Political trackers: second oldest profession?

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Having run for political office I am very familiar with the practice of having opposition “trackers” follow you to events in order to record your words and actions and use them against you later. Once upon a time, trackers were brave men who chased down criminals and villains — not quite the same today (although I suppose it depends whose side you’re on).

Lately it seems there is no level too low for political trackers to stoop. According to Alexis Levinson writing for The Daily Caller,

Democratic opposition research organization American Bridge apologized on Monday for sending someone to follow New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte at a funeral this weekend, after a reporter and the New Hampshire Republican party attacked them for the move.

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In a statement posted on the NHGOP website, state GOP Chair Jennifer Horn called it “disgusting that a Democrat-affiliated group like American Bridge would politicize a memorial service and use this non-partisan event to try and score cheap political points.”

In response, American Bridge tweeted an apology shortly thereafter, “As a matter of policy, we do not attend those types of events. There was a miscommunication with our staff on the ground in NH. We sincerely apologize & regret the error. Our staff has addressed the issue internally in order to ensure this never happens again.”

Fair enough, but this isn’t a story you’ll ever hear about in the mainstream media. You can only imagine if the roles were reversed, it would be breaking news on NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, PBS, and of course MSNBC.

It was my standard practice to identify these trackers and turn the tables on them, exposing them for who they are. I recall during a veterans event, some of my staunch motorcycle-riding supporters and combat veterans decided to “escort” a tracker from the event. He was not invited and they really were offended by his presence — we never saw him again.

Some trackers even lie, such as the motley crew from a San Francisco group called CREDO who decided to attend one of our town hall meetings. Afterwards they came up and attempted to deceive me by saying, “Congressman West, we have been long-time admirers” before they unleashed their tirade. I just took it as further evidence of the low and despicable state of political affairs in America.

Yes, both sides conduct this practice. I wish it were not so and would end, but in the era of character assassination politics, it is all too commonplace. Perhaps if we had a political system that stressed competence and the ability to articulate the issues and solutions based upon sound policy principles, this practice would not be necessary. However, since we have an immediate sound bite mentality among our electorate and a media that feeds on the sensational rather than the truth, I don’t think this will end.

A liar for a president, trackers at funeral services — welcome to the abhorrent lows of liberal progressives. Is it any wonder who is behind the attack on the national character of America?

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