The Democratic congressman, caught up in the scandal of a Democratic “tracker,” fired for harassing and stalking the family of his GOP opponent, called upon the Democratic Party Tuesday to turn over any videos or other materials of the Republican’s wife and children.
“As I’ve said, this young man clearly crossed the line and while he never worked for our campaign, the New York State Democratic Party was right to fire him and they should send whatever they have over to Phil,” said Rep. Sean P. Maloney (D.-N.Y.) to Westchester 12 TV reporter Tara Rosenblum, after Republican challenger Phil Oliva demanded Democrats and Maloney hand over the potentially personal and intimate footage.
The tracker, a New York City male underwater model Yougourthen Ayouni, was reported to the Somers, New York police department after Oliva’s wife saw the tracker repeatedly drive slowly by the family’s home.
Oliva, who is also an official with the Westchester County government, said he is glad Maloney came around and he is waiting for someone at the Democratic Party of New York to make good.
Maloney is the sponsor of the Maloney amendment that would ban individuals or organizations that consider sexual orientation or gender identity in their hiring decisions from doing business with the federal government. The amendment, which would ban contract Catholic chaplains and the Salvation Army from providing services for the federal government is supported by Rep. Greg Walden (R.-Ore.), the chairman of the National Republican Campaign Committee – as well as more than 40 other Republicans, many of whom are allies of Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R.-Wis.).
In his letter to the congressman, the Oliva shared his anxiety.
“As you know I had a few encounters with this individual as did my wife but we have no idea how long the guy was stalking us and what he recorded when we weren’t aware of his presence,” he wrote. “I’m less concerned about me and more concerned about my wife and children so I’d like to get all the video footage so it can be assessed. I’m sure you will agree that this is a very reasonable request in light of the situation.”
Trackers are a common fixture of Democratic campaigns. In this election cycle, the trackers are recruited and trained by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the political wing of the House Democrats. After they are certified by the DCCC, the trackers are assigned to state parties, who are responsible for paying and supervising them. The videos are shared with Democratic candidates and their campaigns for their use.
In addition to videotaping Republican candidates, the trackers submit daily reports to the Democrats.
Oliva said Ayouni also contacted him on Facebook as well as his wife, posing as a potential client for his wife’s personal fitness training business focused on pregnant women and women who have recently given birth.
The Republican said his wife is home with three kids and breastfeeding their 4-month-old.
Monday, volunteers attempted to present Maloney with a letter from Oliva.
“I had two staffers, both female, confront him at a press conference,” Oliva said. “One videotaped while the other tried handing him a letter from me asking for the tapes. He laughed and didn’t take it. After a scrum for about five minutes, he goes to get into the car as a reporter asked him if he will hand over the tapes.”
A reporter from Westchester 12 asked about the tracker’s videos, but Oliva said the congressman deflected.
“He gets in the car but then gets back out and said he agrees with me and that it was inappropriate but doesn’t answer about the tapes and then said: ‘the state party needs to do what they think makes sense,’ then he adds: ‘It’s political season and people are going to be asking for all kinds of things.'”
Oliva, who was a senior campaign aide to Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, during his 2014 run for governor, said he was surprised that Maloney could dismiss his concern so easily.
“He thinks my wife’s and my concern over whether this tracker has footage of my kids or footage of my wife in her underwear is political?” he asked.