Earlier this week Harford County Executive David Craig was very critical of Lt. Governor Anthony Brown's use of trackers in a piece in The Sun. Craig noted that his campaign did not engage in the practice. That evening I was very critical of his eschweing of trackers, noting that to not be tracking was akin to "political malpractice."
Here is Craig's full quote from the Sun article:
Republican gubernatorial candidate David R. Craig on Monday criticized Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown's use of a "tracker" to videotape Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler's public appearances, calling the practice a way for Brown to "trash his opponent" in the Democratic race.
Craig, the Harford County executive, said he has never used trackers in his campaigns. His comments came in response to a Baltimore Sun article on Brown's tactics.
Craig called the practice — common in campaigns around the country — "a sign that candidates are too weak to run on their own record." He said campaigns use trackers to seek "gotcha" moments to use in negative advertising.
Multiple sources though have suggested that the Craig campaign did indeed use trackers, alleging that it happened on at least two occasions; once at a Charles Lollar event in College Park, and another at a Delegate Ron George event in Montgomery County.
I asked Craig campaign spokesman Jim Pettit for a statement, which was the following:
"The David Craig campaign has not sent trackers to rival campaigns. Campaign personnel attend political events where other candidates may or may not also be attending which has nothing to do with tracking. So-called 'trackers' record audio and video and their sole purpose is to look for potential gaffes and are used by the Anthony Brown campaign because they are obviously concerned that they can not win the election based on his governing record."
The sources did not indicate in what capacity the alleged trackers were attending the event, and whether or not the trackers were in possession of recording equipment, thus making this a he-said/she-said type of affair at the moment. But it is interesting that word started percolating so quickly alleging that the Craig campaign had used trackers.
More on this as and if it develops.
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