Tracker Trouble at Fitz Event
Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick’s campaign says the Congressman was followed into a high school event on Thursday and he’d like you to help him find the culprits.
The Congressman’s campaign released a statement on Friday asserting that two people entered Council Rock South High School to record his statements to the school’s Political Science Club.
There are, however, conflicting accounts of what happened.
According to the Fitzpatrick campaign, the two men refused to sign in to the school, evaded school security, and were eventually asked to leave the building and the premises. One individual identified himself as “Jordan” from the American Bridge Super PAC.
“It is deplorable that your organization would resort to such a brazen act, and jeopardize the safety and privacy of students and others in our community,” Michael Mabin, Fitzpatrick’s Campaign Chairman stated in an open letter to the PAC. “These nefarious tactics have no place in our community.”
Additionally, Mabin called on these individuals to be fired and included a photo of one of the men.
The American Bridge Super PAC that “Jordan” said he represented was a part of American Bridge 21st century, a liberal organization based in Washington D.C.
“American Bridge 21st Century is a progressive research and communications organization committed to holding Republicans accountable for their words and actions and helping you ascertain when Republican candidates are pretending to be something they’re not,” according to the group’s website.
“We monitor public appearances to prevent the cynical pandering that results in a candidate taking different positions depending on the audience they are in front of.”
PoliticsPA reached out to Chris Harris, the group’s Communications Director, about the campaign’s allegations. He asserted that the group has only one person in PA, not two, and that they assumed it was a public event from a tweet about the Congressman from the school’s Poli Sci Club*:
“REMINDER: Tomorrow Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick will be at school to speak with us at 3:00 P.M. Tell everyone! All are invited!”
“We assumed it was a public event,” Harris explained. “Our tracker walked in the lobby, not filming, saw a Fitzpatrick staffer and identified himself. A school official then told him it was for students only and he left. He was there probably for three to five minutes.”
When asked about the man in the photo, he said that was not their employee. “I have no idea who that is.”
Mabin was less certain about the identity of the second tracker who allegedly entered the school. He said the school’s security the removed him. The image to the right is the second tracker.
Public officials and candidates being tracked by people with video cameras is not a new phenomenon in politics. It’s one of the reasons Fitzpatrick in particular has made the tactical decision to impose strict limits on events where he appears.
*The original version of this story mistakenly identified the tweet as having come from Fitzpatrick.