid
trackers to You Tube. Once the footage is made public, it can be
downloaded and used in attack ads produced by third party groups without
running afoul of laws against outside coordination.
The second practice which is novel is the inclusion of video of
candidates homes and places of business in the footage being dumped in
the public sphere. Both tactics are being done with the full knowledge
and blessing of the Democratic party:
Democrats...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.
Have we reached the point
at which having a "neatly maintained" middle-class home is enough to make you an
enemy of the party? Politico's report identified four instances of
trackers uploading video of homes belonging to GOP candidates, including
this one of Jim Renacci's home in Ohio:
However, a review of dozens of YouTube channels created by Democratic
trackers reveals four additional instances in California, Colorado,
Michigan, and New York where the home, apartment, or business of a GOP
candidate is filmed. In one case the street
address of a candidate's business is given. In one other case, the town in which the home is
located is stated.
The Politico story notes that Republican trackers have also been found filming at the homes of Democrats. The story specifically mentions an incident in which a tracker was found outside the home of Democrat Tim Bishop. What the story did not mention is that a Democratic operative (who is apparently unaware of the new policy about uploading video of Republican candidates homes to the web) confronted the GOP tracker saying "This is an inappropriate place for you to be." Significantly, none of the video shot by the GOP tracker has been uploaded to the web.
It's not clear who told Democratic trackers to upload video of GOP
candidates homes to YouTube, but the attempt to personalize political differences has a
clear antecedent in Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. Rule 12 says:
"Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut
off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after
people and not institutions; people hurt faster than
institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized
criticism and ridicule works.)
Democrats had a lot to say about the tone of our politics after the
shooting in Tucson last January. They were especially upset about the use of targets to identify the location of campaign districts on a U.S. map. Do Democrats believe placing video of
candidates actual homes on the internet is less troubling? Does the White House have anything to say about this practice or will this just be one more instance in which spokesman Jay Carney refuses to see any disconnect between the the President's lofty words and his party's bottom-of-the-barrel behavior?