Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan's campaign is complaining about dirty campaign tricks even as her allies are doing similar things to her Republican opponent in Raleigh.
A opposition researcher from a firm called America Rising came to the North Carolina freshman senator's open office hours Wednesday armed with a video camera, reports BuzzFeed. The tracker asked Hagan for her opinion on Gov. Pat McCrory's budget proposal. Such a move apparently breaks the unwritten rule of no tracking in the halls of Congress.
From BuzzFeed: “[It’s] really over the top and beyond the traditional boundaries,” said Sadie Weiner, Hagan’s communications director. The Carolina Coffee session is a nonpartisan event, and Weiner said the presence of a political tracker “is disrespectful to the constituents who don’t expect to be filmed and caught in political crossfire when they come to meet with their senator.”
No such rule -- unwritten or otherwise -- exists in the North Carolina statehouse, home to House Speaker Thom Tillis, Hagan's most prominent Republican opponent. Unidentified operatives with video cameras record legislative meetings and the sessions and advocacy groups are known to film interactions with lawmakers, such as this video showing Tillis "running" from N.C. NAACP President Rev. William Barber.
A Democratic Party staffer even tracked Tillis on the streets of Washington earlier this month when he skipped session to attend fundraising events. (In Washington, apparently anything on the streets is fair game, just not inside the Capitol.)
America Rising, the firm tracking Hagan, told BuzzFeed: “Our objective is to hold Democrats accountable for their rhetoric wherever they go, and that is especially important when Congress is in session,” said Tim Miller, executive director at America Rising. “If Democratic senators like Kay Hagan didn’t try to hide their liberal, Washington agenda from voters back home they wouldn’t have anything to be concerned about.”