Republican candidate for Congress Phil Oliva told Breitbart News Monday he is demanding that Democrats hand over any video footage taken of Oliva’s wife and children by Yougourthen Ayouni, a male underwear model they hired to be a “tracker” assigned to the campaign of Rep. Sean P. Maloney (D.-N.Y.).
“I don’t think the guy is a pervert–but, I don’t know what he recorded when we weren’t aware of his presence,” said Phil Oliva, a Westchester County official running against Maloney in the New York-18 congressional district. Yougourthen Ayouni was fired Friday after confrontations with the candidate, in which he admitted driving to the Oliva family home during the day.
In addition to his physical and cyber-stalking of the Oliva family, the tracker approached Oliva with a video outside his office during lunchtime, when Oliva was sitting on a bench. The first time, Ayouni held the camera in front of the candidate and started asking questions about abortion rights. Another man, sitting on the bench with Oliva, told the tracker to shove off and he did. “I asked him who he was and he said: ‘I’m the tracker.'”
The second time, the tracker came up and Oliva turned the tables on him when a co-worker starting filming Oliva pepper the tracker with his own questions. In the second confrontation, the tracker said that he worked for the Democratic Party. Apparently, Ayouni was recruited and trained by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, but was paid by the Democratic Party of New York and assigned to the Maloney campaign.
According to the DCCC: “The tracker will be responsible for collaborating, on the state party’s behalf, with local state party officials, the DCCC, and other third-party groups.”
Trackers are very common for Democratic campaigns. Before social media, in simpler times, it was just an operative with a video camera, who followed around the candidate hoping to catch him trip and fall or utter a career-killing gaffe, such as when then Sen. George Allen (R.-Va.) called out a tracker as “Macacca,” which is close enough to the Portuguese negative slang for blacks to present the narrative that Allen had insulted the Indian-American tracker.
The GOP challenger in the New York-3 congressional district, state Sen. Jack Martins, told the New York Post, a man named Andy Sommers, who identifies himself as a Democratic operative and tracker, friended the state senator’s teenage daughter on Facebook as part of his harassment.
Oliva, the son of a military recruiter, said he is also demanding a full apology from Maloney.
The Republican candidate said Maloney told a reporter he was sorry about what happened, but the congressman has not called Oliva or his wife.
Given Maloney’s level of political sophistication and his experience working as a Wall Street attorney, in the Clinton White House and as a senior staffer for New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer, there is no way the congressman did not know about a Democratic operative working in his district to stalk and harass a political opponent, he said.
“Maloney doesn’t have to apologize to me. He has to apologize to my wife,” he said.
“She is scared. She has a 4-year-old, 2-year- old and 4-month-old at home. It becomes a very vulnerable situation,” he said. “Look, my wife is breastfeeding and sometimes she walks around the house breastfeeding as she is doing stuff.”
He said he is upset he cannot tell his wife it is over.
Oliva told Breitbart his stay-at-home wife called him to say that someone was looking in the windows and there was a car that drove past their house that made her uncomfortable.
Ayouni also contacted Oliva on Facebook, he said.
“A couple of weeks ago, he started to follow me on all my social media platforms and he signed up on my website, all in the same day, it was kind of suspicious,” he said. “He sent me a message on Facebook saying: ‘I’m really excited about your campaign and let me know about any upcoming events.'”
The candidate said he did not respond and Ayouni contacted him again on Facebook: “‘Let me know about any upcoming events. I can’t wait to me you’ and I clicked on his Facebook profile and it just seemed like–well, it looked like his politics were liberal and I think you’d have to check out his Facebook page. It’s a little bit out there.”
Ayouni also connected with the Facebook page Oliva’s wife uses for her online fitness training business, which was strange because her business is for pregnant women and women getting back into shape after giving birth.
The tracker sent a message to his wife, he said. “Hey, I came across your site and I’ve love to learn more about your webinar. Please send me the details.”
The Bronx native, who earned a bachelor’s degree at Sienna College and an MBA at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, said when he talked to his wife about running for Congress, he had assured her that the Democrats would only attack him and that they would not go after her or their two children.
Now, his wife is struggling with how the Democrats violated her family’s home and sanctuary.
“She is kind of freaked out,” he said. “It is an intimidation tactic.”
“I am in the house right now and all our blinds are down,” he said. “I can’t imagine anybody would think the candidate of the family would be fair game, especially when they’re not doing anything. My wife is not financing my campaign. She is not attacking Maloney. She has nothing to do with it–except for supporting the candidate.”
“Are we sure this guy is not coming back? Is there going to be a next tracker?” he asked. “This is a little more than your standard dirty tricks, dirty politics. This is downright scary stuff, especially for someone who never signed up for this, namely my wife and young children.”