Monday, August 09, 2010

Does Malloy tracker intimidate voters?

At a country fair yesterday in Lebanon, Ned Lamont walked the grounds and introduced himself to voters and answered their questions.

There was a video tracker from the Dan Malloy campaign following Ned around, and I noticed that he was sticking his camera into basically each conversation that Ned had with the voters.

Now I know that video trackers have been a part of campaigns since before the famous "Macaca" incident four years ago. It's an accepted practice by every campaign, even Lamont's. I've done a bit of it myself on occasion. Never for pay, though.

But the nature of Dan Malloy's tracker seems to intimidate the voters. When Ned Lamont is greeting regular citizens, the tracker inserts the camera uncomfortably close to their personal space. Nobody enjoys being videotaped, especially when the camera is three feet or less from their head! In several of these scenes (and there were many more during the 45 minutes Ned walked around) you can see the citizens nervously eying the tracker's camera.

It's one thing to tape a candidate's public remarks and speeches.

It's quite another to use the excuse of tracking as a way to intimidate voters and scare them away from greeting the candidate.

Dan Malloy is paying this person to do this. You can safely assume that Malloy is entirely aware of these tactics and approves of them.

Where is the media on this issue?

(yes, I added sound effects of mosquitoes and vuvuzelas, but only to highlight how annoying this is!)


matt said...

I'm not sure we *must* assume that Malloy is aware of it, but it's certainly something the campaign should immediately correct.

I agree that it's about intimidation -- cameras have zoom features, after all, so it's not like it'd be hard to get a close image from a respectful distance.

leaveonlyfootprints said...

Definitely bad form, though I agree that Malloy isn't necessarily aware of it. Trackers usually go through a training that tells them to be polite.

I think it's kind of silly to say "where is the media on this issue" though - nobody really cares about the day-by-day tit-for-tat that goes on. It's poor form as a tracker for him to be in the way - you are supposed to be polite and unintrusive - but I wouldn't expect any sort of outcry from the general public (who probably aren't aware of trackers anyway)

Also in response to Matt - you are correct in saying that there are zoom options, but I assume his (purported) rationale would be audio. That's what you really want anyway, and it's hard to catch audio at any distance when outside, especially if there is any wind.

Again, that's not an excuse for intrusive behavior though.

CT Bob said...

I changed the "must" to "can safely" assume, since there is an element of doubt, no matter how tiny.

A campaign is managed from the top down. Something as public and obvious as this should not go unnoticed by the candidate.

Either Malloy is aware of it and condones this behavior; or he isn't aware of it, and is displaying the same lack of leadership that allowed his city employees to steal nearly 1/2 million dollars without his knowledge.

Me, I'm leaning towards this being a typical Roy O. campaign strategy. It wouldn't surprise me even a tiny bit if he goes ahead and pulls the plug on Malloy's website tonight and then accuses us "bloggers" of hacking into it!

leaveonlyfootprints said...

It's funny how some of you Lamonters have turned Roy O into a cartoonish villain - I don't think we will see any "hacking" tonight!

Seriously, though, I haven't understood the willingness of Lamont supporters this cycle to bash Malloy for his consultants. Ad ad guy he was criticized for using was used by Lieberman, true, but also by Obama and lots of progressive senators. Roy O did extensive work for LMAF here in CT. Ned's polling firm has done work for Shell Oil.

I find the guilt-by-association thing dubious.

Unless it were Dan Gerstein. Seriously, screw that guy :)

CT Bob said...

Ha ha ha! Yeah, that Gerstein was a sonuvabitch!

Look, I only know what Roy O. has done with his anti-Lamont stuff. Maybe he's a goddamned Gandhi in his other work, but this stuff he churns out for Malloy (and is approved BY Malloy) is just pure shit.

I hate that Malloy took the campaign to this level. Say whatever you want about Lamont's "smears" of Malloy, but he didn't use any until well AFTER Malloy jumped in that sewer, and he never would have unless forced to.

And waiting to strike back cost Ned in the polls.

No amount of rationalization will justify Malloy's behavior in my mind. Regardless of what happens tomorrow, I'll know that I backed the nobler man.

leaveonlyfootprints said...

I don't disagree with your assessment of the campaigns, and perhaps my rant was misplaced - sorry!

Ah well, it will all be over soon.

CT Bob said...

Alex, you're one of the few people I've seen on any of the blogs who strives to carry on a reasoned and thoughtful discussion without letting emotions take over. It's always a pleasure to hear from you, even on those occasions when we don't exactly see eye to eye.