Tracker Trouble at Fitz Event

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick

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!”

Blown up photo of man seen at school

Blown up photo of man seen at school

“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. 

November 11th, 2013 | Posted in Congress, Front Page Stories, Top Stories | 15 Comments

15 thoughts on “Tracker Trouble at Fitz Event”

  1. Susan says:

    It is their job to listen and speak with us.
    correction:
    It is his job to listen and speak with us.

  2. Susan says:

    Clearly Fitzpatrick will only speak with those he chooses to. Town Halls are history. Invitation only events and only with those who will not challenge him on facts.
    Tracking a legislator is not new and his team does it too so the faux outrage is just dumb.

    As for the nasty comment to Theresa BrownGold I would suggest the writer take a deep breath. You made not so subtle accusations about harassment and threw in guns for good measure. We get what you are implying.
    If you go back to the website take a look at all the portraits of people from our community who have suffered or died for lack of medical care. Calling the congressmans office daily to find out if there is a town hall scheduled is not harassment..its her right and the right of all of us to expect to be able to communicate with him, to speak to him and have our concerns heard. It is their job to listen and speak with us. He is running from his duty to all of us by hiding behind private events. A story about this and his falling poll numbers was scrubbed from the paper of record. And the archives. And the reporter was gagged.
    This particular incident was much ado about nothing. Very petty of the congressman to demand people be fired for invalid reasons but never spoke up against all the vile and disgusting obscene comments made about his last opponent by his operatives. Shame on him.

  3. Kathleen3 says:

    In his first bid Patrick Murphy’s minions pulled these same strong-armed, underhanded tactics.
    Why are the Progressives so afraid of Mike Fitzpatrick that they have to resort to this type of deceit?

  4. sean ryan says:

    Fitzpatrick wins by 10 points.

  5. DianeFromBucks says:

    Art As Social Inquiry or Theresa Browngold,

    I just checked out your website and your list of communication attempts to Representative Fitzpatrick seems like not only harassment but in the wake of all these mental patient shootings is scary to say the least. Just remember, you can get help Theresa. There are places to go where people will listen to you. I’m surprised you haven’t been arrested already.

    All the best,

    Diane

  6. Capt says:

    Regarding town halls: This is a problem only with Republicans? No so much…Try getting Allyson Schwartz to show her face in front of her constituents. Won’t happen!

  7. Tom Lafferty says:

    What customer service! great job Mr. Field

  8. Tom Lafferty says:

    You really should change that bit about the tweet. You state in very plain language that it is one of the congressman’s tweets. It isn’t.

    And this is worth shouting about because sending a tracker to an event at school during school hours is just creepy. American Bridge made a bad decision, they should be called on it.

  9. Doesn’t the indignation belong to the constituents who have, what I have concluded, is a representative who is always campaigning and never available to be challenged in public on his positions and votes? I hope I am wrong, but it does not appear to be the case. The “town halls” dried up shortly after I started keeping a log so I could attend one.

    http://artassocialinquiry.org/projects/tracking-congressman-fitzpatrick-does-the-first-amendment-matter/

    And why was an article about the congressman’s lack of real town halls removed from our local newspaper’s website? The paper said there were “inaccuracies” in the article but failed to point them out? Here is a link to the article I was able to retrieve.

    http://artassocialinquiry.org/2013/08/21/no-town-halls-newspaper-coverage-vanishes-why/

    We have serious questions and concerns in
    PA-8. The constituents are not political enemies. We deserve a congressman who can express himself in public in an unscripted way. What is wrong with that?

  10. 13thDistDem says:

    Saul:

    I never said anything about a ‘public endorsement’. And I didn’t realize the tweet wasn’t from the Congressman.

    In any even, tracker goes to non-public event thinking it’s public, finds out it isn’t public, and leaves.

    Occam’s Razor.

  11. JDF says:

    Wow you people are hilarious. The person found out it wasn’t a public event and left. What is the problem? Oh, thats right the problem is that people like Fitzpatrick think that they should be able to do whatever they want while attacking their opponents for any and all behavior. He probably just doesn’t want to get caught saying something sexist, bigoted, or homophobic.

  12. Prettyone says:

    Oh boo hoo. This cry baby beatch needs to be sent packing

  13. Howard says:

    How come you didn’t note that the tweet was from the High School Poli Sci club to other members and school kids. Unless a reader clicks on the link your writing is at best misleading and at worse bias. Please update the article.

  14. Better Call Saul says:

    13th,

    I didn’t realize a tweet from a high school science club was a public endorsement.

    Stop drinking the kool aid and for a second take a step back and realize that operatives of the Democratic party knowingly walked into a school for political reasons.

    Imagine what the outcry would be if under any circumstance, someone knowingly and willingly intentionally mislead or lied to security to get into a school function…Yeah, I thought so.

  15. 13thDistDem says:

    Crybaby.

    That sounds like pretty typical campaign tracker activity. You go to an event, and while you may not necessarily volunteer who you are, if asked you are never anything less than honest.

    If the tracker gave a hard time, that’s different. But Fitzpatrick’s people implied this was a public event, and shouldn’t be surprised to find a tracker there.

    That said, to issue a statement about a little kerfuffle where the details are so unclear shows a campaign that is pretty desperate to get some free media.

    Is there any account from Council Rock? I would consider their word to be the least biased.

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